Practitioner's bookshelf — executive coaching

In this issue, we explore volumes on executive coaching covering topics such as behavior and performance, the history of coaching and approaches that lead to success

By Marketing and Business Development staff

Nov. 14, 2012—In this recurring feature, we bring you new releases, best-of-class reference texts and resources you can recommend to your clients. Titles and descriptions come from both the APA Center for Organizational Excellence Amazon Associates Store and APA Books. This issue, in collaboration with APA’s Psychologically Healthy Workplace Program, we focus on executive coaching with volumes that explore behavior and performance, as well as the history of coaching and approaches that lead to success.

What other books on executive coaching have you found helpful and informative? Email us and let us know.

Suggested readings: Executive coaching

  • Coaching for Leadership: Writings on Leadership from the World's Greatest Coaches
    By Marshall Goldsmith, Laurence Lyons and Sarah McArthur (2012)

    Today’s coaches are challenged with the recurring task of weaving threads from several disciplines into a tapestry that is fit for the purpose of helping their clients learn and succeed. In this sense, the coach has to become a discriminating eclectic, developing a keen sense of judgment to select which threads are best woven into the fabric and those that it would be better to simply throw away.

    Coaching for Leadership is intended to be a companion in that learning journey presented by the world’s greatest coaches, including Marshall Goldsmith, PhD, Paul Hersey, EdD, Beverly Kaye, PhD, David Ulrich and many more.

  • The Coaching for Leadership Case Study
    By Laurence Lyons (2012)

    Based on the best-selling Coaching for Leadership, which contains an invaluable and timeless collection of thoughts and theory from some of the world's best thinkers, this workbook is filled with illustrative case studies, examples, exercises and activities. It addresses matrix effects (how the organization's structure influenced the outcome), personal dynamics (the psychology and logic of how the story evolved) and additional questions for coaching practice and questions for leaders.

    The workbook contains its own unique material related to organizational behavior, organizational development, organizational complexity and change; leadership; coaching; and consulting skills.

  • Becoming an Exceptional Executive Coach: Use Your Knowledge, Experience, and Intuition to Help Leaders Excel
    By Michael H. Frisch, Robert J. Lee, Karen L. Metzger and Judy Rosemarin (2011)

    Coaching is more than simply learning a process and set of skills. Exceptional coaches draw on their professional experience, knowledge of organizationally-relevant topics, strong helping skills, coaching-specific competencies, and most important, their ability to use their own intuition in the service of the client. Becoming an Exceptional Executive Coach is the first book that brings all of these elements together to guide readers in developing their own personal model of coaching.

    Beginning with a self-assessment, readers will examine the core content areas crucial in any coach's work, from engagement and goal-setting to needs assessment, data gathering, feedback and development planning - and then learn how to combine that knowledge with the unique perspective they bring to the table as individuals in order to achieve maximum coaching effectiveness. Each chapter includes a case study that brings the practice of coaching to life.

    Tools include charts, development plans, contracts and more, plus ongoing discussion of the role of coaching in organizational contexts.

  • The Wisdom of Coaching: Essential Papers in Consulting Psychology for a World of Change
    Edited by Richard R. Kilburg and Richard C. Diedrich (2007)

    What is executive coaching? And, how has it emerged as such a strong sub-discipline of consulting psychology in recent years? Answers to these questions and more are provided in The Wisdom of Coaching. Editors Richard Kilburg and Richard Diedrich have selected 39 essential articles originally published in the Consulting Psychology Journal: Practice and Research that delve deeply into what it means to coach senior executives in the world's major corporations.

    Along with the practical guidance offered by the numerous case studies, conceptual approaches and methods presented in the volume by some of the finest thinkers in the field, the editors—both respected executive consultants—explain the history and evolution of executive coaching thus far.

    This volume explores the various expectations held by practitioners, clients and their organizations; the tactics and methods coaches use to help clients improve their performance in a variety of difficult situations; and the feedback given by clients in relation to their experience with coaching. In sharing a wealth of perspectives and experience, this volume provides a solid grounding in the practice and assessment of executive coaching. Students interested in executive consulting and management as well as practicing coaches will find this volume to be a useful resource that will enhance their ability to deal with challenges and their ability to work with executives one-on-one.

  • Executive Wisdom: Coaching and the Emergence of Virtuous Leaders
    By Richard R. Kilburg (2006)

    Wisdom is a defining attribute of the successful leader. While many gifted philosophers and leaders – Confucius, Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Augustine, Cicero, St. Thomas Aquinas and Descartes – have explored the virtue of wisdom in leadership, in its current form, the study of wisdom has been aided by advances in the psychological sciences and management theory. In Executive Wisdom: Coaching and the Emergence of Virtuous Leaders, renowned executive consultant Richard Kilburg introduces the concept of Executive Wisdom and explores how consultants and coaches can help leaders become wiser in the conduct of their offices, and how these same concepts can be applied to senior leadership teams.

    Synthesizing a rich array of concepts and processes, such as wisdom mapping, Kilburg deepens the reader's understanding of leadership performance and explains the causes and consequences of executive failure. This book uniquely integrates a large body of historical, philosophical, psychological and business models and methods as they relate to executive coaching and leadership development, for individuals, dyads, teams and executive groups.

    Some of the key elements that make the book successful are carefully constructed case examples and methodological suggestions for improving an individual executive's capacity, plus literature summaries, point-by-point presentations, narrative case analyses and activities that will appeal to different learning styles and needs for leaders and their coaches.

  • Executive Coaching: Developing Managerial Wisdom in a World of Chaos
    By Richard R. Kilburg (2000)

    Richard Kilburg brings his many years of expertise in working with organizations in crises to this book on executive coaching. Kilburg demonstrates how managers untrained in interpersonal skills can, under pressure, allow the "shadow" side of their and their organization's personalities to undermine desired change and growth. In clear and engaging language, Executive Coaching helps consultants and managers understand the chaotic processes and psychodynamic problems that can influence executive behavior and performance.

    This book emphasizes working with executives to help them develop wisdom as they learn from mistakes and grow in their roles. In elegantly written chapters rich with case illustrations, Kilburg reveals methods and techniques that were developed in clinical settings and that draw from chaos and complexity theory. Throughout, Kilburg takes up specific problems associated with managerial patterns of emotions, thoughts, defenses and conflicts – and provides practical solutions. This is a must-read for consultants and managers who wish to help executives develop wisdom and gain mastery over the chaotic "shadow" side of individual and organizational life.

  • Executive Coaching: A Guide for the HR Professional
    By Anna Marie Valerio and Robert J. Lee (2004)

    Executive Coaching is a “consumer’s guide” for HR professionals and executives who want to be good clients and savvy consumers of coaching services. Step-by-step, the book defines what coaching is, who uses it, when, and why. In this comprehensive resource, the authors outline the entire coaching process, include key points on the readiness for coaching, and clients’ first-hand accounts of their coaching experiences. Valerio and Lee describe the roles of the HR professional, the client, the boss and the coach, and how all work together in order to achieve a successful coaching engagement.

  • Head, Heart and Guts: How the World's Best Companies Develop Complete Leaders
    By David L. Dotlich, Peter C. Cairo and Stephen Rhinesmith (2006)

    This book reveals three important capabilities leaders must demonstrate today: the ability to set strategy, empathize with others and take risks – all at the same time. In Head, Heart, and Guts, leadership experts David Dotlich, Peter Cairo, and Stephen Rhinesmith – who teach and coach CEOs and executive teams throughout the world – argue that to be successful in a complex, matrixed, fast-moving world, “whole” leaders must set strategy, develop trusting relationships with others and consistently do the right thing based on personal values. “Partial” leaders, often the product of traditional executive programs, may be successful in the short run, but their companies lose over time.

    Filled with case studies of companies such as Bank of America, Johnson & Johnson, Novartis and UBS, Head, Heart, and Guts, lays out specific steps and actions for leaders who want to grow beyond their “leadership comfort zone” and an action plan for companies that want to move beyond tried-and-true leadership development in order to develop “whole” leaders throughout their leadership pipeline.

  • Executive Coaching for Results: The Definitive Guide to Developing Organizational Leaders
    By Brian O. Underhill, Kimcee McAnally, John J. Koriath and Richard J. Leider (2007)

    The field of executive coaching is growing at an astonishing rate. Corporations are increasingly turning to coaching as an intervention, as it offers leaders and managers both on-the-job learning and built-in follow-up. Human resource and leadership development practitioners must wade through a wilderness of conflicting information about when to use coaching, how to do it well, and how to evaluate the cost-effectiveness and success of any coaching intervention.

    Executive Coaching for Results helps this critical leadership development technique come of age. This is not a how-to-coach book, but rather a comprehensive guide on how to strategically use coaching to maximize development of talent and link the impact of coaching to bottom-line results. Underhill, McAnally and Koriath draw on their rigorous original research with Fortune 1000 and Global 500 companies such as Dell, Sony, Johnson & Johnson, Disney, Unilever, Wal-Mart and many others to cover topics including: coaching as part of an overall leadership development strategy; typical activities and instruments used during coaching; costs of coaching; development of an internal coaching program; selection of the right coach for the job; the ROI of coaching; following up after coaching; and much more.

    Offering practical learning, best practices and illuminating case studies, this is the first definitive guide to the effective use of executive coaching in the corporate environment.

  • The 21st Century Executive: Innovative Practices for Building Leadership at the Top
    Edited by Rob Silzer (2001)

    An essential resource for building and maintaining an effective leadership team, this book gives HR professionals and I/O practitioners a greater understanding of executive dynamics, development tools and proven techniques for managing executives. Written by top-notch practitioners, this volume explores executive performance and documents unique to executive-level human resource applications.

    The book shows how effective executive performance is qualitatively different from that of middle level managers. It also outlines today's state-of-the-art corporate human resource practices, along with lessons learned, and provides guidelines and principles related to effective executive practices.

  • Advancing Executive Coaching: Setting the Course for Successful Leadership Coaching
    Edited by Gina Hernez-Broome and Lisa A. Boyce (2010)

    For anyone who coaches leaders, this book addresses the most critical issues affecting the future of leadership coaching as an organizational development initiative. It is organized around a Leadership Coaching Framework that employs a systems approach to frame the myriad issues. In addition to the introductory chapter that provides an overview of the book, the 16 contributed chapters are grouped into three sections with the final chapter providing a review of the major themes in the volume with a discussion integrating the global discussions and future directions for leadership coaching.

  • The Art and Practice of Leadership Coaching: 50 Top Executive Coaches Reveal Their Secrets
    By Howard Morgan, Phil Harkins and Marshall Goldsmith (2004)

    Leadership coaching has become vitally important to today’s most successful businesses. The Art and Practice of Leadership Coaching is a landmark resource that presents a variety of perspectives and best practices from today’s top executive coaches. It provides valuable guidance on exactly what the best coaches are doing to get the most out of leaders, for now and into the future.

    Revealing core philosophies, critical capabilities and the secrets of coaching success, the book includes essays from fifty top coaches, including Ken Blanchard and Frances Hesselbein. Packed with cutting-edge ideas and proven best practices, this is the definitive source of information for anyone dealing with coaching.

  • Linkage Inc.'s Best Practices in Leadership Development Handbook: Case Studies, Instruments, Training
    Edited by David Giber, Samuel M. Lam, Marshall Goldsmith and Justin Bourke (2009)

    Leadership development is a planned effort that enhances the learner's capacity to lead people. Building on the success of the first edition, Linkage conducted a study of over 300 top organizations and their needs in organizational change and leadership development that identifies approaches to leadership development that have proven to be successful.

    The work offers practical "how-to" instructions for developing leaders and engaging in leadership development. It provides current in-depth models, assessments, tools and other instruments that can be used for immediate application within a variety of organizations.

The content provided above is for informational purposes only. The inclusion of any product, service, vendor or organization does not imply endorsement, recommendation or approval by the American Psychological Association or the APA Practice Organization. Amazon is a trademark of, Inc. or its affiliates.