The Extraordinary Coach: How the Best Leaders Help Others Grow by John Zenger and Kathleen Stinnett (McGraw Hill, 2010) reviewed by Steve Gladis, Ph.D., May 2011
If I had to suggest the top five books about coaching for leaders, or coaching in general for that matter, The Extraordinary Coach would be on that list. This is a great book for any leader or coach—new or old. It’s not that the information is earth shattering. As far as coaching is concerned, the model is relatively standard—figure out the problem, its current status, the ideal state, and finally a plan to move toward that ideal state. These authors call their model F.U.E.L.—Frame the Conversation; Understand the Current State; Explore the Desired State; Lay out a Success Plan. What does distinguish this publication? The authors create a simple but powerful chart of a simple four-step process; they present excellent probative questions associated with each step; they provide rich-text dialogues between coach-leader and coachee; and finally, the website resources, especially the videos, are worth the price of the book alone. There’s nothing as instructive as watching good coaching, and watching Jack Zenger (a master leadership guru) coach an employee is like watching the Dalai Lama talk about spirituality. My suggestion to coaches and leaders alike: Add this one to your library.