Coaching for Leadership

by Marshall Goldsmith

As the third edition of Coaching for Leadership is published, my co-editors, Laurence S. Lyons and Sarah McArthur, and I are hopeful of the prospect that this edition will have a significant impact on leadership and coaching in the coming years.

When it was first published in 2000, the first edition of Coaching for Leadership became an instant classic in the field of executive coaching. The second edition in 2006 was aimed at the large number of retiring leaders who saw coaching as a way of passing on their learning. Coming twelve years after the book’s inception, this third edition is aimed squarely at the intended recipients of that legacy — the bright young leaders and coaches of the HiPo (High Potential) Generation of the 21st Century who hold high expectations of our distressed world.

Leadership coaching is going through dramatic changes. Practitioners from many disciplines are crowding into the coaching space, most notable may be those with a psychology background, as the discipline itself is shifting from a focus on the study of dysfunction towards a science of success. Of the many disciplines in the sphere of leadership coaching, we consider philosophy to be greatly important. Within philosophy we find the oft-neglected topic of ethics, the science of doing good, which we believe surely ought to be a central theme in any teaching of leadership.

Our subject Coaching for Leadership has grown so much since our first book was published. With such a vast and expanding topic, even as an experienced coach or leader, it can be difficult to know what is important to spend precious time learning about now. Leaders and coaches of leaders today are challenged with the task of taking from several disciplines to build a method that will help clients and employees learn and succeed. To that end we have gathered together some of the world’s greatest thought leaders to discuss their insights into the topics of leadership and coaching in our forthcoming book that we hope will become a cherished companion on your leadership journey.

With this third edition we provide an unusually fun and wise accompaniment for learning and practice. The Coaching for Leadership Case Study Workbook: featuring Dr. Fink’s Leadership Casebook, authored by co-editor Laurence S. Lyons, has been written to help those who want to be successful leaders, business coaches, and agents of change to understand organizational life. This companion workbook is unique in that its lessons are told in narrative form with illustrations, exercises, and highly entertaining stories that, practically without effort on the part of its readers, ingrain into them the complex teachings and theories of management and leadership.

We hope that through the reading of our book you will gain an understanding of the importance of coaching as a preferred and tested route to achieve leadership. We hope that you will gain a thorough grasp of how — and for whom — coaching should be applied in your own organization and in your career, and also how you might perform in your role as coach, person being coached, or buyer or supplier of a coaching service. Our ultimate goal is that you, our readers, will bring good coaching practice into the world of work for the benefit of all!

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