A comprehensive, authoritative, and well-organized manual for boosting productivity through coaching.


The Coaching Solution


A Fortune 500 executive–turned-consultant looks at how to implement coaching programs inside professional organizations.

In this debut, Robertson draws on her own successful corporate coaching career to explain what coaching is, why organizations need it, how it serves a variety of human resource and talent development needs, and how it can lead to organizational change and improve results. The author discovered coaching while working in sales for MCI Communications in the mid-1990s. At the time, “life coaching” was popular, but professional coaching in corporations rarely extended beyond senior executives. She spearheaded a coaching program for MCI sales managers, who were dealing with rapid growth and technological change. Her program expanded to other departments and diversified in scope; meanwhile, MCI was acquired by WorldCom in 1998, which declared bankruptcy in 2002, emerged from bankruptcy in 2004, and was acquired by Verizon in 2006. Her coaching, she says, helped retain employees during the various crises and combine different cultures during mergers, which garnered her two consecutive International Coach Federation Prism Awards. This book’s content and workbook format appear to be aimed specifically at human resources administrators. Robertson uses her experience to offer instructions that are never dry or vague; instead, she moves seamlessly back and forth between her coaching principles and real-life anecdotes. She displays an encyclopedic knowledge throughout as she provides a step-by-step blueprint for launching an internal coaching program. Along the way, she also discusses how to use external coaches when time frames, budgets, or required skill sets warrant. The book looks at how to evaluate a company’s readiness for coaching and where it should reside in the organization and gives advice on how to write job descriptions, hire qualified coaches, develop talent, and measure results. Robertson continuously asks helpful questions in clear, if not always succinct, prose (“What level of impact do any pre-existing conditions have on the sales process and the ability to sell services into the account?”). There’s some business jargon, but it’s appropriate for the book’s audience; professional coaches, she notes, should be conversant in the language their clients use. She also offers document templates, training tools, and websites for further reference.

A comprehensive, authoritative, and well-organized manual for boosting productivity through coaching.

Pub Date: June 1, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-9909380-4-0

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Secant Publishing

Review Posted Online: Nov. 18, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2016

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Striking research showing the immense complexity of ordinary thought and revealing the identities of the gatekeepers in our...


A psychologist and Nobel Prize winner summarizes and synthesizes the recent decades of research on intuition and systematic thinking.

The author of several scholarly texts, Kahneman (Emeritus Psychology and Public Affairs/Princeton Univ.) now offers general readers not just the findings of psychological research but also a better understanding of how research questions arise and how scholars systematically frame and answer them. He begins with the distinction between System 1 and System 2 mental operations, the former referring to quick, automatic thought, the latter to more effortful, overt thinking. We rely heavily, writes, on System 1, resorting to the higher-energy System 2 only when we need or want to. Kahneman continually refers to System 2 as “lazy”: We don’t want to think rigorously about something. The author then explores the nuances of our two-system minds, showing how they perform in various situations. Psychological experiments have repeatedly revealed that our intuitions are generally wrong, that our assessments are based on biases and that our System 1 hates doubt and despises ambiguity. Kahneman largely avoids jargon; when he does use some (“heuristics,” for example), he argues that such terms really ought to join our everyday vocabulary. He reviews many fundamental concepts in psychology and statistics (regression to the mean, the narrative fallacy, the optimistic bias), showing how they relate to his overall concerns about how we think and why we make the decisions that we do. Some of the later chapters (dealing with risk-taking and statistics and probabilities) are denser than others (some readers may resent such demands on System 2!), but the passages that deal with the economic and political implications of the research are gripping.

Striking research showing the immense complexity of ordinary thought and revealing the identities of the gatekeepers in our minds.

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-374-27563-1

Page Count: 512

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: Sept. 4, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2011

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A readable, persuasive argument that our ways of doing business will have to change if we are to prosper—or even survive.


A well-constructed critique of an economic system that, by the author’s account, is a driver of the world’s destruction.

Harvard Business School professor Henderson vigorously questions the bromide that “management’s only duty is to maximize shareholder value,” a notion advanced by Milton Friedman and accepted uncritically in business schools ever since. By that logic, writes the author, there is no reason why corporations should not fish out the oceans, raise drug prices, militate against public education (since it costs tax money), and otherwise behave ruinously and anti-socially. Many do, even though an alternative theory of business organization argues that corporations and society should enjoy a symbiotic relationship of mutual benefit, which includes corporate investment in what economists call public goods. Given that the history of humankind is “the story of our increasing ability to cooperate at larger and larger scales,” one would hope that in the face of environmental degradation and other threats, we might adopt the symbiotic model rather than the winner-take-all one. Problems abound, of course, including that of the “free rider,” the corporation that takes the benefits from collaborative agreements but does none of the work. Henderson examines case studies such as a large food company that emphasized environmentally responsible production and in turn built “purpose-led, sustainable living brands” and otherwise led the way in increasing shareholder value by reducing risk while building demand. The author argues that the “short-termism” that dominates corporate thinking needs to be adjusted to a longer view even though the larger problem might be better characterized as “failure of information.” Henderson closes with a set of prescriptions for bringing a more equitable economics to the personal level, one that, among other things, asks us to step outside routine—eat less meat, drive less—and become active in forcing corporations (and politicians) to be better citizens.

A readable, persuasive argument that our ways of doing business will have to change if we are to prosper—or even survive.

Pub Date: May 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-5417-3015-1

Page Count: 336

Publisher: PublicAffairs

Review Posted Online: Feb. 17, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2020

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