The Cycle of Transformation:
Igniting Organizational Change Through the Leader Coach

by Deb Siverson

Reader Reviews from Amazon.com:

Deb really hits the mark on helping leaders move from coaching that is just about production to coaching that involves the important components of emotion and engagement. I especially like that she not only helps readers understand ‘why’ tapping into emotional engagement is key in order to retain talent and compete, she provides practical advice on ‘how’ leaders can become better coaches for their team members. Leadership is becoming increasingly challenging in today’s business environments. This book gives a roadmap with both guideposts and warning signs for the leadership/coaching journey.

Deb Siverson has a unique gift for guiding organizational change through cultivating awareness, leadership and individual talents of people. The Cycle of Transformation provides valuable tools and a pragmatic approach, rich with Deb’s years of astute observation, wisdom, and success as a coach and leader, for organizations to evolve and grow, increasing productivity and effectiveness through the process.

Deb captures the holistic process of leadership coaching describing the process, practice and possible outcomes. Knowing oneself is the critical first step for effective leadership. She helps the reader understand the components of developing a trusting relationship with his/her team members. Definitely a must read for a “leader coach”.

This book is good for groups, organizations or individuals and couples. Excellent.

With all the ups and downs of the economy and the various dramas in the business world in recent years, good leadership is more crucial than ever before. But the old methods don’t seem to produce the desired results any longer.

Author Deb Siverson knows this from firsthand experience. She worked for twenty years under the old productivity-based coaching model before she was introduced to a more relational approach. But rather than exchange one for the other, she realized that both models had something to offer. So she blended their effective aspects and created her own coaching model: the Cycle of Transformation.

Now, leaders can learn how to become “leader coaches” who empower their employees to fully engage with the company, resulting in a mutually beneficial connection that improves job satisfaction—which leads to increased productivity and profits. Approaching their role relationally, leader coaches play an important role in transforming their employees’ lives at work. And this is no small accomplishment.

Often enlightening and always practical, The Cycle of Transformation informs readers how to develop trust, why it’s important to spark insight before pushing for action, and so much more.

Don’t you think it’s time you refresh your leadership approach?

This Month’s Recommended Reading

In the Context of Coaching workshop, the heart of coaching is connecting to what’s important to the coachee, or the
Power of Y.  This approach to coaching motivates team members intrinsically by uncovering what is deeply meaningful and is a better predictor of performance success than extrinsic motivators, like money. One concept is uncovering and listening for values and another is asking questions about desired future-state.

In his 2018 New York Times article, The Human Brain is a Time Traveler, author Steven Johnson explains one of the most important discoveries to date about the human brain, “its aptitude for cognitive time travel which is a defining property of human intelligence.” Time travel, or mind wandering, are naturally flowing thoughts about what has been or what could be, and a way of imagining and potentially predicting future state. Unique to humans brains, this process is one of the last to develop in young adults and is the most complex brain function. Captured on PET scans, intense random brain activity during REST, shows relaxation time is often used for reflection and imagining of past and future events. From a Fixed Mindset this can create negative emotions and self-fulfilling outcomes. In today’s fully-wired world, we may not allow regular time for our brain to naturally process by sorting out past learning and dreaming of future possibilities. We may not have learned how to use a Growth Mindset to harness that brainpower. Coaching is one way to support others in taking the time to slow down and think more deeply to accelerate learning and contemplate desired outcomes.

“According to Marcus Raichle at Washington University, it may not be too late to repair whatever damage we may have done to our prospective powers…we can get better at daydreaming, if we give ourselves the time to do it.”

While the article is long, it’s an interesting read –  The Human Brain is a Time Traveler

Sherpa Coaching’s Seventh Annual Executive Coaching Survey (2012)

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2012 ICF Global Coaching Study

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Coaching Books

Co-Active Coaching

by Laura Whitworth , Henry Kimsey-House , Phil Sandahl

Co-Active Coaching offers a comprehensive view of the practice of coaching features instructive coaching examples, professional skill-building exercises, coaching tips and traps, coaching dialogues, and a coach’s toolkit containing worksheets, exercises, and forms to use with clients.

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Coaching That Counts

by Dianna Anderson and Merrill Anderson

The authors of Coaching That Counts have written a practical, readable guide for developing, delivering, and evaluating high-value leadership coaching. Coaching That Counts combines insights and practical experience about how to achieve transformational change through the strategic application and evaluation of leadership coaching.

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Taming Your Gremlin

by Rick Carson

This is a completely updated edition of the 1983 classic that introduced a powerful method for gaining freedom from self-defeating behaviors and beliefs. Rick Carson, creator of the renowned Gremlin-Taming™ Method, has revised the book to include fresh interactive activities, real-life vignettes we can all identify with, and new loathsome gremlins ripe for taming. Carson blends his laid-back style, Taoist wisdom, the Zen Theory of Change, and sound psychology in an easy-to-understand, unique, and practical system for banishing the nemesis within.

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Leadership Books

The 8th Habit: From Effectiveness to Greatness

by Stephen R. Covey

In the more than fifteen years since its publication, the classic The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People has become an international phenomenon with over fifteen million copies sold. Tens of millions of people in business, government, schools, and families, and, most important, as individuals have dramatically improved their lives and organizations by applying the principles of Stephen R. Covey’s classic book. Covey’s new book will transform the way we think about ourselves and our purpose in life, about our organizations, and about humankind. Just as The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People helped us focus on effectiveness, The 8th Habit shows us the way to greatness.

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The Art of Possibility

by Rosamund Stone Zander and Benjamin Zander

In a lively, sensible manual for turning life’s obstacles into possibilities, the Zanders introduce various “tools” for transformation, drawing on their extensive experiences with musicians, students and patients in therapy (Rosamund is a psychotherapist and painter; Benjamin is the conductor of the Boston Philharmonic). In a chapter entitled “Giving an A,” for example, Benjamin relates a classroom technique that allows students to envision their own futures: all students in his class receive an A if they write him a postdated letter relating “the story of what will have happened to you by next May that is in line with this extraordinary grade.” Other chapters emphasize practices such as thinking in terms of making a personal “contribution” rather than stark “success or failure”; “lightening up” in order to see a problem from a new perspective (e.g., a patient of Rosamund’s was able to have a sensual experience with her husband even though she was angry at him); and reassessing “frameworks for possibility” (e.g., a teacher shaved her head in order to “reframe the meaning” of a hairless class member who had leukemia). The authors’ emphasis on “practice,” the importance of “flow” and the joy in creation and expression is apt and often truly inspiring. Although not groundbreaking, the Zanders’ suggestions constitute sound, practical advice that has much in common with Zen concepts of holism, balance and grace.

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Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies

by James C. Collins and Jerry I. Porras

Drawing upon a six-year research project at the Stanford University Graduate School of Business, James C. Collins and Jerry I. Porras took eighteen truly exceptional and long – lasting companies and studied each in direct comparison to one of its top competitors. They examined the companies from their very beginnings to the present day – as start-ups, as midsize companies, and as large corporations.

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The E Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It

by Michael E. Gerber

An instant classic, this revised and updated edition of the phenomenal bestseller dispels the myths about starting your own business. Small business consultant and author Michael E. Gerber, with sharp insight gained from years of experience, points out how common assumptions, expectations, and even technical expertise can get in the way of running a successful business.

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Enlightened Leadership

by Ed Oakley and Doug Krug

Being able to change to keep pace with a rapidly changing world is the key to business success in the ’90s. Enlightened Leadership is a practical, hands-on guide to breaking through the barriers to organizational change. Doug Krug and Ed Oakley show why most efforts at change fail – and they provide leaders with proven methods for getting their people moving in the right direction.

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Even Angles Need a Push

by David McNally

Maximize your creative potential. Find success with dignity. Deal with personal crises. Discover your answers in the book that will forever change the way you feel about your work, your dreams, and yourself, as it helps put your own personal powers to work.

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Execution: The Discipline of Getting Things Done

by Larry Bossidy and Ram Charan

Disciplines like strategy, leadership development, and innovation are the sexier aspects of being at the helm of a successful business; actually getting things done never seems quite as glamorous. But as Larry Bossidy and Ram Charan demonstrate in Execution, the ultimate difference between a company and its competitor is, in fact, the ability to execute.

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Leadership and Self-Deception

by The Arbinger Institute

Leadership and Self-Deception shows how most personal and organizational problems are the result of a little-known problem called “self-deception.” Through an entertaining and highly instructive story, Leadership and Self-Deception shows what self-deception is, how people get trapped in it, how it undermines personal achievment and organizational performance, and – most importantly – the surprising way to solve it.

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Leadership and the New Science

by Margaret J. Wheatley

When Margaret J. Wheatley’s Leadership and the New Science was initially published in 1992, it outlined an unquestionably unique but extremely challenging view of change, leadership, and the structure of groups. Many readers immediately embraced its cutting-edge perspective, but others just could not understand how the complicated scientific tenets it described could be used to reshape institutions.

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The Leadership Challenge

by James M. Kouzes and Barry Z. Posner

Building on the knowledge base of their previous books, the third edition of The Leadership Challenge is grounded in extensive research and based on interviews with all kinds of leaders at all levels in public and private organizations from around the world. In this edition, the authors emphasize that the fundamentals of leadership are the same today as they were in the 1980s, and as they’ve probably been for centuries. In that sense, nothing’s new. Leadership is not a fad. While the content of leadership has not changed, the context has – and in some cases, changed dramatically.

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Now, Discover Your Strengths

by Marcus Buckingham & Donald O. Clifton, Ph.D.

Effectively managing personnel–as well as one’s own behavior–is an extraordinarily complex task that, not surprisingly, has been the subject of countless books touting what each claims is the true path to success. That said, Marcus Buckingham and Donald O. Clifton’s Now, Discover Your Strengths does indeed propose a unique approach: focusing on enhancing people’s strengths rather than eliminating their weaknesses. Following up on the coauthors’ popular previous book, First, Break All the Rules, it fully describes 34 positive personality themes the two have formulated (such as Achiever, Developer, Learner, and Maximizer) and explains how to build a “strengths-based organization” by capitalizing on the fact that such traits are already present among those within it. Most original and potentially most revealing, however, is a Web-based interactive component that allows readers to complete a questionnaire developed by the Gallup Organization and instantly discover their own top-five inborn talents. This device provides a personalized window into the authors’ management philosophy which, coupled with subsequent advice, places their suggestions into the kind of practical context that’s missing from most similar tomes. “You can’t lead a strengths revolution if you don’t know how to find, name and develop your own,” write Buckingham and Clifton. Their book encourages such introspection while providing knowledgeable guidance for applying its lessons.

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The Radical Leap: A Personal Lesson In Extreme Leadership

by Steve Farber

The business world is ready for an entirely new approach to leadership. Steve Farber has written the perfect book to energize business leaders and help them make the leap into extreme leadership. In fact, taking a giant “L.E.A.P.” forward is exactly what Farber prescribes. What exactly is an extreme leader? One who cultivates love, generates energy, inspires audacity, and provides proof. In his exciting and innovative new business parable, The Radical Leap, Farber explores an entirely new leadership model, one in which leaders are not afraid to take risks, make mistakes in front of employees, or actively solicit employee feedback. His book dispenses with the typical, tired notions of what it means to be a leader. Farber, former Vice President and Official Mouthpiece of the Tom Peters Company, has written a business parable like no other, filled with vivid, fully realized, and eccentric characters, crazy plot twists, honest and believable conversations about leadership, and most importantly, an innovative program for leaders to inspire and engage their companies. In The Radical Leap, we meet Steve, a leadership consultant who is intrigued and challenged by an enigmatic man named Edg, from whom he learns the concept of L.E.A.P. Steve is then asked to help a friend, Janice, overcome conflicts at the biotech company where she works and bring back the company’s inspiring former CEO. The company is revitalized, having undergone a radical and successful transformation.

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Communication Books

Building Trust: In Business, Politics, Relationships, and Life

by Robert C. Solomon & Fernando Flores

In business, politics, marriage, indeed in any significant relationship, trust is the essential precondition upon which all real success depends. But what, precisely, is trust? How can it be achieved and sustained? And, most importantly, how can it be regained once it has been broken? In Building Trust, Robert C. Solomon and Fernando Flores offer compelling answers to these questions. They argue that trust is not something that simply exists from the beginning, something we can assume or take for granted; that it is not a static quality or “social glue.” Instead, they assert that trust is an emotional skill, an active and dynamic part of our lives that we build and sustain with our promises and commitments, our emotions and integrity. In looking closely at the effects of mistrust, such as insidious office politics that can sabotage a company’s efficiency, Solomon and Flores demonstrate how to move from trust that is easily shattered to an authentic trust that is sophisticated, reflective, and possible to renew. As the global economy makes us more and more reliant on “strangers,” and as our political and personal interactions become more complex, Building Trust offers invaluable insight into a vital aspect of human relationships.

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Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High

by Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, Ron McMillan, Al Switzler

When stakes are high, opinions vary, and emotions run strong, you have three choices: Avoid a crucial conversation and suffer the consequences; handle the conversation badly and suffer the consequences; or read Crucial Conversations and discover how to communicate best when it matters most. This wise and witty guide gives you the tools you need to step up to life’s most difficult and important conversations, say what’s on your mind, and achieve positive outcomes that will amaze you.

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The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work: A Practical Guide from the Country’s Foremost Relationship Expert

by John M. Gottman , PH.D. , and Nan Silver

John Gottman has revolutionized the study of marriage by using rigorous scientific procedures to observe the habits of married couples in unprecedented detail over many years. Here is the culmination of his life’s work: the seven principles that guide couples on the path toward a harmonious and long-lasting relationship. Packed with practical questionnaires and exercises, The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work is the definitive guide for anyone who wants their relationship to attain its highest potential.

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The Transparency Edge: How Credibility Can Make Or Break You In Business

by Barbara Pagano and Elizabeth Pagano

A proven tool for sharpening one’s competitive edge, today’s leading organizations have seized on the concept of transparency as the key to gaining the confidence of investors, employees, and customers–and gaining profits. In The Transparency Edge, leadership expert Barbara Pagano demonstrates that transparency is more than an excellent policy–it is a powerful management skill that managers can learn and use to make themselves and their organizations more competitive. Presenting the nine behaviors that every successful leader uses to gain a transparency edge, Pagano shows readers how to use these techniques to build loyalty, gain trust, and establish an impeccable reputation for integrity. She also shows how this nothing-to-hide approach enables organizations and their leaders to: Make decisions more efficiently and execute them more effectively Speed up operations Identify problems sooner and solve them faster Build trust and collaboration within the organization Establish a higher level of credibility.

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Emotional Intelligence Books

Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ

by Daniel Goleman

There was a time when IQ was considered the leading determinant of success. In this fascinating book, based on brain and behavioral research, Daniel Goleman argues that our IQ-idolizing view of intelligence is far too narrow. Instead, Goleman makes the case for “emotional intelligence” being the strongest indicator of human success. He defines emotional intelligence in terms of self-awareness, altruism, personal motivation, empathy, and the ability to love and be loved by friends, partners, and family members. People who possess high emotional intelligence are the people who truly succeed in work as well as play, building flourishing careers and lasting, meaningful relationships. Because emotional intelligence isn’t fixed at birth, Goleman outlines how adults as well as parents of young children can sow the seeds.

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The EQ Edge: Emotional Intelligence and Your Success

by Steven J. Stein, Ph.D. & Howard E. Book, M.D.

With real-life anecdotes of EI factors interacting at work, home, and in social situations, this book defines EI, demonstrates new evidence on its importance, provides useful steps to improve it, and enables readers to begin the process of change at their own pace. Steven J. Stein, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist and the founder and president of Multi-Health Systems, Inc. (MHS), a leading psychological test publishing company. He is a past president of the Ontario Psychological Association and an assistant professor of psychiatry at the University of Toronto. An organizational consultant and psychiatrist, Howard E. Book, M.D., is a founding member of Associates in Workplace Consultation; a former board member of the International Society of Psychoanalytic Study of Organizations; a member of the Family Firm Institute; and an associate professor in the departments of psychiatry and health administration at the University of Toronto.

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Primal Leadership: Learning to Lead with Emotional Intelligence

by Daniel Goleman, Richard Boyatzis, Annie McKee

Business leaders who maintain that emotions are best kept out of the work environment do so at their organization’s peril. Bestselling author Daniel Goleman’s theories on emotional intelligence (EI) have radically altered common understanding of what “being smart” entails, and in Primal Leadership, he and his coauthors present the case for cultivating emotionally intelligent leaders. Since the actions of the leader apparently account for up to 70 percent of employees’ perception of the climate of their organization, Goleman and his team emphasize the importance of developing what they term “resonant leadership.” Focusing on the four domains of emotional intelligence–self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, and relationship management–they explore what contributes to and detracts from resonant leadership, and how the development of these four EI competencies spawns different leadership styles. The best leaders maintain a style repertoire, switching easily between “visionary,” “coaching,” “affiliative,” and “democratic,” and making rare use of less effective “pace-setting” and “commanding” styles. The authors’ discussion of these methods is informed by research on the workplace climates engendered by the leadership styles of more than 3,870 executives. Indeed, the experiences of leaders in a wide range of work environments lend real-life examples to much of the advice Goleman et al. offer, from developing the motivation to change and creating an improvement plan based on learning rather than performance outcomes, to experimenting with new behaviors and nurturing supportive relationships that encourage change and growth. The book’s final section takes the personal process of developing resonant leadership and applies it to the entire organizational culture.

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Change Management Books

Deep Change: Discovering the Leader Within

by Robert E. Quinn

Robert E. Quinn has written a survival manual for anyone trying to stay afloat in a constantly changing organization. Through a series of stories, Quinn offers a new path that will help people in the trenches of today’s modern organizations move beyond daily struggles into a position of peace, power, freedom and influence. Deep Change explores the process of internally driven leadership, where the most important skill is to “know thyself.” It is not only about change – management but also a new way of thinking about change and how it affects our lives. The author inspires readers to discover new ways of seeing and responding; allowing them to see themselves and their organizations in new and more productive ways.

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Leading Change

by John P. Kotter

In Leading Change, John Kotter examines the efforts of more than 100 companies to remake themselves into better competitors. He identifies the most common mistakes leaders and managers make in attempting to create change and offers an eight-step process to overcome the obstacles and carry out the firm’s agenda: establishing a greater sense of urgency, creating the guiding coalition, developing a vision and strategy, communicating the change vision, empowering others to act, creating short-term wins, consolidating gains and producing even more change, and institutionalizing new approaches in the future. This highly personal book reveals what John Kotter has seen, heard, experienced, and concluded in 25 years of working with companies to create lasting transformation.

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Managing at the Speed of Change

by Daryl R. Conner

In this clinical study cum management guide, psychologist and business lecturer Conner discusses change as an inevitable, often disorienting element of the modern worker’s business life. Citing the dysfunction likely to occur among employees facing corporate-merger upheavals or new high-tech equipment, he defines “resilience” as essential to viewing change as an “understandable and manageable process.” Conner charts a system of “support patterns” for achieving transitions at “appropriate” speed.

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Managing Transitions: Making the Most of Change

by William Bridges

The business world is a place of constant change, with stories of corporate mergers, layoffs, bankruptcy, and restructuring hitting the news every day. Yet as veteran consultant William Bridges maintains, the situational changes are not as difficult for companies to make as the psychological transitions. In the best-selling Managing Transitions, Bridges provides a clear understanding of what change does to employees and what employees in transition can do to an organization. Directed at managers and employees in today’s corporations, Bridges shows how to minimize the distress and disruptions caused by change. Managing Transitions addresses the fact that it is people who have to carry out the change. When the book was originally published a decade ago, Bridges was the first to provide any real sense of the emotional impact of change and what can be done to keep it from disrupting the entire organization. With new information and commentary on layoffs, corporate suspicion, and the increasing tumult in the business world, Managing Transitions remains the definitive guide to dealing with change.

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The Way of Transition: Embracing Life’s Most Difficult Moments

by William Bridges

William Bridges’ lifelong work has been devoted to a deep understanding of transitions and to helping others through them. When his own wife of thirty-five years died of cancer, however, he was thrown head-first into the kind of painful and confusing abyss he had known before only in theory. An honest account of being in transition, this uncommonly wise and moving book is a richly textured map of the personal, professional, and emotional transformations that grow out of tragedy and crisis. Demonstrating how disillusionment, sorrow, or confusion can blossom into a time of incredible creativity and contentment, Bridges highlights the profound significance and value of endings in our lives.

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Sales Books

Rethinking the Sales Force: Redefining Selling to Create and Capture Customer Value

by Neil Rackham and John De Vincentis

In today’s markets, success no longer depends on communicating the value of products or services. It rests on the crucial ability to create value for customers. Sales forces need to retool current strategies by recognizing the customer’s dominant power in today’s economy and what that means for those who sell. Capitalizing on research into the practices of cutting edge companies, the authors show how the successful sales force breaks away from traditional thinking and transforms themselves into complex business processes with multiple sales approaches and selling models that meet the demands of today’s sophisticated customers.

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Smart Salespeople Sometimes Wear Plaid

by Barry Graham Munro

Whether you are a novice salesperson or a veteran, you want the best possible advice to achieve sales success. Smart Salespeople Sometimes Wear Plaid offers you exactly that. With a fresh style and a “tell it like it is” approach, this essential guide goes beyond the normal business success book to reveal the tools you need and how best to implement them.

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Spin Selling

by Neil Rackham

The Huthwaite Corporation’s 12-year, $1 million research into effective sales performance – published here for the first time in the United States – is the best-documented account of sales success ever collected. It has resulted in the unique sales strategy, SPIN – Situation, Problem, Implication, Need-payoff. The SPIN strategy is already used by many of the world’s top sales forces.

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Other Recommended Reading

Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking

by Malcolm Gladwell

Blink is about the first two seconds of looking–the decisive glance that knows in an instant. Gladwell, the best-selling author of The Tipping Point, campaigns for snap judgments and mind reading with a gift for translating research into splendid storytelling. Building his case with scenes from a marriage, heart attack triage, speed dating, choking on the golf course, selling cars, and military maneuvers, he persuades readers to think small and focus on the meaning of “thin slices” of behavior. The key is to rely on our “adaptive unconscious”–a 24/7 mental valet–that provides us with instant and sophisticated information to warn of danger, read a stranger, or react to a new idea.

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The Dream Manager

by Matthew Kelly

A business parable about how companies can achieve remarkable results by helping their employees fulfill their dreamsManaging people is difficult. With disengagement and turnover on the rise, many managers are scratching their heads wondering what to do. It’s not that we don’t dream of being great managers, it’s just that we haven’t found a practical and efficient way to do it. Until now . . .The fictional company in this remarkable book is grappling with real problems of high turnover and low morale — so the managers begin to investigate what really drives the employees. What they discover is that the key to motivation isn’t necessarily the promise of a bigger paycheck or title, but rather the fulfillment of crucial personal dreams. They also learned that people at every level need to be offered specific kinds of help and encouragement — or our dreams will forever remain just dreams as we grow dissatisfied with our lives and jobs.Beginning with his important thought that a company can only become the-best-version-of-itself to the extent that its employees are becoming better-versions-of-themselves, Matthew Kelly explores the connection between the dreams we are chasing personally and the way we all engage at work. Tackling head-on the growing problem of employee disengagement, Kelly explores the dynamic collaboration that is unleashed when people work together to achieve company objectives and personal dreams.The power of The Dream Manager is that simply becoming aware of the concept will change the way you manage and relate to people instantly and forever. What’s your dream?

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The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom, A Toltec Wisdom Book

by Don Miguel Ruiz

Ruiz’s explanations of Toltec-based cosmography got a major boost recently when publishing pooh-bah Oprah Winfrey mentioned his work on her TV show. Ruiz, whose workshop teachings are distilled here, was born into a Mexican family of traditional healers, became a surgeon in adulthood, then underwent a near-death experience that made him reexamine his life, his beliefs. Like the popular works of the late Carlos Castaneda, Ruiz’s teachings focus on dreams and visions. “Dreaming,” Ruiz argues, “is the main function of the mind.” A series of four “agreements” are detailed, which make up a larger picture of unconditional human faith. Despite the New Age- sounding language, Ruiz is refreshingly clear in the presentation of his ideas. Reading aloud, actor Coyote sounds every bit the enthusiastic old hippie, genuinely excited by the concepts he is spinning.

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The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference

by Malcolm Gladwell

Ideas are infectious, and sometimes evolve into full-blown epidemics. In his first book, New Yorker staff writer Malcolm Gladwell explores the elements of these epidemics, and finds three common characteristics: contagiousness, the fact that little causes can have big effects, and that change happens, not gradually, but at one dramatic moment. The Tipping Point is the name given to that special moment when everything can change, all at once. It is governed by three rules: the law of the few, the stickiness factor, and the power of context. The book is about taking these concepts, and helping the reader learn how to apply them in puzzling situations, whether it’s marketing, teen-age smoking, social, or product epidemics. The book’s greatest power, however, is in its delivery. Gladwell takes complex material, and presents it in a simple and natural way, allowing readers to apply his concepts into their own experiences. What is the tipping point for change in organizations? What is the tipping point for each of us in our individual growth? How can we really become conscience of these principals, these rules, as they relate to what creates very quick, monumental change in our world today?

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Becoming a Conflict Competent Leader

Dealing effectively with conflict is difficult for any leader. Some try to avoid conflict and wish it would just go away, while others tend to get angry and lash out at others in ways they later regret. Poorly managed conflict creates enormous costs in the form of wasted management time, high turnover, and lawsuits. How can leaders assess how they currently handle conflict and develop the skills they need to deal with conflict more effectively? Becoming a Conflict Competent Leader combines research, conceptual models, practitioner experience, and stories that highlight the core conflict competencies. The book underscores the importance for leaders to develop the critical skills they need to help them, their colleagues, and their organizations deal more effectively with conflict and move their organizations forward. The book describes assessments that can give leaders insight into how they currently approach conflict and offers suggestions for becoming a conflict competent leader. Leadership experts Craig E. Runde and Tim A. Flanagan show leaders how to implement constructive approaches to conflict while avoiding ones that lead to destructive outcomes. Becoming a Conflict Competent Leader also shows how to ensure that organizational structures support constructive approaches to conflict management and resolution

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The Medici Effect

by Frans Johansson

Johansson, founder and former CEO of an enterprise software company, argues that innovations occur when people see beyond their expertise and approach situations actively, with an eye toward putting available materials together in new combinations. Because of ions, “the movement of people, the convergence of science, and the leap of computation,” a wide range of materials available for new, recontextualized uses is becoming a norm rather than an exception, much as the Medici family of Renaissance Italy’s patronage helped develop European arts and culture. For cases in point, Johansson profiles, among others, Marcus Samuelsson, the acclaimed chef at New York’s Aquavit. An Ethiopian orphan, Samuelsson was adopted by a Swedish family, with whom he traveled widely, enabling him to develop the restaurant’s unique and innovative menu. (Less familiar innovators include a medical resident who, nearly assaulted by an emergency room patient she was treating, developed outreach programs designed to prevent teen violence.) Chapters admonish readers to “Randomly Combine Concepts” and “Ignite an Explosion of Ideas.” Less focused on innovations within a corporate setting than on individual achievements, and more concerned with self-starting and goal-setting than teamwork, Johansson’s book offers a clear enough set of concepts for plugging in the specifics of one’s own setting and expertise. But don’t expect the book to tell you where to get the money for prototypes or production.
From Publishers Weekly

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