8 Best Executive Coaching Books For Better Performance

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executive coaching books

In this modern and corporate world, executives often need support with the administration of projects, activities, or businesses. To ease the struggle coaches should step in and help corporate leaders to execute their tasks. But what if we as the coaches don’t have enough experience and knowledge in the executive field?

Don’t worry, because we can take the experience and knowledge from the best worlds executives and leaders, and apply them to our coaching. Today we have access to a fantastic collection of executive coaching books, and this article is all about that.

To prevent you from getting lost in all the coaching books available, we have gathered a list of the 8 best executive coaching books, which you can learn from, and reference to your clients.

Here’s the list of books written by the most successful CEOs, managers, coaches, and executives:

1. It’s the Manager: Moving From Boss to Coach by Jim Clifton

This Newyork times bestseller named “It’s a manager” is written by Jim Clifton – the chairman of Gallup management consulting company, as well as Jim Harter – a chief scientist of well-being and management at the same company.

According to the authors – using the traditional management styles in this rapidly changing world is no longer effective. With the changing workforce and workplace culture, there’s an immediate need for a change of management style. “It’s the manager” gives you the whole picture of how you can effectively transition from a manager to an effective coach.

All it starts from is hiring the right person without any biases. For this, you need to collect the data, check their previous track record, and conduct interviews. Set up different programs such as internships to find out the best candidate.

The next and most crucial step is to retain the best talent. To retain the talent you need to provide them with career growth options to help them reach their maximum potential. The key here is to communicate with your subordinates consistently and engagingly.

Convey the company’s vision and how that vision is value-adding to society. Show them how they can contribute to the company’s vision and serve society at large. They will get a sense of doing meaningful work, become more engaged, and ultimately – perform at their best.

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2. The Go-Giver: A Little Story About a Powerful Business Idea by Bob Burg & John David Mann

Bob Burg has been helping companies and leaders to sell their products at the highest prices by providing value to the customer. While the co-author John David Mann has vast experience in writing about business, leadership, and achieving success. Combining the experience of both authors, this book sells as a masterpiece for executives.

The essence of this book lies in giving away. Shift your focus from getting to giving and let the magic happen. You will be amazed to see how you will achieve things simply by giving more. This principle can be perfectly applied in business and works best for executives.

As a coach, you can guide your client on how he can focus on giving – understanding the needs of their teams and helping to fulfill them. All it takes is a sincere effort to give to others instead of getting something from them first. The key here is to be authentic and have a genuine interest in giving to others whether it be your employees or customers. Remember “You get what you give”.

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3. Coaching for Performance by Sir John Whitmore

The author of ‘Coaching for Performance is Sir John Whitmore. He has been working as a coaching consultant with multiple corporations, and he spent many years focused on developing a management coaching culture.

As a manager or executive, you’re always chasing high performance. However, achieving that high performance from the team isn’t that easy. The good news is that John Whitmore has given the perfect solution, which is coaching. Yes, coaching can make the process much smoother and help you achieve your performance goals.

Coaching is using a facilitating approach and making the conditions suitable for high performance. The essence is to raise the employees’ awareness about themselves and the people around them since the change is only possible when the person is aware. This awareness will help them change their behavior hence improving their performance.

The GROW model can guide your client, in the sequence to ask questions for coaching their employees. It begins with having a goal then viewing the ground reality, evaluating different options, and finally making a decision. By practicing this model you can develop your coaching skills more effectively.

Transformational coaching can also bring astonishing results. In this, you need to align the goals of both organization and the individuals and then connect them with a higher purpose. This will raise a strong desire to achieve their goals for personal fulfillment.

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4. The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable by Patrick Lencioni

Patrick Lencioni is known for writing various successful books on business management, specifically on team management. In addition, Patrick is the founder of a management consulting firm named Table group.

The book gives some loopholes in the management of the team that can affect the overall team performance. For that, Patrick shares a pyramid approach to how things can go in the wrong direction in teamwork.

It starts with an absence of trust where team members don’t have trust in each other. This makes them reluctant and less open. They fear sharing their shortcomings and aren’t willing to ask for any kind of help. Thus, there’s no improvement in their performance.

The absence of trust leads to fear of conflict and the team members are trying to avoid it at any cost, resulting in no discussion or debates. Consequently, the team can’t reach its optimal level and the person’s engagement is less so is his commitment to the organization.

Eventually, this lack of commitment will lead to no or little accountability among the team members who will no longer be concerned about the organization. As an executive, you’ve to ensure that your team doesn’t fall for this trap. This book will help you to set a work culture where everyone is open, has regular discussions, and all responsibilities are defined.

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5. The Coaching Habit by Michael Bungay Stanier

Michael Bungay Stanier is a well-known speaker and author in the coaching field, also, named the number one thought leader in coaching. According to Michael, executives in today’s world need to change their leadership styles, and for that, the author has brought in a new style of leading – coaching. The leaders who adapt to the author’s new methodologies become capable of effectively leading the team.

The book gives seven core coaching questions and the way to ask them. The catch here is to pay attention to the answers and other signs through the coachees’ body language.

Since coaching is not a one-time activity, it requires to keep engaging with the employees regularly, and informally. To get the maximum result from this approach you’ve to make coaching a daily habit.

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6. The 4 Disciplines of Execution: Achieving Your Wildly Important Goals by Sean Covey & Chris McChesney

“The 4 disciplines of Execution” was written by 3 inspirational authors – Chris McChesney, Sean Covey, and Jim Huling. The book emphasizes the significance of the execution of the goals set. Setting up goals is useless unless you take any action to achieve them. So, this book guides executives on how they can successfully set and execute their goals.

The first discipline is to select one major goal among your other goals. While selecting, carefully choose the most important goal which can create a greater impact. Be as specific as you can when selecting the objective. This will give you clarity and help you focus.

Next is to keep a track of your progress by setting a suitable scoring measure. Record the lead and lag measures of your goals. Scoring your activity will keep you motivated to go on and reach the end goal.

The last discipline is to have yourself accountable from time to time. This will not only help you see the progress but also increase the chances of your success as you gain a sense of responsibility to fulfill your goals. Executives can ensure goal achievement and team success by implementing these four disciplines.

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7. The First 90 Days: Proven Strategies for Getting Up to Speed Faster and Smarter by Michael D. Watkins

Michael Watkins is an author who helps new leaders by guiding them on how to handle the challenges of executive roles. Transitioning into a new role isn’t easy, and a whole mindset shift is needed. If your clients are new to the executive role then the methodologies of this book are required to learn for them.

Keeping in mind that authority comes with a huge responsibility, embrace the change but don’t forget to realize your duties. Take good time to learn about the culture and understand your role. Also, examine how can you play this role effectively in the given circumstances. In short, have a birds-eye view of the position.

Once you get the overview, then it’s time to take relevant action slowly. Ensure that you have a complete understanding before going ahead. Additionally, don’t be stuck with previous methodologies. With a new role comes a new strategy – be adaptive to the environment.

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8. Executive Coaching with Backbone and Heart by Mary Beth A. O’Neill

Mary Beth O’Neill is an executive coach who has worked with various renowned organizations as a leadership trainer. This book is a treat for executive coaches. It guides them on how they can effectively coach the leaders or managers of organizations, and helps them lead effectively and achieve the desired results.

As an executive coach, you should be capable of playing a dual role, so, you’ll get a clear picture of the scenario. One of the friends who’s listening with empathy and the second is a third party analyzing the situation. It’s important to attentively listen to the client and understand the situation by analyzing it, and finally, reaching a solution together.

Mary also shares the four core phases of executive coaching. The first phase is contracting where you build a relationship with the executive. Next is the action planning phase, where you guide them toward their desired goal. Then comes the live-action phase. In this phase, coaches keep in touch with executives regarding action-taking daily. Then comes the final phase named debriefing.  In this phase, the coach needs to check the progress of the executive.

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Final Words:

Here we have covered the best coaching books written by top entrepreneurs, company owners, and the best executives. After reading at least some of these books you should be confident to help executives set and achieve their professional goals effectively. Moreover, these books will teach you how to create and maintain a productive workplace atmosphere, how to empower team members to perform at their best, and most importantly – how to coach your clients in the right way.

If you feel that this list of books is not enough, you can also check out the best leadership coaching books, for more knowledge on corporate performance.