“It’s a no brainer John”

Are there things you say when in ‘coaching mode’ and different things you say when in a ‘normal’ conversation? I experienced an example of this when in one of the regular co-coaching sessions with John. As this was an interesting learning experience, John has agreed to this blog and so be reassured that there is no breach of confidentiality!

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The Winning Red Habit

The mission, strategy and legacy of Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United can be summed up in one word: win! For him losing was like poison; he knew it existed but he never swallowed it. That is why he said that he never lost a game with Manchester United but that sometimes ‘they ran out of time’. It wasn’t always attractive but it was effective. It was effective because the ultimate purpose of the game was not to entertain nor to perform nor to excel but to win. So what does it take to unlock a winning mentality in leadership? Continue reading →

The Change House: How to avoid complacency, denial and confusion.

When things are good and going well, why change? Isn’t change only needed when something needs to be fixed? If we see personal growth as an ever-lasting process or a journey of development, then change, renewal and reinvention are with us all the time. The Change House is a popular model that brings this to life using the metaphor of a house with four rooms first developed in the 1970s by Claes Janssen. John and I experienced and worked with this model when preparing for a recent Challenging Coaching seminar for the Association for Coaching in Edinburgh.

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A Tale of Two Cities: Listening to the System

Back in 2003, Rudy Giuliani, then mayor of New York, was asked in an FT interview ‘So what’s your legacy?’. He replied, ‘To have changed the spirit of this city’. Mayor Giuliani did not say ‘To have changed the culture of this city’ or ‘To have reorganised this city’ or ‘To have changed the values of this city’. He said ‘To have changed the spirit of this city’. What does it mean to change the spirit of a city? What does it mean to change the spirit of an organisation? Only by entering into the mysterious world of systems thinking, the ‘S’ of the FACTS coaching model, can we make sense of these statements. Continue reading →

The Meaning of Courage

In Challenging Coaching we talk about courageous goals. These are goals that create a feeling of excitement, inspiration, wonder, but also involve risk and fear. What is the basis of courage that enables a courageous goal and what are the implications to leadership and organisational development?

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8 words to avoid when giving feedback (Part 2)

Back in October 2013, I posted a blog on the 8 words to avoid when giving feedback. Since that time, it has become one of the most popular blogs on our website. Before Xmas, I re-posted the blog on LinkedIn and was startled when it received over 14,553 hits, 229 likes and 63 comments. Given its popularity, I thought I would re-visit the topic and dig a bit deeper. Continue reading →


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