The Player Coach – Forbes article

Mark Murphy published an article in Forbes called “The Player-Coach Philosophy That Has Nasdaq’s Leaders Invested”. This reminded me of chapter 9 of Challenging Coaching and the section on the player-coach challenge when applying the FACTS.

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The Joy of Peer Group Coaching

Recently, I spoke to a group of academy school CEOs on the topic of peer group coaching. As I was preparing for the session, I decided I was going to go for it. I don’t mean just turn up and speak, I mean really go for it! I decided that I was going to get right out of my comfort zone, take a risk and put myself on the line. Why did I decide to go for it? Well, I believe so much in the power of peer group coaching that I didn’t want the CEOs present simply to understand what I was saying I wanted them to experience what I was saying. I wanted to go beyond the head and reach for the heart and the soul in that room. Continue reading →

The Authenticity Paradox – can we be too authentic?

I frequently talk to coachees about finding an authentic way of acting and being. In a recent Harvard Business Review article “The Authenticity Paradox”, Herminia Ibarra raises the issue that people can be too authentic. That is, sticking to a rigid picture of self that can negatively impact leadership effectiveness, but, on the other hand, being too flexible can appear disingenuous.

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Optimism is True Moral Courage: How do you make it catchy?

I am working with a client whose optimism both terrifies and inspires me. They are surrounded on all sides by difficult circumstances, challenging prospects and dubious possibilities. Yet at each coaching session they show up with excitement, conviction and enthusiasm. How do they do this? Why don’t they fall over in a heap like the rest of us? What is the ‘x’ factor that allows them to keep choosing optimism over ‘giving up’ or ‘getting frustrated’ or ‘blaming everyone else’? Continue reading →

“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 →


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