Sources & References

Here are some excellent books and articles. I constantly update my wish list here: Amazon.

Patrick Lencioni’s work is crucial for healthy, robust organisations and probably a ‘must read’ for any leader. His book The Advantage (2012) summarises years of practice with building healthy highly functioning organisations, and builds on from the crucial building block, laid out in his book The Five Dysfunctions of A Team (2005).

One of the most important and mind-changing books we have read in the last few years is Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman – it is all about the ‘behind the scenes’ of how our thinking, decision making and therefore many of our choices – actually happen. The book is packed with research data gathered over many productive decades.

A fascinating and ambitious book about change in the world is Peter Senge, Otto Scharmer, Joseph Jaworski, and Betty Sue Flowers 2004 book: Presence: Exploring Profound Change in People, Organizations and Society. From interviews with more than 150 global leaders, creators, and master practitioners on such areas as high-performance, innovation, and leadership, the authors developed the U-process; a learning cycle based on one’s ability to sense and realise emerging futures.

Stephen Covey’s work is extremely relevant to handling our daily lives as leaders, partners, team players and parents. His classic bestseller published in 1989 The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change is still a powerful guide as to time management, priorities and taking responsibility, which all lead to driving your own life, according to your own values. He has since published an Eighth Habit. More can be also found online:

Nancy Kline coined the concept of Thinking Environment. You can read her book Time To Think: Listening to Ignite The Human Mind (1999) which shows how listening effectively can create incredible changes. For more:

One of the most prolific and complex philosophers of our time is Ken Wilber. We love his 1993 book The Spectrum of Consciousness, which challenges the way we think in the West, creating a new holistic framework and perspective of the way we see ourselves in this world.

Affluenza by Oliver James (British psychologist, writer and TV producer) is an extraordinary critical look at ourselves. He says: “We are suffering an epidemic of what I term the Affluenza Virus – putting a high value on money, possessions, appearances (physical and social) and celebrity. These values place you at greater risk of depression, anxiety, substance abuse and personality disorder because they impede the meeting of true needs (security or intimate relationships), rather than confected wants”. To prove his thesis he travelled to 7 different countries. He describes how what he terms selfish capitalism has made us unhappier than ever. He also offers ‘vaccinations’ against this virus.

Malcolm Gladwell hardly needs presenting – a churner of readable bestsellers from the Tipping Point, “a book that presents a new way of understanding why change so often happens as quickly and as unexpectedly as it does.” (His own words) to Blink, which is about “rapid cognition, about the kind of thinking that happens in a blink of an eye… your mind takes about two seconds to jump to a series of conclusions” and Outliers, which focuses on what makes some people rise above the rest… You can get more info at:

How do we approach the task of changing minds? Or, to use the great Oprah’s take on it: “How to get anyone to agree with you”? Howard Gardner addressed this very question in his acclaimed fascinating book, Changing Minds: The Art and Science of Changing Our Own and Other People’s Minds (HBS Press, 2006)

George Kohlrieser is a psychologist, hostage negotiator and professor of leadership. Based on his experience in all three areas, he compiled a fascinating read in his book Hostage At The Table: How Leaders Can Overcome Conflict, Influence Others and Raise Performance. In a nutshell, this is a book about how to live free of being held hostage to our own’s self-imposed limitations. In his words: “never think like a hostage”. In this book he explains, in a very accessible manner, by using real examples of hostage situations, how we can, actually, become “masters of our own selves…[and] always stay empowered”.

Viktor Frankl is one of the most interesting philosophers and therapists of the 20th century. An Austrian holocaust survivor, he founded a new method of psychotherapy known as LOGOTHERAPY, an existential analysis. His book Man’s Search For Meaning (first published in 1946!) is a powerful account for those who ask themselves fundamental questions about life and its purpose and wonder about the human condition.

It is incredible how much lies in the way we see ourselves, and in particular, criticise ourselves. This fascinating issue is discussed in a very easy to follow manner in: Self Esteem: A proven program of cognitive techniques for assessing, improving & maintaining your self-esteem, by Mathew McKay and Patrick Fanning (2000).

One of our favourite authors and thinkers on gender issues is Professor Deborah Tannen. She wrote a great book about the subject of how communication between men and women goes all wrong and why, You Just Don’t Understand: Women and Men in Conversation, which was on The New York Times Best Seller list for nearly four years, including eight months as No. 1, and has been translated into 29 languages. More about her approach:

Daniel Goleman’s work focuses on the importance of emotional intelligence, which he explains as “The capacity for recognizing our own feelings and those of others, for motivating ourselves, for managing emotions well in ourselves and in our relationships.” He published many books, of which we recommend The New Leaders (with Richard Boyatzis and Annie McKay) and Emotional Intelligence and Working with Emotional Intelligence. More about emotional intelligence and working with it:

Peter Senge’s great wisdom regarding organisations, leadership and especially about systemic thinking can be found in many books, the basic and valuable leader of which is: The Fifth Discipline: The Art & Practice of The Learning Organisation (2006 Revised and Updated). Also see online more about the Society of learning Organisations (SOL):

Whitworth, Kimsey-House and Sandahl co authored a very straight-forward, practical and sensible coaching guide (1998) to a model called Co-Active Coaching: New Skills for Coaching People Toward Success in Work and Life.

Mary Beth O’Neill’s Executive Coaching (2000) is a practical book based on her vast experience in the field. She has some useful insights into the kind of needs and experiences of senior executives.

Bruce Peltier’s book (2001) Psychology of Executive Coaching: Theory and Application will be particularly interesting for people who come from the psychological professions and mindset into the field of coaching.
For extensive reviews and lists of books associated with Coaching, see – Canadian coaching and mentoring peer resources website.

A scientific approach, showing us, in a most compelling manner, how our brains are “programmed” to cope with change. A must-read for leaders seeking the key to the big question of how to motivate people, and how to convince them to do things differently. David Rock is the author of Quiet Leadership Six Steps to Transforming Performance a Work (Collins, 2006) inter alia, and the co-creator of the management coaching curriculum at the New York University School of Continuing and Professional Studies. Jeffrey Schwartz is a research psychiatrist at the school of Medicine at the University of California, LA.

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Tillett, G. (1999) Resolving Conflict: A Practical Approach (2nd ed.) Melbourne: Oxford University Press.

Ronald Heifetz’s original and thoughtful book, Leadership Without Easy Answers (1994, Belknap/Harvard) is a must-read for those interested in leadership, theoretically or practically. He makes a very compelling point: in a time like ours, in which uncertainty abounds, there is a leadership crisis. In complex situations, where there is a lot of ambiguity, leaders need to show adaptive leadership skills. But this suggests, in fact, a new contract between leaders and people being led. He redefines leadership and suggests a practical new approach to leadership.

A very impressive and creative teacher, (I was fortunate enough to attend some of his lectures in the fall of 2007) Ronald Heifetz is the King Hussein Bin Talal Senior Lecturer in Public Leadership, Founder of the Center for Public Leadership at the prestigious Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University.
For more, try:

A great coaching magazine: Coaching at Work. Online

Articles Michal wrote or is quoted in:

  1. Leadership Magazine
  2. PLAYING NICELY BY Jackie Cameron
  3. Who is Michelle Obama and what is she like – Leadership Magazine: 2008

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