Leadership coaching is not a formal discipline, nor could it ever be: there isn’t a universal definition of what “leadership” even is, nor a single leadership style that will work equally well in all circumstances. Strengths-based coaching will amplify your existing skills but also your weaknesses. Mindfulness training will make you more mindful. Advice from a charismatic advice-giver will either work, or it won’t… but either way, you can’t develop enduring skills by outsourcing responsibility to someone else.

My own leadership development practice is centered on goals. Every person and every group is always moving towards its goals. In a very real way, our goals create our worlds. Achieving your goals always involves embracing conscious incompetence and challenges to your sense of self. A good coach can help. The following resources can help, too.


Quiet Leadership, David Rock
Coaching with the Brain in Mind: Foundations for Practice, David Rock and Linda J. Page
The Hard Thing About Hard Things, Ben Horowitz
Team of Rivals, Doris Kearns Goodwin
15 Commitments of Conscious Leadership, Conscious Leadership Forum
Coaching: Evoking Excellence in Others, James Flaherty
Ready to Lead?, Alan Price
The Authenticity Paradox, Herminia Ibarra
The Dictator’s Handbook, Bruce Bueno de Mesquita and Alastair Smith
Coordination Headwind: How Organizations Are Like Slime Molds, Alex Komoroske
On Schelling Points in Organizations, Alex Komoroske

Job searching and career planning

What Color is Your Parachute?, Richard N. Bolles
The Three Marriages: Reimagining Work, Self, and Relationship, David Whyte
The Adjacency Fallacy, Venkatesh Rao

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