From the Publisher
"Brian Souza is an author after my own heart. Don't miss this outstanding story! Not only is The Weekly Coaching Conversation a great story, but Brian also knows that, as a leader, you are nothing without your people. I highly recommend you read this engaging story and let it inspire you to become a better leader."—Ken Blanchard, Coauthor of The One Minute Manager and Great Leaders Grow
"Prepare to be entertained, inspired, and educated on what it really takes to begin the transformational journey from acting like a manager to becoming a leader. To get the most out of your organization, your team, or even yourself, The Weekly Coaching Conversation is an absolute must-read."—Richard J. Bakosh, Global Managing Director, Accenture
"Management folklore has a new hero, Coach — a colorful and crusty veteran with tons to teach eager high-achievers. Brian Souza artfully brings Coach to life in The Weekly Coaching Conversation, a book grounded solidly in rigorous research and practical experience, and written in a highly memorable and inviting style. The fictional world of this wonderful fable is packed with real-world dilemmas, timeless lessons, and unforgettable turns-of-phrase. It's a highly enjoyable read, and one you'll find yourself returning to often. The Weekly Coaching Conversation is a winner!"—Jim Kouzes, Coauthor of The Leadership Challenge, Dean's Executive Fellow of Leadership, Leavey School of Business, Santa Clara University
"The Weekly Coaching Conversation is great for the mind and the soul. Powerful coaching!"—Marshall Goldsmith, Author of MOJO and What Got You Here Won't Get You There
"The Weekly Coaching Conversation is a great read and will become the definitive guide for aspiring leaders. If you want to take your team's performance to the next level, read this book."—Mark Silverman, President, The Big Ten Network
"Brian Souza's new book The Weekly Coaching Conversation is destined to become a classic in the world of business leadership and the pursuit of maximizing human potential. It is an inviting, enchanting, and awe-inspiring parable. I highly recommend Brian's new masterpiece."—Michael Lardon M.D., Author of Finding Your Zone: Ten Core Lessons for Achieving Peak Performance in Life and Sports
"I thoroughly enjoyed reading The Weekly Coaching Conversation and highly recommend it. Brian Souza is a wonderful storyteller with a powerful message. The ideas presented in this book are the foundations of long-term success and should be required reading for all managers and aspiring leaders."—John Daut, Senior Vice President of Sales, NetJets
"If you want to learn what it takes to lead and succeed in today's highly competitive corporate environment, read The Weekly Coaching Conversation. While it's an engaging story that makes it a quick read, the leadership message is timeless!"—Rick Jackson, Chief Marketing Officer, VMWare, Inc.
"The Weekly Coaching Conversation is a powerful book with an important message for all managers. In addition to a great story, in this book Brian Souza also presents a wonderful framework that will teach managers how to have a weekly coaching conversation with their team. I highly recommend it!"—Verne Harnish, CEO, Gazelles, and Founder, Entrepreneurs' Organization (EO)
Read an Excerpt
Whether your team is in an office, on a field, in a classroom, or in your living roomhave you ever thought they had more to give, but you weren't quite sure how to get it out of them? Have you ever wanted them to play up to their potential, but didn't quite know how to make it happen? Are you looking for that one new idea, that one simple strategy that will take your career and your team's performance to the next level? If so, I wrote this book for you.
Over the past decade that I've been studying highperformance individuals and organizations, I've had the opportunity to sit down with dozens of world-class leaders and look under the hood of a number of firstrate organizations. Ironically, while I was initially in 2 pursuit of a new theory of organizational productivity, I accidentally stumbled upon something much more profound. A truth, so simple in its construct and yet so significant in its application, that it literally changed my life.
In analyzing highly effective leaders of highly productive organizations, I discovered that the fundamental difference was not necessarily their IQ, strategic vision, operational prowess, or even charismatic personathough these are obviously important ingredients. The fundamental difference primarily came down to one thing: their approach. They didn't act like a manager; they acted like a coach
Like coaches, world-class leaders understand that the only way to systematically improve individual performance is by giving constructive coaching and developmental feedback. In fact, countless studies have proven that there's a direct correlation between the quantity and the quality of coaching an individual receives and his or her level of performance improvement.
Relying on quarterly performance reviews is not nearly enough to move the needle. Relying on someone else to come in once a year and train your team won't get the job done. Coaching and developing your people is not an event. It's an ongoing process that should be inextricably tied to everything you do.
Without a doubt, learning how to facilitate a weekly coaching conversation is the single most important skill you must master in order to improve your team's performance and your organization's productivity.
What exactly does that mean? How does one go about facilitating a coaching conversation? Where's the strategy? What's the plan? In short, that's what this book is all about. But this book is also about something else: having fun!
Have you ever noticed how most business books have a tendency to lull you to sleep before you get the takeaway? Well, with this book I decided to try something differentsomething new. While I did my best to pack as many new insights, actionable takeaways, and nuggets of wisdom as I could into these 4 pages, I wanted this book to be entertaining first, and educational second. I wanted you to actually want to read this book, not feel that you had to because it was a gift from your boss.
Knowing full well that the only thing worse than a boring business book is a bad fable, I decided that if I was going to tell a story, I wanted to tell a good storyno, a great story. You know, the kind that not only motivates the mind, but also inspires the heart. The kind that makes you laugh, makes you think, and maybe even makes you shed a tear or two in the end.
The story you're about to read is about that first step we must all take on our journey to becoming a leader. The plot is centered around how Brad, a sales manager, gets an impromptu Ivy League lesson in leadership from an old college football coach at a dive bar. After recently turning around one of the company's worst-performing divisions and being named “Sales Leader of the Year,” Brad thinks he has all the answers. That is, until he meets Coach. With the business acumen of Jack Welch and the motivational intensity of Vince Lombardi, Coach is a bundle of contradictions. At one moment he's jokingly ranting mild obscenities, and the next he's dispensing wisdom like the Dalai Lama. At times he can be as militant as a drill sergeant and others as mellow as a Rastafarian. Despite his many contradictions, one thing is certain: Everybody loves Coach. As you'll soon discover, Coach shares with Brad a new system that not only transforms his career, but ultimately ends up changing his life.
Regardless of your position, industry, or where you might fall on an org chart, if you want to become a world-class leader, you must realize that the only way you can reach your potential is to first help your team achieve theirs. It is my sincere hope that this book inspires you to take that first critical step on your journey to the top and become a coach. As you're about to learn, coaching is not merely something that you, as a manager, must do.
A Coach is someone that you, as a leader, must become.
San Diego, CA