Leadership and Coaching Resources

I have brought forward much of the material and many of the resources published in past years regarding, leadership, developing strong organization, coaching, and consulting. These items have been posted as my earliest postings on this iteration of a weblog. Check the archives. You may find some hints for greater success in the days and years to come! You may even find some way I can help you be more successful. Contact me for more information or if you have questions.

Teaching Leaders to Fish

Teaching Leaders to Fish

by Jerry Straks

ABSTRACT: To help twenty-first century clients deal with the fast pace of change in today’s marketplace, consultants need to adapt their methods to create sustainable leadership. Moving beyond “giving them a fish” is not enough. Even “teaching them to fish” is not enough. We must teach them to “adapt their fishing” for new realities as they come along. Consultants and leaders need to learn these keys to sustainability.

Life After Promotion: Using Science-Trained Coaches to Boost Your Career and Develop Your Staff

Life After Promotion: Using Science-Trained Coaches to Boost Your Career and Develop Your Staff

by Jerry Fletcher and Jerry Straks

ABSTRACT: Statistics show that most scientists and engineers take on responsibilities for supervising staff at some point in their career, often within the first ten years. Coaching can help prepare those that do or those that want to make such a move expand their career horizons. Unfortunately, not all coaches have what it takes to provide the kinds of objective observation and feedback science staff need because they do not know enough about science and engineering to know what they are seeing. They do not recognize that the challenges they perceive with science staff are aspects of the very strengths that make them good at science. They then mistakenly try to blunt those strengths rather than build upon them. Choosing the right coach for science staff–including for yourself–can be daunting, unless you know what you are looking for.

Coaching for Science Staff: Getting More Value Out of Your Science Talent Through Coaching

Coaching for Science Staff: Getting More Value Out of Your Science Talent Through Coaching

by Jerry Fletcher and Jerry Straks

ABSTRACT: Have you found that your science staff (scientists, engineers, and other technical staff, including R&D managers and executives) could benefit from coaching but are much more resistant to it than other parts of your organization? There are solid reasons for this. Knowing them will make it possible for you to use coaching to improve your competitive advantage and harvest more value from the science side of your business. 

Reduce Stress and Improve Outcomes: A Conflict Management Primer for Business Leaders

Reduce Stress and Improve Outcomes: A Conflict Management Primer for Business Leaders

by Jerry Straks          (**An all-time favorite!**)

ABSTRACT: A key skill business leaders need in the twenty-first century is knowing how to manage conflict. How well do you manage conflict? Do you feel you do it as well as or less well than you run a meeting? Would you like to reduce your stress and improve your chances of a positive outcome when facing potential conflict? If you want to brush up your conflict management skills, you need to understand and apply six basic principles. By applying these six principles, you can drain much of the stress from many of the conflicts you face and you can transform a high percentage of them from distressing struggles into opportunities for positive change.

(Or read it here on Mediate.com website.)

Difficult Conversations: How to Discuss What Matters Most

Difficult Conversations: How to Discuss What Matters Most

by Douglas Stone, Bruce Patton, & Sheila Heen,
a book review by Jerry Straks

ABSTRACT: “This book provides useful insights into why human beings often have a “failure to communicate” on difficult topics. More importantly, it provides a process that can be used by almost anyone to improve their ability to raise and resolve difficult topics in a wide variety of venues—without being a skilled debater or orator.”

Fierce Conversations: Achieving Success at Work & in Life, One Conversation at a Time

Fierce Conversations: Achieving Success at Work & in Life, One Conversation at a Time

by Barbara Scott,
a book review by Jerry Straks

ABSTRACT: “This book is a readable, useful resource for managers, coaches, consultants and anyone interested in getting maximum value from conversations. Since Scott contends that “the conversation is the relationship”, the principles and concepts she advances hold the potential to help her readers get more value out of relationships, and by extension, perhaps out of life. As Ken Blanchard writes in his foreword, ‘Who among us hasn’t spent time and energy cleaning up the aftermath of a significant but failed conversation? …little or no attention is paid to the power of each conversation to move us toward or away from our stated business and life goals.’ Scott helps her readers pay some well-guided attention to the conversations of life and business.”

Moving Beyond “Newtonian” Change Models

Moving Beyond “Newtonian” Change Models

by Jerry Straks

ABSTRACT: “To deal with dynamic change, it would appear that the “Newtonian,” mechanistic, control-oriented views of change may need to give way to newer models. Emerging models of change which better account for the current reality of highly dynamic change are based on the less familiar perspectives of quantum physics, self-organizing systems, and chaos theory. If we are going to help organizations create cultures that are as nimble, flexible and adaptable as they need to be to not only survive, but to thrive, we must continue to evolve how we as OD professionals look at change.”

The Argument Culture: Stopping America’s War of Words

The Argument Culture: Stopping America’s War of Words

by Deborah Tannen,
a book review by Jerry Straks

ABSTRACT: “This book by renowned linguist Deborah Tannen provides a powerful yet disturbing commentary on the growing polarization of America. Fortunately, it also provides some useful understanding and insights that OD professionals can turn into changes both personally and professionally to counteract the observed trends. It is well-written and worth the time, though it is not light reading. Expect to read it in multiple sittings.”