For the code of ethics I follow and to understand the designation of Associate Certified Coach, which I hold, see:
- International Coach Federation: www.coachfederation.com
- For the coach training I attended, and a phenomenal leadership program, go to:
- Source Point Training: www.sourcepointtraining.com
Business: For Lawyers
The EMyth: Attorney, Gerber, Armstrong and Fisch
Michael Gerber originally wrote The EMyth, which has become recognized as an important book for small business owners, learning how to work “on your business” and not only “in your business.” Gerber teamed up with two successful attorneys to write The EMyth: Attorney. This book is highly valuable in addressing the way in which many sole practitioners approach their businesses and why that doesn’t work. Gerber applies the EMyth theories of systematization, thinking long term and how to build a solid business structure, while Armstrong and Fisch provide specific advice on applying these concepts to the practice of law. Many “Business of Lawyering” classes consider this required reading. Many of my clients from larger firms have used this book to restructure the firm as well. I highly recommend it.
The Billable Hour, Annie Dike
A very detailed look at how to track, record, describe, detail and identify your tasks in terms of billing. Dike goes through various types of attorney and paralegal work in great detail and describes how to break down common tasks into billing segments. While you may or may not agree with all of the tips she gives, this resource will make you think about things you probably have not considered before in how to bill, and that makes it a worthy read. As we learn in coaching, resources are important in helping you figure out how to do things your own way. This will do just that. Use this book to discover new ways that work best for you in terms of billing. Use it to brainstorm your own tips. You will undoubtedly find ideas you have not considered before. Dike includes descriptions of billing that will assist both your client and the court in understanding your bill. (http://www.billbetter.net/)
The Go-Giver, Burg & Mann
5 simple rules to build a business based on the premise that if one gives one will have all he needs. Written in parable format, one can read this book in a day. It is an entire paradigm shift on how to run a business and how to achieve abundance and wealth.
The Joy of Conflict Resolution, Gary Harper
There came a point in my practice of coaching attorneys within their law firms where I was asked to work with 2 high-level employees who were not getting along. They had to work together as a team and yet they were undermining each other and could not work together. This is the book I read before working with them and within it are the tools I used. You can use this in a work environment or at home. It contains a fictional team of employees all with very different personalities and works through many typical scenarios, specifically laying out tools to use to move through them to resolution. It is simple and easy to follow and even fun.
The EMyth, Gerber
Gerber starts out this helpful and popular book with an important concept and the reason he calls his book the “EMyth” – the entrepreneurial myth. The EMyth is the idea that just because you are good at something – practicing law or building homes, coaching or baking pies, does not mean that you can run a business. I think one of the most important things to take away from this book is that technical skills and business skills are two entirely different things. And you need to have both to run a successful business. Gerber walks you through the steps in the life of a business from entrepreneurial infancy, through adolescent growing pains, to the mature entrepreneurial perspective, the guiding light of all businesses that succeed. He then shows how to apply the lessons of franchising to any business whether or not it is a franchise. This is recognized as an important book for small business owners, learning how to work “on your business” and not only “in your business.”
The EMyth: Manager, Gerber
Gerber takes his very successful entrepreneur approach and applies it to management. Important in this book is the concept that great managers treat their jobs not just as jobs. They act and think as if they were the CEO of their division. Gerber encourages managers to look at their values and the values of the company and then ask if this is a good fit for them. I have taught this concept in many organizations and it has led to a high level of accountability from management as they shift into “ownership” for their role.
Business: Leadership and Management
Building the Bridge as you Walk on it, Robert Quinn
About the “fundamental state of leadership,” practices to help us enter that state, and the implications for leadership development. Contains specific examples and case studies and at the end of each chapter, questions for reflection; exercises for self-improvement; and an opportunity to share insight on the Deep Change website.
First Among Equals, McKenna & Maister
When I coach organizations, I use this book constantly! I often copy chapters for my clients and work with them on how to use the concepts in each chapter. Very useful for management and group leaders because it teaches to manage from a coaching or leading perspective, rather than a telling or directing perspective. It contains useful chapters on different challenges and techniques – from how to listen and build rapport, to how to deal with different personality styles, how to deal with underperformers and tackling “prima donnas”. A very useful practice guide for any manager or team leader!
The 8th Habit, Stephen R. Covey
This book is directed primarily at management and though it is heady stuff, the concepts are powerful. The 8th Habit is – find your voice and inspire others to find theirs. This is management and leadership at its best. It is the way to go from effectiveness to greatness. One reason I like the book is because the reader can access a website with various short movies to view as a supplement to that part of the book.
Building Trust (in business, politics, relationships and life), Solomon & Flores
This was required reading when I entered my coach training program. I will honestly tell you that many people don’t like it and find it to be dry and academic. Personally, I have read it twice and I love it. My copy is well-worn and underlined and dog-eared. Trust is a key element in any relationship and what Solomon & Flores do so brilliantly is to distinguish between different types of trust such as blind trust (trusting in the face of evidence that we should not trust), simple trust, basic trust, and the trust they advocate, authentic trust (a conscious choice to trust or not to trust based on what is occurring in the relationship and in order to build a solid relationship).
The Speed of Trust, Stephen M.R. Covey
Another great book on trust. Like his father, Stephen has a way of offering concepts and suggestions that make practical sense; and of course he has a lot of action items, exercises and practical suggestions for building trust. I agree with the cover that trust is “the one thing that changes everything.” Also the book is linked to a website with many tools, including a quiz you can send to your friends and associates to find out how much they trust you.
Children & Parenting
Everyday Blessings (The Inner Work of Mindful Parenting), Myla & Jon Kabat-Zinn
From my favorite author on meditation and mindfulness, this book is about mindful parenting. Great tips and anecdotes from Mr. Kabat-Zinn and his wife about conscious parenting, bringing mindfulness to parenting and seeing parenting as an opportunity to become more mindful everywhere.
How to Talk so Kids Will Listen and Listen so Kids Will Talk, Faber & Mazlish
A brilliant description of how to really hear children so they will feel they can talk to you. It is a great application of coaching principles of deep and reflective listening with children. It is very easy to read, very lighthearted. It has exercises at the end of each chapter and cartoons to illustrate the points. What more do you need?
Raising a Son, Don & Jeanne Elium
Very specific ideas on what makes boys and girls different and what works with boys in the way of talking, teaching and discipline. I particularly love the discussion on discipline which addresses different ages and need levels when it comes to disciplining a son.
Raising Self-Reliant Children in a Self-Indulgent World, Glenn & Nelson
One of my favorite books on raising children to be independent and learn to listen to their own internal guidance system. For me as a coach, this book reads like a coaching manual for parents and delivers teaching that will assist parents in coaching their children rather than telling and directing.
Raising Your Spirited Child, Mary Sheedy Kurcinka
A guide for parents whose child is more intense, sensitive, perceptive, persistent, energetic. The book begins with a definition of “spirited” and various tests to determine the level of spirit in a child — including assessments on the level of intensity, persistence, sensitivity, perceptiveness, adaptability, regularity, energy, first reaction and mood. There are assessments of the level of spirit in parents, in order to discuss and teach how the parents spirit level interacts with the child’s. What I love is the accepting nature of the book’s attitude toward our more intense children and the practical guide for how to be with them and assist them in being with themselves and interacting with the world and growing into functioning adults without having the spirit pushed out of them.
Real Boys, William Pollack
A fabulous book on the needs of boys and how to talk so boys will hear you. The back of the book says it best: “Based on William Pollack’s groundbreaking research at Harvard Medical School for more than two decades, Real Boys explores this generation’s ‘silent crisis’: why so many boys are sad, lonely, and confused although they may appear tough, cheerful, and confident. Pollack challenges conventional expectations about manhood and masculinity that encourage parents to treat boys as little men, raising them through a toughening process that drives their true emotions underground. Only when we understand what boys are really experiencing, says Pollack, can parents and teachers help them develop more self-confidence and the emotional savvy they need to deal with issues such as depression and violence, drugs and alcohol, sexuality and love.”
Siblings Without Rivalry, Faber & Mazlish
In a simple and easy-to-read and understand manner, Faber and Mazlish, relate their experiences teaching parenting groups specifically on the issue of successfully raising siblings — from rivalry to our comparisons as parents to teaching them to learn to relate to one another in a way that prepares them for adult relationships. Each chapter presents a new tool, or way of dealing with a particular sibling issue and is framed as a parenting group workshop with many stories and anecdotes of the problems and applying the tools to create solutions. Each chapter’s tool and examples are summed up by a cartoon spread of 3 – 4 pages and a one page bullet point section. Just photocopying the cartoons and bullet points helped me tremendously to internalize the tools.
The 5 Love Languages of Children, Gary Chapman
Just like The 5 Love Languages (see review above), this book identifies the 5 primary languages, and is very useful for parents and caregivers of children in that it offers a test just for children, ages 9 – 12, and ways to determine your child’s love language if he/she is under the age of 8. There are many anecdotes and examples to assist you in learning how to communicate love to your child.
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Families, Stephen Covey
These are the same 7 habits Mr. Covey is famous for delineating and explaining, yet the book is so valuable for families. Mr. Covey’s books are powerful because they offer not only practical suggestions, but also exercises and work to be done to use and internalize the principles taught. If you work your way through this book, your family will be changed forever. I spent a full year with this book, working through all the exercises and my family, and my view of my family is completely different.
The Out-of-Sync Child Has Fun, Carol Stock Kranowitz
Activities for children with sensory integration issues. Whether your child is diagnosed with a sensory integration issue or not, children in our society are not raised in the physical world as they were when growing up on farms and this book is a fantastic resource to show parents and teachers how to enhance children’s sensory integration and development and to have fun without any kind of media.
What do you Really Want for your Children, Wayne Dyer
A great read on the aspects of “no-limit people” and how to raise them. In reading this book, you will learn (1) what Dr. Dyer believes to be the elements of no-limit people; (2) the payoffs we, as parents, receive from raising children with limitations; and (3) as always with Dr. Dyer, specific actions to take to create and foster each element of no-limit characteristic in our children.
Co-Active Coaching, (New Skills for Coaching People Toward Success in Work and Life) Laura Whitworth
This book is specifically for coaches & is an excellent guide to coaching, with specific tools and techniques, including such skills as listening, intuition, curiosity. It is a useful read after one obtains a fundamental coach training background and is very useful as a reference book. Also contains a CD with tools and forms to use in the coaching relationship. The CD also has audio examples of coaching sessions.
Creating Life Change
Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff…and it’s all Small Stuff, Richard Carlson
One of my favorite books — ever! This man’s life was much too short and he was brilliant. It contains 100 effective ways to avoid stress in your life. Simple and powerful.
Feel the Fear…and do it Anyway, Susan Jeffers – The premise is that at the bottom of every one of our fears is the fear that we can’t handle whatever life may bring. Therefore, all we have to do to diminish our fear is to develop more trust in our ability to handle whatever comes our way. In this book you will learn to retrain your thinking, by learning certain “fear truths” that will change your relationship to fear from something that signals you to stop into something that you can move past.
Letting go of Anger (The Eleven Most Common Anger Styles & What to do About Them), Ronald & Patricia Potter – Efron
This book begins with a quiz that allows the reader to discover what types of anger are their favorites and this allows you then to read about the anger style that will make the most difference for you. What I like also about this book is that it discusses anger as a healthy emotion when we learn how to handle it well and recognize it as a normal emotion often signaling real problems that should be addressed. In going through each of the 11 styles, the authors address what works about each one, what is the positive intention behind each style, and particularly useful, what to do to have a healthier anger reaction.
The 4 Agreements, Don Miguel Ruiz
Typically the first book I recommend my clients read, it is a fundamental guide for creating change in your life. It presents 4 rules, or agreements you make with yourself that, if followed, with create significant change in your results and in your experience of your life.
The Art of Possibility, Zander & Zander
A required pre-work reading for a leadership program I highly recommend — Source Point Training’s Leadership Source (see www.SourcePointTraining.com), I find this book to be life-altering. Like the 4 Agreements, it offers some very simple principles to live by that create significant change. Written by Benjamin Zander ( the conductor of Boston Philharmonic) and his wife, Rosamund, it is another book to live life by.
The Artist’s Way, Julia Cameron
Not just for people who identify themselves as “artists”, this book is a 12-week workbook on finding a spiritual path to creativity. This is any kind of creativity, including the creativity we all have and can bring to our work, family life and personal life on a daily basis to enrich and deepen our experiences.
The Biology of Belief, Bruce Lipton
Another heady, though fascinating book, the basis of which is scientific proof that we can change our cellular makeup by changing our thoughts. The book was written by a former medical school professor, cell biologist and research scientist. The research shows that all the cells of our bodies are affected by our thoughts, that we are not simply victims of our heredity, but that we can change our lives by changing our thoughts and beliefs.
The Dark Side of the Light Chasers, Debbie Ford
Debbie Ford is famous for her work with what Carl Jung called the “shadow side.” Her premise is that what you do not own, owns you, that our dark side, those parts of us that we disown and wish were not there, are parts of us that are significant and important and that hold gifts for us. This book has exercises that will allow you to own the parts of you that bother you and that you have left out in the cold. For me, it had me feel better about who I am, about ALL of me.
The Voice of Knowledge, Don Miguel Ruiz
Another favorite author, Ruiz wrote the popular, 4 Agreements. The concepts he presents are simple and profound. The voice of knowledge is the voice in our heads, which tells us mostly lies. There is explanation of how we are domesticated, and how we can learn to think more consciously, quieting the voice of knowledge and producing inner peace.
Power vs. Force, David Hawkins
This book is based on the science of kinesiology (the study of muscles and their movements) and how this study has been used to discover the value of words, thoughts and actions as those that are powerful and those that are forceful. The book is quite detailed and it is helpful to learn a way to think and to act that will bring you into alignment with the universe and your Self.
Law of Attraction
Money & the Law of Attraction, Esther & Jerry Hicks
As with all Abraham/Hicks books, this book offers very specific and simple direction on how to apply the law of attraction to all areas of life. It is a very simple concept and they put it in many different ways so that the reader can really internalize the concepts. This is NOT just about money. Buy this book to learn in a simple way how to apply the law of attraction. Also comes with a useful CD sound recording of an Abraham/Hicks Art of Allowing seminar.
The Astonishing Power of Emotions, Esther and Jerry Hicks
As with all Abraham-Hicks books, it is simple in its concept, teaching in part the law of attraction, but more in this book, the law of allowing. This book is a simple guide to “going downstream” – letting go of the oars in life and allowing the river of life to carry you to what you most desire. One thing I love about the book is the audio CD enclosed of an Abraham-Hicks art of allowing seminar. What I love about the concept is it just makes life easier for me — it is a practical roadmap to changing my thoughts to where I feel better. And there is nothing better than that!
Think & Grow Rich, Napoleon Hill
This book was written in 1939 and yet is still one of the most popular books on the law of attraction and the power of the human mind. With many exercises on implementing the practices set forth, this is a useful book for attracting wealth of any kind. Napoleon Hill spent many years studying the most financially wealthy men of his time in order to write this book and it is useful and inspiring to hear how these men thought and acted to create all they did in their lives. “Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve.”
Mindfulness, Meditation and Health
Full Catastrophe Living, Jon Kabat-Zinn
At the time he wrote this book, Mr. Kabat-Zinn ran a Stress Reduction and Relaxation Program at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center. The people he worked with were referred by their doctors for everything from headaches to high blood pressure, back pain, heart disease, cancer and AIDS. He used yoga, meditation and mindfulness to assist patients in controlling their pain. This book is a practical guide for anyone, well or ill, who seeks to transcend their limitations and move toward greater levels of health and well-being. The book is designed to give the reader full access to the training program the patients underwent in the stress clinic. It is a manual to help you develop your own personal meditation practice and for learning how to use mindfulness to promote improved health and healing in your own life.
The Power of NOW, Eckhart Tolle
One of my very favorite books on mindfulness and living in the present. I often pick it up and turn to a page to remind me how to live in my present moment. Much is said about this concept, but for me this book truly resonates. Whenever I read it I feel myself completely in this moment.
Way of the Peaceful Warrior, Dan Millman
It is called a book that changes lives. Written as a fictional account, it speaks to mindfulness, happiness and a certain spirituality. My favorite line which I still remember from reading the book many years ago: “There are no ordinary moments.”
Wherever you go, There you are, Jon Kabat-Zinn
The first book I found that assisted me most greatly in learning all the different ways to meditate. Mr. Kabat-Zinn does much work with mindfulness and so this book assists us in learning sitting meditation, walking meditation, standing and lying meditation and moment-to-moment meditation, or mindfulness.
How to be an Adult in Relationships (The Five Keys to Mindful Loving), David Richo
It is a fairly detailed and sometimes academic read and requires some study. And it is one of the most valuable “relationship” books I have come across. Mr. Richo sets out the five A’s that represent a healthy, individuated ego: Attention from others leads to self-respect. Acceptance engenders a sense of being inherently a good personal. Appreciation generates a sense of self-worth. Affection makes us feel lovable. Allowing gives us the freedom to pursue our own deepest needs, values and wishes. And he talks about what occurs when we do or do not have each element growing up and how to give them to one another.
The 5 Love Languages, Gary Chapman
What I learned from this book is this: we tend to give love in the way that we like to receive love, but sometimes other people don’t respond and don’t feel loved by us. Why is this? There are 5 ways to show love and to receive love: acts of service; physical affection; words of affirmation; gifts; and quality time. The true benefit of this book is just that information, and the test in the book that allows one to determine which is their own primary love language. Just this information will create significant change in your relationships.
The Mastery of Love (A Practical Guide to the Art of Relationship), Don Miguel Ruiz
A great “relationship” book that has more to do with one’s own relationship with oneself than anything else. Mr. Ruiz addresses intimate relationships in detail, but from a place of how I can change myself to make my relationships better.
In the ways of Blink and The Tipping Point, Gladwell offers thorough research and anecdotes on the reasons some people are successful. He offers fascinating insight that ties success more to external factors than we have been taught to believe. The book jacket accurately proclaims, “The lives of outliers — those people whose achievements fall outside normal experience — follow a peculiar and unexpected logic…”
The Tipping Point, Gladwell
One of my favorite books and my favorite authors, this book is written based on research and presented anecdotally, and as with his other books is a fun read even though non-fiction. Gladwell explores and brilliantly illuminates the tipping point — that magic moment when an idea, trend, or social behavior crosses a threshold, tips, and spreads like wildfire. [Success]
Please Understand me II, Keirsey
This is the premier reference book on the Myers-Briggs personality model. According to this model, there are 16 specific temperaments, within 4 broader more basic categories. There is of course, a test that allows you to determine your own style, and 16 sections describing the temperaments specifically. What I particularly enjoy in this book is there are sections on choosing a mate, parenting and leading.
The Subconscious Mind
Blink, Malcolm Gladwell
From the author of The Tipping Point, this book brilliantly and entertainingly examines the way our subconscious brains work. It offers insight into the way we make decisions and offers ways to become a better decision-maker. Unlike some other non-fiction books, all of Gladwell’s books are riveting, relevant and highly entertaining.
First Things First, Stephen Covey
For me the preeminent book on “time management,” though this is not a phrase Covey uses. In working with attorneys to balance their time, this is always where I start. First things first is one of Covey’s famous 7 habits. This book is all about purpose-driven organization of time and while building a mission statement, etc., it also offers very practical tools. The most valuable part for me is making the distinction between importance and urgency and learning to spend most of one’s time in important and non-urgent matters in order to prepare and develop relationship, and avoid urgency arising.