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Leadership Chronicles of a Corporate Sage: Five Keys to Becoming a More Effective Leader Hardcover – September 1, 2004


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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Bethanis, a San Francisco-based executive coach, offers a show-don’t-tell glimpse into her work of shaping raw, by-the-book executives into kinder-and-gentler powerhouses. Rather than preaching, Bethanis uses a six-month series of sessions with "Max," a top executive whose leadership skills haven’t developed as quickly as his career, to illustrate the path to "corporate sagedom," a state that incorporates top business tactics, people skills, on-the-job know-how and some intangibles that, yes, a professional coach can teach. The premise of learning as a business tool isn’t new in the corporate world, but Bethanis’s approach in the book is, and it works refreshingly well, even for a reader initially skeptical of Max, of the "play-acting" technique at work here and of the coaching process as a whole. There is value in the lessons learned through the interplay between the author/coach and her executive/student; from "go slow to go fast" to "coach in-the-moment to build a legacy," the key points hit home faster and clearer simply because of the way the book is set up as a session-by-session dialogue, rather than as straight lesson from yet another expert. There is certainly much here to be learned by any businessperson open to taking it all in.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

... the inside scoop on executive coaching...a huge contribution to the disciplines of coaching and leadership. -- --Jen Herrlinger, Associate Director, Learning and Development, Scios Inc. (a J&J company)

...straightforward and practical approach! [it] takes complex concepts and turns them into common sense applications... -- --Lucy Carrico, VP, Corporate Marketing, Charles Schwab & Co.

A must read book! Leadership Chronicles of a Corporate Sage provides critical insight for anyone in a leadership position. -- Mark Tonnesen, VP, Information Technology, Cisco Systems

Clever and compact! It offers all leaders, not just executives, timely and relevant advice in a refreshing way. -- Chris Williams, VP, Human Resources, Yahoo!

Finally a book that shows us executive coaching in action. -- --Jeremy Robinson, Dean, Executive Coach Academy

I highly recommend it to any leader who is passionate about building a high performance team... -- Michael Hakkert, Director, Corporate Communications, Veritas Software Corp.

If you read one leadership book this year, read Leadership Chronicles of a Corporate Sage. -- Jeffrey Jones, SVP, Product Development & Management, Washington Mutual

Leadership Chronicles of a Corporate Sage is especially useful for the commanding, overwhelmed business leader... -- Kristin Cobble, Organization Development Consultant, Gap Inc.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Kaplan Business; First Edition edition (September 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 079318603X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0793186037
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 0.5 x 5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #866,435 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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See all 9 customer reviews
Simple, practical tools are included so there is a mix of story and "how to."
Tawny Lees
She offers some key aspects and tools for leadership development, and makes an important link between vision/strategic focus and real-time coaching.
Jennifer J. Bradley
Required reading for a course I'm taking in executive coaching, this book has something to offer for both managers and coaches.
None

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Jennifer J. Bradley on November 22, 2004
Format: Hardcover
This is one of the best books on coaching I have read. It is remarkably substantive, yet concise and exceptionally readable....a diamond in the rough field of coaching books. Bethanis has deftly illustrated both the art and science of the leadership development process. She offers some key aspects and tools for leadership development, and makes an important link between vision/strategic focus and real-time coaching. The last time I got something so substantive out of a coaching book (there are certainly other places for wisdom!) was from James Flaherty's Coaching: Evoking Excellence in Others. And, due to his impressive intellect, hip-waders are useful for traversing its conceptual rapids. The simplicity of Corporate Sage makes it all the more profound. This book is time well spent for coaches and executives alike.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By None on November 10, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Required reading for a course I'm taking in executive coaching, this book has something to offer for both managers and coaches. Using direct, elegant prose, Susan provides ways of working with issues commonly experienced by managers and executives in a culture she describes as "interrupt driven". She also offers practical methods for bringing compassion into the workplace, without seeming touchy-feely. I have been a manager, consultant, and small business owner, and view coaching as a key responsibility of managers and leaders. The notion that this key job role may be outsourced is difficult for me. Susan shows how this approach may add value; as she coaches her client, she teaches him to coach his team members. And while Susan's client operates in a global technology firm with 2,800 employees, the leadership values and practices she offers are just as valid for small business owners, who often have to coach themselves -- and who truly know the meaning of "interrupt driven". A wonderful debut!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Tawny Lees on September 10, 2004
Format: Hardcover
A first pass through this book makes it seem too easy to turn from a typical over-achieving, stressed out manager into a true leader. But that is the beauty of the book and Bethanis' insights into leadership coaching. Via the easy-reading, entertaining style we get to see how a few fundamental shifts in perspective, some honest feedback and a few simple tools can make profound changes in the performance and fulfillment of an up-and-comer in today's fast-paced corporate world. Great read for someone seeking self-development, looking to develop team members, or just curious about what corporate coaching is all about. Simple, practical tools are included so there is a mix of story and "how to." This book will serve as a regular reference for me as a leader. Bravo Bethanis!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jason E. Jones on December 30, 2004
Format: Hardcover
This book provides the reader with a "fly on the wall" perspective of an effective coaching relationship. The reader can better understand the dynamics of the coaching relationship and how real progress is made. Susan models her coaching expertise as she coaches the executive in core leadership skills. An interesting and insightful read for any coach or corporate leader!
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Geoffrey Abbott on December 9, 2005
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you want to know what coaches do, read this book. And learn about leadership along the way.

This recent and innovative contribution to the growing body of coaching specific literature is a narrative case study by a leading American coach Sue Bethanis. Leadership Chronicles of a Corporate Sage is unique in describing step-by-step the processes and conversations that take place between one coach and one client over a period of six months, thereby getting inside the coaching experience. Bethanis has included what she thinks is the most relevant for the reader to know and has not included grandiose transformational moments which litter a lot of coaching books. The reality of good coaching is that what usually happens is incremental change, with epiphanies along the way. The book is apparently a composite of about five clients and the dialogue is very similar to actual dialogue. As such, this is a rarity in providing unique evidence of what really goes on between coach and client. Bethanis is a good case study herself of a coach who works on the boundaries between academic and practitioner in the scientist-practitioner model. She gained a Doctorate at University of San Francisco (USF) and is now Adjunct Professor at JFK University in the coaching certification program.

I wrote the above review as part of my doctoral disseration on coaching with the Australian National University.
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