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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
If you have not as yet read Benton's How to Think Like a CEO,I suggest that you read that book first before you read this one. Benton is one of the most highly respected business "coaches." In Chapter 1, she answers the question "What Is Business Coaching?" The titles of the other seven chapters suggest how she organizes the remaining material:
You Know You're ready for Coaching When...
CEO Coaching Techniques You Can Apply Yourself
Using Mental Energy: Attitude Management
Using Physical Energy: Perception Management
Using Emotional Energy: It's What's Behind What you're Saying that Speaks Loudest
Team Time: How to Coach Others
Going All the Way: How to Hire a Coach
Following Chapter 8, Benton provides an Appendix: Your Own Personal Playbook. To a certain extent, the chapter titles could unintentionally mislead someone who is thinking about reading this book. So please allow me to make some reassurances. This book can be of substantial value even if (1) you have no direct contact with a CEO, (2) you have no desire to become a CEO, and/or (3) you have no desire to become a business coach...and especially if (4) you or your organization cannot afford the cost of retaining business coach for you.
It is important to keep in mind that the "secrets" which Benton shares so generously are derived from her wide and deep experiences with thousands of executives at all organizational levels. As the book's subtitle correctly indicates, Benton offers to you "Your Personal Training Guide to Thinking Like a Leader and Acting Like a CEO." So many executives commit hours and dollars to supervised physical fitness programs but invest nothing in a program which will help them to become and then remain "business fit." Don't make that mistake.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on January 9, 2005
I am always trying to absorb as many viewpoints as I can on the important subject of coaching. My role involves coaching of senior leaders and my own team, so the title of this book urged me to pick it up and read it. However, I was surprised to find that despite the title, this book is really geared towards self reflection and self awareness of ones own opportunities.

The book really gets into depth in examining style. For example, the author looks at the FedEx model of leadership and the nine elements of "style". (Page 37) The book looks at case studies, and how our own personal psychology holds us back. Included are dozens of pages of person questions to answer which are designed to allow for self reflection of what in our lives drives us, and may hinder our ability to effectively perform.

Throughout the book are business case studies, tips, and insights too numerous to list. Among the more impactful are the sections on how to improve communications by slowing down, use of silence and pausing for effect. (Page 136) Also, one can always benefit from a better control of the "minutiae of acting" (Page 145). The author examines how the little aspects of posture, dress, and facial expressions, may impact a leader's effectiveness. While much of this is obvious, the book uses some fascinating examples of how these elements of our "presentation" have bigger impacts than we realize. I personally learned a few new things, despite how frequently I have studied this factor of interpersonal relationships.

The latter sections cover emotional intelligence, something very important to all leaders. Not much new here, but the topic itself is vital to effective leadership, and gets more important the higher the level and responsibility of the position.

Overall, a very useful book. The author uses examples from Pepsi-Co and even names a person I knew while working there. The opportunity for self reflection by completing the pages of questions would be invaluable, and I will go back and complete them myself when time allows. Highly recommended for anyone in a leadership position, or responsible for providing coaching to senior leaders.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on October 4, 2000
I am an Executive Coach with clients in Fortune 50 companies and I've led development efforts both as an internal coach as well as an external consultant. Despite my own experience in coaching, I found Debra Benton's book "Secrets of a CEO Coach" personally insightful and rewarding. After trying several of Debra's questioning techniques with my clients, I could quickly see the value. In an age of speed, this book is well worth your time. It can add value to the coach as well as the client. Thanks Debra. Job well done!
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
A coach is not just out on the athletic field praising your eight-year-old's big score. Today, coaches are common in executive offices, pumping up professional skills from public speaking to public relations. As a consultant to business leaders and politicians, Debra A. Benton shares her insights into business coaching to hone professional skills. She helps prepare you to hire and work with a professional coach. If you would rather save the money and the time by teaching yourself, you can follow her sections on self-coaching. In these chapters, she delves a little more deeply into both psychological motivation and professional technique. Her book is filled with wit and wisdom on a variety of topics, including attitude, mindset, discipline, achievement, perception, physical cues, and emotional energy. We [...] recommend this book to those who want a boost - whether hired by the hour or self-driven - in their work-related skills.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on October 24, 1999
Debra Benton has produced another great book full of business insight and career advice. I found the sections on coaching techniques, physical, mental, and emotional energy very useful. The self-review section is well done and a very good life exercise! This book makes the reader truly think, stretch and work at being your best -- something many of us just don't do. I highly recommend it for anyone wanting to improve his or her own personal qualities! Next to her book "How to Think Like a CEO", this is a must have on your bookshelf.
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14 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on November 2, 2001
I am amazed that this type of writing still gets interest. After reading really meaningful books on this subject, like Stephen Covey's 7 Habits or Tom Crane's The Heart of Coaching, I find no place for books that treat this topic with the recipe approach.
After devouting a whole chapter to sell the idea of proffesional coaching, Benton goes on to cite herself incessantly on successful actions she did for herself. She tries to make her points through self refference and other minor examples and cases.
Honestly, I think there are numerous books on this matter out there that really deserve attention. Not this one
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Benton has the trust of many corporate CEOs. This book shows how she earned it. So many of here secrets are easy to understand, yet they aren't common sense either.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on February 28, 2003
As I am putting together a reading list for our management team, this book stands out as one that will be of great value for all managers, old and new. So it's on my list. I give it top marks and highly suggest it.
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on August 14, 1999
Mr. Benton does a wonderful job in explaining and coaching us through the importance and process of coaching. The book is detailed and motivating enough to leave us ready to go out and coach.... I personally want to recommend a worth-your-money book at Amazon that also easily explains and teaches coaching, with other skills, in a leadership and skills-based context: You have got to get a copy of "The Leader's Guide: 15 Essential Skills."
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on July 12, 2007
This book provides the kind of insight you have likely heard from several sources. It is good to repetitively hear about how your outward appearance and persona effect the climate around you, but the types of people who read these books are typically the types of people who already practice this stuff.

I feel that this is a positive book. I also feel that this was a waste of money.
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