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Tales from the Top: 10 Crucial Questions from the World's #1 Executive Coach Hardcover – October 11, 2005

5.0 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Though Alexander's "ten crucial questions" aren't revolutionary-"What's life all about for you?" "Would you do anything differently if you knew you had only a year to live?" "Are you running your business or is it running you?"-he makes the usual threadbare management clichés ("Treat your customers like royalty") say something new by avoiding the hyperbolic vigor common to American business writing, instead employing a dry style that can verge dangerously close to sarcasm: "Many business leaders find focusing on what is truly important difficult, because doing is so much easier than thinking." Alexander also pinpoints the major drivers of business dysfunctionality: fear, frenetic busyness, arrogance and ignorance. His solutions are quite sensible: write down the one thing that scares you most about your current situation; do three things a day that only you can do really well to uniquely help the business; don't guess what your customer wants. Though the advice sounds practical enough, the real-world results Alexander has achieved aren't quantified in this book, and the CEOs Alexander has coached aren't named. Still, Alexander has written the rare palatable guide to executive coaching.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

About the Author

Graham Alexander consults and coaches the world's top CEOs, managing directors, high-level executives, and senior management teams.  He created the concept of business coaching in 1980 and he works one-on-one with Fortune 500 CEOs and top-dollar companies worldwide.  As Senior VP, Europe, of the Hudson Highland Center for High Performance, based in Chicago, Alexander speaks to thousands of leaders every year.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson; First Edition edition (October 11, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 078521335X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0785213352
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 5.1 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,311,669 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

By Dr. Joseph S. Maresca HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWER on December 11, 2005
Format: Hardcover
The author is a proponent of the following organizational


- get fear out into the open where it can be confronted and

dealt with constructively

- say what you think

- face facts dispassionately rather than running away from them

- confront negativity head-on

- be passionate about your business

- seek new missions to reinvigorate staff

- select the undone things on your "to do" list

- itemize reasons for failure or reasons why there are no results

- discuss the unmentionables dispassionately

- do not waste precious talent

The work is invaluable because it confronts reasons why

people and/or organizations face intractable bottlenecks.

Dispassionate honesty flushes out why an organization does not

work so that constructive strategies can be put forth to

improve the throughput of decision-making .
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Format: Hardcover
No one teaches you to be a CEO, but this book offers a rare peek behind the scenes in other corner offices. The book gives real-world examples of issues faced by some of the world's top executives, and walks you through how Alexander coached them to solutions that substantially increased their effectiveness. He brings a refreshingly human approach to leadership issues. I hear his fee is $1,000 an hour, so this book seems like a pretty affordable way to get his help!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Graham Alexander, who tags himself "The World's #1 Executive Coach," warns: "...if you think you are doing everything right, you are in a dangerous place."

Normally I dismiss ego-driven books and especially ego-driven titles like "World's #1 Pastor, World's #1 Politician, etc." But a good friend, Werner Jacobsen, highly recommended this book. We kind of coach and mentor each other over breakfast a couple of times each year. (I may nominate him for World's #1 Talent Manager, his pre-retirement profession.)

Werner's book pick is golden. In my consulting work, I also do coaching--and this book is both my Coaching 101 and Coaching 401 gold standard. Great coaches ask great questions (Alexander calls them "Million-Dollar Questions"):
--What are you hiding?
--List the things that you have never discussed with complete openness and honesty with anyone.
--What are you afraid of?
--Do you nip negativity in the bud?
--Are your customers thrilled?

The coaching stories are numerous and relevant to any leader with a pulse. Alexander writes about a newly promoted executive: "During a discussion about something unrelated to the frantic pace he was keeping, I stopped the conversation and said, `With respect, I don't want to continue this conversation. I want you to tell me honestly, How are you feeling?'

"That simple question stopped him cold. He thought about it for a few minutes and then replied, `I haven't admitted this to anyone else, because I am fearful it would have a demotivational effect on people, but I will answer you honestly. I've been in this business for thirty years. I thought I knew everything about this business and that I'd be able to succeed in this role. That's why I took it on.
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Format: Hardcover
Tales From The Top is a must read for every leader! This book not only helps you to achieve your best in business but as well teaches you how to achieve your personal best in life. I appreciate how Graham asks the appropriate questions to not only help you excel in business, but also how to thrive in your personal life. Many books on the market today help you to excel in one or the other, not in both. I appreciate the balance Graham challenges every leader to achieve.
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