This book came about during a conversation at an Association for Coaching event
in London. Katherine Tulpa and I reflected on the need for a single guide to
coaching practice that would bring current issues together.
With the help of the back of an envelope and a delayed train from King’s
Cross station this book moved from a vague conversation over coffee to a book
proposal. The simple idea was to bring together the top English-speaking
coaching writers to contribute to a single book.
In September 2003, Lou Carter’s Best Practices Institute performed a research
study on trends and practices in leadership development and organization
change. BPI asked organizations in a range of industries, sizes, and positions
in the business cycle to identify their top methods of achieving strategic change
and objectives. The study found that there is a strong demand, in particular, in
the following areas of leadership development and organization change (see
Everyone is talking about coaching. As people who work within the field of learning and
development, we find that we are constantly asked for training in coaching skills and to help
organizations introduce coaching schemes. Line managers are told that an important part of
their role is coaching. Trainers are increasingly asked to coach individuals.
In researching background material for training courses we have found that much of the
training and reading material available focuses on the skills of a coach – the art of active
listening, asking questions, and summarizing action points.
During the past decade, consultation activities that
focus on managers and senior leaders in organizations
have increasingly been referred to as executive
coaching. This term has begun to take on a technical
meaning within the field of organization development,
yet the area of practice has suffered significantly
from a relative lack of specific attention to it
in the professional literature.
Floyd Keith, head of an organization called Black Coaches and Administrators
(BCA), considers the lack of African American coaches in college football “an
outright disgrace.” For twenty years, the BCA has advocated for minorities
within the NCAA coaching ranks, reminding fans of some startling figures. As of
2009, only 3.4 percent (that is, 4 of 119) of the Football Bowl Subdivision (formerly
Division I) schools employ black coaches.