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Rise to the Top: Coaching Insights and Challenges for Leaders provides tools and techniques for leaders through a fable punctuated by coaching episodes designed to get you moving into action right away.
Executive Coaching: Then and Now
What was once only affordable for executives, Dr. Julie Compton has made attainable for professionals of all levels. This is a good thing. Consider our current VUCA (volatile, uncertain, chaotic, ambiguous) climate, especially in light of leadership expert John Kotter’s prediction years ago that still appears to be true, “The rate of change is not going to slow down anytime soon.”
Through her research and backed by more than 20 years of professional experience, Compton presents the common difficulties facing most leaders, but cleverly recasts each one as an opportunity — a lesson. Ultimately, these lessons are chances to learn and embrace real change for improved impact as a leader.
Rise to the Top prepares readers to keep pace with rapid change by recognizing that leadership is who you are, not simply what you do. Part of this book’s desirability is its structure. By carefully braiding together three critical strands, Compton creates a rope helping readers climb to a higher level of leadership.
Strand #1: Familiarizing Leadership Theory
Compton invites her readers into a compelling conversation featuring many voices, from the chapter-heading epigraphs — wise words quoted from well-recognized leaders — and through her principal character.
Meet Dianne Gableton, the personification of a leader’s struggles, questions, and challenges familiar to many readers. An ambitious college graduate, Dianne embarks on a demanding, at times risky and even grueling, professional trajectory, culminating in her eventual rise to CEO.
Along the way, we read about Dianne’s personal misgivings — often identified as imposter syndrome — along with external challenges, such as: problematic team dynamics, the surprising personal discoveries following self-reflection and managerial feedback, the complications arising from conflict-avoidance, and the personal sacrifice often required of professional success.
By creating a character we can all identify with and root for, Compton makes it easier to understand the real-world implications of leadership theory.
Strand #2: Sneaking a Peek at the Coach’s Playbook
In each chapter, Dianne’s character is challenged to learn something new about leadership as it relates to her professional and personal journey. As the narrative unfolds, we see a framework in the background hinting at the coaching process. Compton presents her readers with an explanation of each lesson Dianne faces, along with recommended books and articles for additional reading. Her book summarizes what Dianne has experienced and provides instruction for leaders facing similar challenges.
Strand #3: Putting the Reader to the Test
The book doesn’t stop delivering, now the reader experiences a form of coaching! Following every one of the ten chapters, Compton offers Coaching Challenges designed to help readers increase their own self-awareness, embrace better communication skills, empower their team and influence colleagues in creative new ways. Once completed, these assignments give us a glimpse into coaching and relationship-building. Fostering stronger relationships is not only a requirement, Compton alludes to it being the the number one asset needed for senior leaders to succeed.
For readers who have never interacted with an executive coach, this book provides important and actionable insights. Rise to the Top is also a useful tool for other professional coaches eager to learn.
Are you ready to challenge yourself to be a better leader? Order Rise to the Top: Coaching Insights for Leaders and be sure to leave your honest review for fellow readers.