Book Reviews

Books of the Month: Coaching

a whole new mind cover1. ‘A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers will Rule the Future’ – Daniel H. PinkDan Pink, former chief speechwriter to Vice president Al Gore, tells us that the future belongs to a very different kind of person with a very different kind of mind in an outsourced and automated world.

The traditional ‘left-brained’approach associated with accountants, lawyers and mathematicians is giving way to a new era of “right brain” aptitudes. It is a world where designers, inventors, teachers, storytellers and creative and empathic leaders will predominate. Pink utilises the two sides of our brains as a metaphor for understanding what is happening today.

In this insightful book, Pink offers a fresh approach at what it takes to succeed in today’s challenging business environment. A Whole New Mind reveals the 6 critical aptitudes for success, which encourages leaders to sharpen their creativity and enhance their emotional intelligence: employing design, inventiveness, symphony, empathy, play and meaning.

Pink emphasises that creativity becomes the competitive difference that can differentiate businesses.

Six essential senses:

  1. Design – Moving beyond function to engage the senses.
  2. Story – A narrative is added to products and services – not just an argument. Best of the six senses.
  3. Symphony – Adding invention and big picture thinking (not just detail focus).
  4. Empathy – Going beyond logic and engaging emotion and intuition.
  5. Play – Bringing humour and light-heartedness to business and products.
  6. Meaning – the purpose is the journey, give meaning to life from inside yourself.

Highly recommended read!

thing you need to know cover2. ‘The One Thing you Need to Know’ – Marcus Buckingham

Whilst Drucker refuses to make a distinction between leaders and managers, Buckingham argues that they are not interchangeable. The responsibilities are different. The starting points are different. The talents required to excel at each are different. This doesn’t mean that you cannot excel at both but if you want to choose between one or the other as your primary focus, you need to be aware of the difference.

Buckingham gives us vivid examples of great leaders and managers who by their actions displayed the key qualities he was looking for. He draws on the work of previous authors such a Jim Collins, yet disagrees about some of the attributes Collins attributed to great leaders, particularly the aspect of humility. Buckingham argues that great leaders are anything but humble! The outward veneer of the quiet man hides a persistence and determination to achieve ultimate success.


  • To get to the heart of the matter
  • Select people effectively
  • Defining what you want
  • Focus on strengths and weaknesses
  • Find the right roles for them.


Buckingham outlines 3 key factors in achieving sustained individual success:

  1. Leaders must be capable of adapting to a wide range of situations.
  2. The key controlling insight, is that the leader must serve as a multiplier – move people from average to excellence in a particular arena.
  3. Guide action throughout

Highly recommended read!

Books of the Month: Leadership

1. ‘Who Moved My Cheese’ by Spencer Johnson

‘I keep doing the same thing over and over again and wonder why things don’t get better and if it wasn’t so ridiculous it would be even funnier.’

‘When you change what you believe you change what you do!’

This is an excellent and humorous story about change, seen from the perspective of two little mice ‘Hmm’ and ‘Haw’, who cope with the onset of change in very different ways. (It also comes in DVD format from

  1. Change happens-they keep moving the cheese.
  2. Anticipate change-Get ready for the Cheese to move
  3. Monitor change-smell the cheese and know when it’s getting mouldy
  4. Adapt to change Quicker-The quicker you let go of the old cheese the sooner you will enjoy the new cheese
  5. Move with the Cheese
  6. Enjoy change-Savour the cheese. Enjoy the taste of the new cheese.
  7. Be ready to Change Quickly-they will always keep moving the Cheese

Well recommended. An excellent analogy to help people cope and manage change effectively in their daily lives.
Highly recommended particularly for HR Managers and OD Specialists.

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