(David Franklin - GlaxoSmithKline)

We are witnessing in the corporate environment the emergence of a powerful management and leadership tool called coaching, Managers are beginning to discover the power that unleashes creativity and imparts a sense of ownership in their teams by using this approach.

I relate this from my personal experience as heading country operations of a leading pharmaceutical company, working in Asia Pacific, and more recently in Malaysia. In my second year in Malaysia we launched a coaching initiative to equip our first line managers on coaching skills and the results were astounding. We closed the year successfully achieving stretched targets, creating mind changes in the teams and positioning the business trending very well. At the same time we had built the capacity to achieve many of our strategic initiatives.

The fact that the effectiveness of the manager-coach is measured by the results of his or her coaching the team is a testimonial to their leadership and management abilities. In the truest coaching sense, the coach often has less business or technical expertise than the one being coached. The coach does not need to impart knowledge, advice or even wisdom. What he or she must do is to speak and act in such a way that others learn and perform their best.

I believe that there are two realities in business today - getting results and retaining the best achievers. This is getting increasingly more difficult as globalization, technology and demographic changes challenge managers to find new ways of working and solutions. I believe the answer is in coaching; building relationships and empowering people. It is about creating positively-directed mindset transformations. This transformation in people is only possible when a coach engages in interactions that appeal to the heart and open up new perceptions from the coachee.

An emerging trend is that organizations are becoming flatter or with fewer layers of management. This requires managers to support larger teams and expand their scope of responsibilities. With the traditional management approach of control and imposed direction, managers will soon find themselves overwhelmed and looking for solutions. Here they should consider coaching as the solution.

This book has captured the essence of bringing out the best in people and being regarded seriously as a more effective leader. It highlights pertinent challenges of becoming an effective coach in the organizational context. More importantly, this book provides clear examples, guidance and possibilities of what a manager can do to embark on this journey.

David Franklin