While I have written numerous academic books and articles, two contribute directly to my emerging as a new “thought leader” in executive coaching. These will be of interest more to other coaches and to those studying to become coaches than to my clients.
The first, in retrospect, challenges the common claim that executive coaching is a new field. Entitled “On Avoiding Domination in Philosophical Counseling” this article analyzes an example of what I believe to be the first record of executive coaching, in which the ancient Chinese philosopher Mencius (4th century C.B.E.) coaches King Hsuan. What is new to executive coaching in the most recent decades is an attempt to determine what research and literatures constitute the bases of effective coaching in an important, serious effort to set the standards for study and certification. In the United States, the prestigious Hudson Institute of Santa Barbara (recently renamed “The Hudson Institute of Coaching”) has provided yeoman’s service in that effort.
The second paper, “Cruelty to Compassion: the Poetry of Teaching Compassion,” discusses the role of asymmetry in relationships as an essential feature of humans learning to engage responsibly in symmetrical relationships. First presented at Oxford University as a keynote speech to the Philosophy of Education Society of Great Britain, it was subsequently published in Studies in Philosophy and Education. I regard this paper as both the capstone of my academic career and as a basic building block in constructing defensible coaching practices, in its various forms.
I am currently writing a book with the working title, High-Performing Leaders and Their Coaches: Investing in the Self, with an anticipated publication date of 2014. The audience will be executives and other leaders and their coaches.