The best coaching books

2 authors have picked their favorite books about coaching and why they recommend each book.

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What Got You Here Won't Get You There

By Mark Reiter, Marshall Goldsmith,

Book cover of What Got You Here Won't Get You There: How Successful People Become Even More Successful

Marshall Goldsmith is a renowned executive leadership coach. In this book, he lays out the secrets to getting promoted and moving up in an organization. While not a traditional book about leadership, it’s an essential text for figuring out what you need to do to be successful as you climb the corporate ladder. Goldsmith writes about the need to figure out what knowledge and skills to let go of at your current level as you move up to the next level, where different tasks and responsibilities await you (e.g., being a star as an individual contributor does not mean you’ll be great as a manager). This is one of the best books ever written about what it takes to be a successful leader at different levels of an organization.

Who am I?

After a career as an HR and learning & development executive at PepsiCo, AOL, and Capital One, I founded Arneson Leadership Consulting to provide coaching, talent management, and leadership development solutions to corporations and non-profit organizations.  I have a passion for helping leaders develop to their full potential and believe all leaders have the capacity to learn and grow. But development doesn’t just magically happen – you have to be willing to work at it. Whether it’s taking a course, gathering 360 feedback, or reading a best-selling book, the best leaders know they must never stop learning.

I wrote...

What Your Boss Really Wants from You: 15 Insights to Improve Your Relationship

By Steve Arneson,

Book cover of What Your Boss Really Wants from You: 15 Insights to Improve Your Relationship

What is my book about?

The most important work relationship you have is with your boss; no one else has as much power to make or break your career. You need this relationship to be positive, but sometimes the boss can be difficult or hard to read. In this pragmatic and accessible guide, top executive coach Steve Arneson shows how to find the answer to fifteen essential questions that will help you understand your boss’s leadership style and motivation. Vivid real-world examples demonstrate Arneson’s advice in action and show clearly how this process can be used to gain a more meaningful, productive, and enjoyable work life. 

From Coach to Awakener

By Robert Dilts,

Book cover of From Coach to Awakener

If you are a coach or student of NLP, add this book to your library. Dilts notes that, in the past, coaching has been focused mainly on improving behavior performance through careful observation and feedback. More recently personal, executive, and life coaching has evolved to provide support on a number of different levels. Each level has a different focus and requires a different approach and set of tools. Dilts clearly explains how your coaching style must adapt to each level (environment (caretaker or guide), behaviors (coach), capabilities (teacher), beliefs and values (mentor), identity (sponsor), and spirituality (awakener)), and provides a suggested set of tools and techniques.

Who am I?

I enjoy helping others get what they desire in life. As a long-time successful businessman, university professor, NLP trainer/coach, public speaker, and author, I have first-hand experience with the personal/professional balancing act required in these times. I believe each of us can achieve the success we desire by developing our authentic selves, mastering internal and external congruence, and taking charge of our lives. For over 30 years, I’ve been a student of personal development methodologies. I continue to transform my own life while assisting others from all walks of life and ages to learn, to address challenges at work and at home, and to get more of what they desire.

I wrote...

Live Your Dreams Let Reality Catch Up: NLP and Common Sense for Coaches, Managers and You

By Roger Ellerton,

Book cover of Live Your Dreams Let Reality Catch Up: NLP and Common Sense for Coaches, Managers and You

What is my book about?

No matter how old you are, your culture, or the beliefs you hold true, you are on a path of personal growth. At times you may experience excitement and joy, while other times you may be confronted by fear, unworthiness, and doubt as you do your best to bring your dreams to life. This book acknowledges your journey and provides insights, tips, and proven processes for you to get the most out of life. You are encouraged to look at yourself, identify the influence that you allow others to have, and to move forward to live your dreams.

How the Best Get Better

By Dan Sullivan,

Book cover of How the Best Get Better

This is a pretty rare recommendation and I only heard of this gem through my first ever business coach Alex Jeffreys who was being coached by Dan Sullivan at the time. When he mentioned the title How the Best Get Better I knew it would be perfect for a high-achiever like me and it was love at first listen. Dan is a master of creating innovative technology for the mind that helps entrepreneurs navigate the inherent challenges of their market and operate their business with 100% clarity and confidence. This is a once-a-year listen for me and I highly recommend you track down a copy and check it out.

Who am I?

I have been interested in motivation, productivity, and growth my whole life. I find it fascinating how we all have 24 hours; however, some people can maximize that time to create success while others let it go to waste. It all comes down to mindset. As an entrepreneur, I’ve consumed countless books, courses, and coaching programs to create what I call the “Rockstar Mind.” It has helped me tour the world opening for bands like KISS, write two best-selling books and 3 hit songs, and run two online businesses while supporting my young family during a global pandemic. I’m always looking for the edge to create more impact in my day.

I wrote...

Hobby Boss: Turn Your Passion Into Profits Online

By Steve Mastroianni,

Book cover of Hobby Boss: Turn Your Passion Into Profits Online

What is my book about?

Have you ever wished you could make money doing what you love? Hobby Boss is a simple step-by-step system for creating a profitable online business out of your favourite hobby—by teaching that hobby to other


Based on my own success in building a six-figure annual revenue with my hobby business, Hobby Boss walks you through my “Four Pillars of Profit” for creating and growing any online hobby enterprise. Use them to quickly create your first solution, your first sale, and your first customer success story. By following the steps laid out in each chapter, you’ll have your own Hobby Business Plan filled out and ready to launch in twenty-four hours or less!

Coaching A to Z

By Haesun Moon,

Book cover of Coaching A to Z: The Extraordinary Use of Ordinary Words

Moon realizes that certain words are particularly helpful and powerful in making conversations better (all conversations, not just coaching ones). It’s one short word per letter (“Difference”, “Might”, and “Yet” are three of my favourites), and this feels like a collection of twenty-six precise tools that can help any type of discussion more elegant, more curious, more filled with potential and more useful.

Who am I?

Coaching is a wonderful technology that can help people be a force for change… and is often wrapped up in mystic and woo-woo and privilege that makes it inaccessible and/or unattractive to too many. I want being more coach-like—by which I mean staying curious a little longer, and rushing to action and advice-giving—to be an everyday way of being with one another. Driven by this, I’ve written the best-selling book on coaching this century (The Coaching Habit) and have created training that’s been used around the world by more than a quarter of a million people. I’m on a mission to unweird coaching.

I wrote...

The Coaching Habit: Say Less, Ask More & Change the Way You Lead Forever

By Michael Bungay Stanier,

Book cover of The Coaching Habit: Say Less, Ask More & Change the Way You Lead Forever

What is my book about?

The Coaching Habit is this century’s best-selling book on coaching, with over a million copies sold and thousands of five-star reviews online. It makes being more coach-like—staying curious a little bit longer, rushing to action, and advice-giving a little more slowly—something anyone can do, even (especially) if you're skeptical about all this “soft skills” stuff.

Based on seven essential questions and the tools to make using them an everyday habit, The Coaching Habit is helpful for managers, leaders, parents, children, and anyone who interacts with other human beings.

Magical Midlife Madness

By K.F. Breene,

Book cover of Magical Midlife Madness

I live for books that make me belly laugh, and this one had me rolling. A 40-year-old recently divorced woman who basically gets adopted by a magical house that gives her powers… yes please! What’s not to love? Creepy security dolls, the world’s worst gargoyle life coach, a collection of misfits, and a slow-burn romance with a werewolf shifter mean I will read this again and again. 

Who am I?

I’m a bit of an anomaly in the author world because I didn’t find my passion for reading until I was a newly married adult. My husband, who is the coolest geek ever, introduced me to the DragonLance Chronicles, opening my eyes to the wonder that is the fantasy genre and turning me into an insatiable reader. It’s taken more than ten years to craft my own urban fantasy world, outline my first 6-book series in the world, and write the first book, but none of that would have been possible without the urban fantasy trailblazers listed above. I hope you enjoy these books as much as I have! 

I wrote...

Pack of Secrets

By Amara Mae,

Book cover of Pack of Secrets

What is my book about?

Pack of Secrets is the story of an outcast thief with a fractured psyche, an omega shifter who can’t shift. Desperate to release her wolf and finally earn the respect of her pack, Grace steals a magical artifact from the hoard of an enraged guardian, kicking off a treacherous mission. To complicate matters further, her father is definitely keeping secrets, her best friend just made out with her, and a dragon is on her tail. Before the end, Grace will have to decide: Is unleashing her wolf worth risking everything?

The Art of Extreme Self-Care

By Cheryl Richardson,

Book cover of The Art of Extreme Self-Care: 12 Practical and Inspiring Ways to Love Yourself More

One of the keys to getting through divorce is to make a commitment to self-care. This book, by life coach Cheryl Richardson, offers powerful self-care exercises, which can be practiced one month at a time. Richardson’s tips go well beyond booking a massage or taking a bubble bath, as she explores establishing boundaries, managing anger, and learning to say no. I’ve recommended this book countless times to clients and friends.

Who am I?

As a Certified Divorce Coach and Certified Divorce Financial Analyst®, I work with clients during one of the most difficult stages of their lives. Clients often feel regretful about the past and fearful for the future, and the right book recommendation can really help them move forward. I often give clients reading assignments between coaching sessions that help them process their grief, figure out their goals, educate themselves about finances, feel less alone in the divorce process, and become more confident in making major decisions. I’m never not reading on this subject.

I wrote...

The Designed Divorce: How to preserve your wealth and peace of mind in divorce

By Jen Lawrence,

Book cover of The Designed Divorce: How to preserve your wealth and peace of mind in divorce

What is my book about?

In The Designed Divorce, Jen Lawrence shares the secrets she's gleaned from her private coaching and concierge practice and her training as a CDC Certified Divorce Coach, CDC Divorce Transition and Recovery Coach, Certified Divorce Specialist, and Certified Divorce Financial Analyst.

This book will help you: deal with your emotions so you can focus on the business of divorce, get clear on your goals so your settlement supports your dreams, hire a divorce team that can help you maximize your options, avoid the biggest divorce mistakes that threaten your wealth and peace of mind, implement radical self-care techniques that go far deeper than a spa day, understand your money and how to build financial security, and start down the path to a future that excites you. Filled with practical tips, exercises, and memorable stories injected with Lawrence's trademark humor, The Designed Divorce will make you feel like you are never alone in this process.

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