1st Edition

Leading for Learning How Managers Can Get Business Results through Developmental Coaching and Inspire Deep Employee Commitment

By Lisa Koss Copyright 2020
    156 Pages 1 Color & 8 B/W Illustrations
    by Productivity Press

    156 Pages 1 Color & 8 B/W Illustrations
    by Productivity Press

    156 Pages 1 Color & 8 B/W Illustrations
    by Productivity Press

    People do their best work when they are motivated. This may sound obvious, but while people managers instinctively agree with the centrality of motivation at work and its impact on employee engagement, their practices do not follow. With so much "real work" to do every day, how can managers also carve out time to learn, engage, build relationships, tap motivation, encourage development, and inspire?

    The problem is a false dichotomy between the world of business and that of people development. What if managers were able to systematically transform everyday business issues into meaningful, developmental coaching opportunities with employees at the same time?

    This proven coaching approach radically shifts conversations away from either-or propositions and uses an entirely different lens: transforming business challenges by connecting them directly to employee motivation to achieve the desired business result while dramatically increasing employee engagement.

    And all this comes none too soon as leaders must rethink the way they lead given the modern realities of organizational life. Among them:

    • A rapidly changing workplace and increasing uncertainty that requires a fundamental shift in the leader’s approach, including the distribution of authority and the expectation that employees take responsibility for their own learning

    • Pervasive and persistent employee disengagement, characterized by employees who no longer accept the organization’s priorities at the expense of their own, where organizations that continue to dictate terms will find ongoing challenges with costly employee turnover and lack of engagement

    During the past decade, the Developmental Coaching Model has been taught across the globe in nine languages and has been enthusiastically embraced by thousands of managers while dissolving the invisible barriers that block individual and organizational development and business success.

    Acknowledgments. Author. Introduction. 1 Developmental Coaching. 2 The Developmental Coaching Model. 3 Phase I: Build Trust. 4 Phase II: Contracting. 5 Phase III: Work the Idea/Issue. 6 Becoming a Manager-Coach. Epilogue. Index.


    For more than 25 years, Lisa has been working at the intersection of individual, team and organizational transformation. As partner and co-founder of Ontos Global, she helps her executive clients become effective change agents through increased self-awareness, leadership presence, resiliency, and capacity to act wisely and decisively despite complex and uncertain times. Among her key roles at Ontos, Lisa is chief designer for all core executive leadership development programs. In addition, she is the author of the Developmental Coaching Model (DCM) presented in this book, and designer of the accompanying coaching workshop. Her current research in social boundary phenomenon – identifying what it takes to successfully cross (social) boundaries and transform organizations despite resistance -- has been presented to audiences on four continents.

    Lisa’s consults across geographies and sectors, with mature organizations, as well as startups. Corporate clients include ITT, Xylem, GE, BP, Kaiser Permanante, Biogen, Ernst & Young, TATA, Heifer Project International, Honeywell, Pentair, and Mercury Systems, among many others. She has served as faculty of two, executive MBA programs at the Thunderbird School of Global Management and Instituto Tecnológico de Estudios Superiores de Occidente (Guadalajara, Mexico), and for many years represented ethical consulting as a National Trustee and Chapter President of the Institute of Management Consultants (IMC-USA). Her doctoral studies at Fielding Graduate University, put on hold as she wrote this book, were preceded by significant, post-graduate programs centered on Gestalt psychology as applied to organizations. Lisa earned her Professional Certified Coach credential in 2010 from the International Coaching Federation.

    Having lived abroad seven times and on three continents, her global perspective is core to her identity. She works in English, Spanish, and French, and speaks basic Russian. She currently resides in the San Francisco Bay Area in California.

    For more info, see www.ontosglobal.com.

    In my experience, most managers sincerely want to be better supporters of their people's development. They tend to hold back because they feel like amateurs at the job. Lisa Koss is a wonderful guide -- knowledgeable, thoughtful, generous, and clear. She has created a treasure-trove of a book that will help you feel significantly more capable in this role. When you finish, you'll not only want to thank her, you'll be ready to do so in the best way you can--by paying it forward!

    • Dr. Robert Kegan, Harvard Professor of Professional Development, and co-author of An Everyone Culture


    Frankly speaking, I love this book. In my long career in high-tech, I recognize that this approach is the fabric for numerous anecdotal things I’ve learned over the years, and it includes many topics that I’ve not seen before in print. This book is a sound foundation and framework that ties it all together in a very logical, very repeatable process, which can subsequently help organizations get results and drive growth in our business. Going forward, I certainly plan to keep this model next to me. And I enjoyed this book, delighted at how the book interweaves aspects of Lisa’s fascinating personal life and journey. I wish she had written this book 30 years ago, so I might have found it earlier in my career.

    • Brian Hoerl, Senior Vice President, Global Sales, Mercury Systems


    Koss takes coaching practice to the next level with her focus on the "manager-coach". They will thank her for this very practical and applicable guide to coaching. Most impressive were her insights on accelerating trust: the oft-missed, requisite foundation necessary to develop others. I have rarely seen better.

    • Mary Ann Rainey, Ph.D., Co-editor of Gestalt Practice: Living and Working in Pursuit of wHolism (2019) and co-chair of the iGold program


    It’s as if Lisa is by your side, encouraging you to experiment, exploring your own motivations about why you want to be a coach/are a coach, and firmly but gently insisting you find your own voice and style. Lisa has written this in a way that coaches you, as you learn to be a coach for others, taking nothing for granted, from the establishment of trust through to the point of letting go of who you were as a coach before reading the book, to the confident coach you have become. Lisa’s extensive cross-cultural experiences infused her writing in a way that is easy to read and makes you feel like you have a trusted guide you can turn to when you need additional support. If you are just starting out, or if you are an experienced coach, this book will provide you with either a well laid out roadmap, or the helpful reminders you’ve been looking for to take coaching to the next level. We’ve rolled out this coaching approach across the globe and are thrilled to now have her insights all in one book.

    • Karen Lutz, Vice President of Talent and Leadership Development, Xylem Inc.


    Leading for Learning is a very distinctive book and thought piece for managers in the post COVID world. Lisa Koss’ practices and wisdom glow through every chapter. Her work is an evolutionary step forward for leaders in the context of new uncertainties who need to accomplish seemingly impossible goals. What I appreciate most about the guidance and these practices is how she clearly outlines the art form and deep gestalt of what it means for managers to be self-aware of their own needs, interests, and wants, and how to engage and motivate others to accomplish their own AND collective goals. Like a master conductor channeling the potential of individual musicians of a symphony, Leading to Learn illuminates how a manager can coach and unleash the magic of human motivation, energy and intelligence of those they lead.

    • Karen Walch, PhD, Emeritus, Thunderbird School of Global Management