By Ginny Whitelaw, Ph.D.

Review by Agnes Mura, MA, MCC, Santa Fe, NM, USA

I wish you could know Ginny - a former NASA biophysicist, Aikido black belt, Zen priest and superb executive coach and facilitator. The most no-nonsense and most productive colleague I’ve met in ages, she has articulated in her Zen Leadership book ten “flips” of consciousness that take the labor out of coaching by redirecting leaders’ energy and attention.

Here are the Flip chapters:

  • From Coping to Transforming
  • From Tension to Extension
  • From Or to And
  • From “out there” to “in here”
  • From Playing to your Strengths to Strengthening your Play
  • From Controlling to Connecting
  • From Driving for Results to Attracting the Future
  • From “It’s all about me” to “I’m all about it”
  • From Local Self to Whole Self
  • From Delusion to Awakening

I use this book in my coaching all the time. The first chapter on Coping and Surviving is immediately relevant for all those over-worked, frantic managers who live in reactive mode, tethered to their gadgets. From Or to And reflects on  the balancing act of living in the midst of ambiguity and deciding among multiple “right” choices facing people every day.

This book could form the foundational curriculum of any executive presence or broader leadership related coaching assignment.

If you coach for behavior change and you are tiring of trying to change the mind with the mind, you may also peruse Ginny Whitelaw’s previous superb book, Move to Greatness about using the body, the immediate visual and auditory environment as well as everyday activities to find ease in different behavioral patterns… as multi-faceted an approach to change as human beings are complex.