I am a huge fan of Atul Gawande. I picked up his book Better on a whim and loved it. Complications soon followed. Gawande takes his environment (the hospital operating room) and masterfully explains how things go right (and when they go wrong) and, most importantly, how they can improve. It’s gripping. Think Malcom Gladwell or Daniel Pink in their fast-paced, persuasive prose style, but then picture them also being surgeons and winning MacArthur Genius grants. Phew. He’s good.
All this said, you can imagine my absolute delight when Gawande turned his considerable writing talents and formidable intellect on the topic of coaching in the New Yorker. His article chronicles his experience with hiring a coach to follow him into the operating room and how it improved him. It’s a self-study, but also an excellent, more generalized description of how coaching works—from the operating room to the classroom to the boardroom. You’ll find the article here.