Being Coached: An Interview with the Author
By Lexie Ermi
Holly Williams, coaching founder and president of MAGUS Group, has penned a book called Being Coached: Group and Team Coaching from the Inside. Her years in the field of executive coaching provide her with the expertise and knowledge needed to competently write a book of this nature. Holly took the time to sit down with me and explain the impetus behind her desire to write a book and the impact she hopes the book will have on her readers.
"I wanted to write about how coaching lands on leaders and explain what it is liked to be coached," Holly explains. "I wanted the book to be inspiring for coaches who don't know how coaching lands on leaders and I also wanted leaders to see that it is not that intimidating to be coached."
My next question for Holly was, "What gave you the spark to create a model for group coaching to begin with?" She answers in detail, "Before I became a coach, I helped teams develop using drama improv methodology. After a few years of coaching executives with just the two of us in an office, I found that I missed the energy of a group of leaders all wanting to develop together. I love the way coaching works--with the leader being accountable for his/her development. So I started experimenting with coaching groups of leaders, and after a year had a great model that I have coached groups successfully with ever since!"
Holly went on to explain that there is no book on the market that fulfills the same goal as her new book. Most other books instead approach leadership coaching as a how to list of steps that must be achieved, using either case studies or purely expository writing to explain how to become a better leadership coach. The genesis of the book, Holly said, was having something to say about coaching and having a desire to put that across in a unique way. If a leader is curious about what it is like to be coached, this book will fulfill that need. It bridges the gap between leader and coach, making each more accessible to the other.
Being Coached is split into two parts. The first part covers group coaching and follows eight leaders, telling the story from their perspective. The second half covers team coaching with six executives who work together. The number of characters varies from chapter to chapter. Holly is working on another book that is similar in nature. It is about coaching and follows leaders in an organization who develop their coaching skills and how that plays out. "I might be done after this one – but who knows!" Holly explains.
"I was surprised by how much I truly enjoyed the writing process," Holly says. "I really enjoy writing and I think that comes across in the book. The book is a lot of conversation, just like coaching. That was the easy and fun part. The book really wrote itself. You know how people say the characters take over? That was the experience I had." While the writing was the easiest part, Holly goes on to say the hardest part was finding the time to actually write. Sitting down and writing for eight hours was impossible for her; instead, the process came about a lot more naturally by working a few hours every day in between her work that took up the normal day.
The whole book took two and a half years to write and publish. The barriers to publishing are lower than they have ever been because of things such as self-publishing. "It was tons of fun to have a hand in how the book would look and sound and feel. When you go with a mainstream publisher, you lose control of the book.
"My favorite part, besides the writing, is when people actually read it and talk about it with me. We've been getting reviews on Amazon and getting to read them – does it get any better than that?" Holly laughs.
Holly's book is sold on Amazon and we can look forward to her companion book, which she is currently in the process of writing, coming out in the future.
About Holly: Holly is a member of the Georgetown Institute for Transformational Leadership faculty, and her background includes leadership in a Fortune 50 Technology firm, as well as setting up business training programs for a Virginia community college. For over 15 years, her company has worked with executives and groups in business and government.
Being Coached is for sale on Amazon and will be available as a free Kindle download from Dec. 19-21, 2014.