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The Sherpa Guide

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The Sherpa Guide

Process-Driven Executive Coaching

Thomson South-Western,

15 min read
10 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

Like climbers in the Himalayas, executives these days need a Sherpa – a trained business coach – to reach high goals.

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Editorial Rating



  • Applicable


Pick up any trendy publication and you’re likely to see advertisements for life coaches and business coaches – individuals who promise to lead executives through positive, dramatic personal and professional changes. The trouble is that anyone can hang out a shingle and claim to be a career coach. For a systematic approach, Brenda Corbett and Judith Colemon, both experienced senior managers, suggest a structured, measurable process that coaches can use with their clients. Their system – which is named after the Sherpas, the Nepalese mountaineers who guide climbers up Mt. Everest – is built on a set of specific techniques for helping executives reach the next level in their trek up the career mountain. Business people who wonder if they want coaching will relate to the book’s numerous nicely told, short case histories, plus its instructions and step-by-step solutions. The book also provides coaches with tools, worksheets and sample client-journal pages. If you want to gain a foothold in executive coaching, getAbstract highly recommends that you start climbing – and stash a copy of this book in your backpack.


Climb Every Mountain

Just as personal-fitness training has exploded during the past 10 years, more companies are also taking advantage of executive coaching. In the next five years, approximately 40,000 new coaches will enter the field. Without a systematic approach, many will improvise, depending on coaching literature, their instincts and, in a few cases, their coaching experience. Many will flail around and the majority of their clients will not benefit. Some clients may even be harmed. In contrast, Sherpa coaches are trained to use a scientific approach based on proven techniques. Presently, the Sherpa method is the only formal executive coaching system that exists.

Sir Edmund Hilary would never have become the first climber to reach the summit of Mount Everest without his Sherpa guide, Tensing Norgay, who had vast knowledge of weather conditions and passable routes. Similarly, coaches accompany their clients on their journeys up the corporate mountain. Like Sherpas, coaches offer advice and encouragement. When climbers tire and can’t imagine taking another step, the Sherpa provides support and motivation. When executives believe they’ll never reach the top or ...

About the Authors

Brenda Corbett lectures and writes about leadership development. Judith Colemon has been an image consultant, recruiter, business owner and CEO for start-ups and established companies.

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    A. B. 1 decade ago
    This statement is false - "No standards or certifications exist." Standards/competencies and certification criteria for the coaching profession have been established by the International Coach Federation (ICF). Although not yet mandatory, they do exist.

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