Skip to main content

Sir John Whitmore

Sir John Whitmore (1937–2017), a co-founder of Performance Consultants, is recognized globally as a pioneer of coaching, leadership development, performance improvement and the progress of humanity. 

His legacy to the coaching community is one that we can only aspire to. His books have been a primer for many coaches around the world, and his thinking has helped shape what coaching is today.”


Hilary Oliver, ICF Global Board Chair

Pioneer of coaching and leadership development

Sir John was a leading thinker in leadership development and organizational change, authoring five influential books.

His seminal work, Coaching for Performance, has sold over a million copies and been translated into more than 20 languages, with a 6th edition being published in September 2024.
e book introduced the influential GROW model he and colleagues devised in the 1980s, and his blueprint for performance coaching. Sir John Whitmore’s GROW model is now a cornerstone of coaching.

Coaching is unlocking people’s potential to maximize their own performance


Definition of coaching by
Sir John Whitmore

Influence on the coaching industry

Sir John received numerous accolades for contributions to the coaching industry, including the President’s Award from the International Coaching Federation (ICF), recognition as the Number One Business Coach by the Independent newspaper and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Association of Coaching.

He was instrumental in the early stages of the ICF, co-founded the European Mentoring and Coaching Council (EMCC) and was involved with the Professional and Personal Coaches Association (PPCA).

Sir John was also a leading figure in transpersonal coaching for leadership development, significantly influencing the establishment of coaching cultures and executive coaching standards. His work laid the foundation for today’s global coaching industry, helping businesses transform their culture.

I pay tribute to Sir John Whitmore’s extraordinary contribution to the world of coaching and the development of EMCC (European Mentoring & Coaching Council).

As a pioneer and thought leader, Sir John encouraged and motivated the quest for professional practice within the industry.


International President, EMCC
Lise Lewis
Performance Consultants coloured logo

Founder of Performance Consultants

After a period of collaboration in the United States, Sir John established Performance Consultants. The company initially focused on performance in sports but evolved to apply these principles broadly to business performance.

This pivot led to the rapid growth of the company and the adoption of performance coaching methodologies across industries. Sir John personally trained some of the leading organizations in the world, such as Barclays, British Airways, Deloitte, IBM, IKEA, Lloyds, Medtronic, Novo Nordisk, Pricewaterhouse Coopers, Rolls Royce and Roche.

Bring Sir John Whitmore’s practice into your organization this year

Whatever your industry, we offer a suite of solutions tailored to your precise needs.