Special announcement: To celebrate and honour the life of Sir John Whitmore, we are collecting your thoughts and memories on our Sir John Whitmore Memorial Tribute page.

John-Whitmore-new-colourSir John Whitmore (1937–2017) was co-founder of Performance Consultants International – the foremost provider of coaching, leadership development and performance improvement in the workplace globally. A pre-eminent thinker in leadership development and organizational change, Sir John wrote five books on leadership, coaching and sports, of which Coaching for Performance is the best known having sold over a million copies in more than 20 languages. This seminal text introduced the world to the GROW Model, created by Sir John and his colleagues in the 1980s. GROW has become a favourite of managers and coaches worldwide, thanks to its success in both problem-solving and goal setting, helping to maximize and maintain personal achievement, enjoyment and productivity. The Fifth Edition of Coaching for Performance was completed shortly before his death and will be published later this year.

Pioneer of Coaching and Leadership Development

Honoured with the President’s Award by the International Coach Federation (ICF), rated as the Number One Business Coach by the Independent newspaper and as having had the most impact on the coaching profession by the Association for Coaching, Sir John Whitmore will always be considered as one of the leading figures in the international coaching community. He was instrumental in the early stages of the creation of the ICF, which is now the world’s largest organization of professionally trained coaches, and he remained involved in the evolution of coaching and the ICF, serving as a Trustee for the ICF Foundation.

Sir John Whitmore Coaching for Performance 5th Edition book featuring GROW modelHe was the pioneer and godfather of coaching in the workplace, including leadership and management training programmes such as Coaching for Performance: Manager Programme and Coaching for Performance: Leadership Programme, creating coaching cultures and executive coaching. His work was the foundation for the birth and explosion of the coaching industry we have seen globally and which is now helping business transform from the inside out. Sir John Whitmore also created Transpersonal Coach Training for experienced coaches wanting to acquire leading-edge coaching principles and techniques to help their clients discover the power and effectiveness of who they are and create deep and meaningful change.

Founder of Performance Consultants

Sir John Whitmore founded Performance Consultants with partners after originally forming The Inner Game in the United Kingdom following a period of studying and working with Tim Gallwey and Bob Kriegel in the United States. They were the first to formulate the coaching processes and introduce their approach to organizations.

Related Articles

Executive Corner Interview with Sir John Whitmore
Source: Cross Cultural Management, 2013

Leadership in the 21st Century: An interview with Sir John Whitmore
Source: European Commission, Commission en plus, 2010

Interview mit Sir John Whitmore: Bewusstsein, Verantwortung und Nachhaltigkeit
Source: Coaching Magazine, 2009

Coaching & Mentoring. What they are and how to make the most of them
Source: Coaching & Mentoring, The Economist, 2009

Perspective from Peru: Coaching & Social Responsibility
Source: Sir John Whitmore, 2009

The Big Questions are Too Hot to Handle
Source: Sir John Whitmore, 2009

The Impact of the Inner Game and Sir John Whitmore on Coaching (1.6MB file)
Source: Annual Review of High Performance Coaching & Consulting, 2009

The Impact of the Inner Game and Sir John Whitmore on Coaching: A commentary by Sir John Whitmore
Source: Annual Review of High Performance Coaching & Consulting, 2009

Of Might and Mien, Leadership & Coaching for Sustainability
Source: People Management, 2009

Will Coaching Rise to the Challenge?
Source: The OCM Coach and Mentor Journal, 2009

Freedom At Work: The move towards self-responsibility in the corporate world
Source: Choice, Boston, 2008

The Coaching and Mentoring Journey. Where Are We Coming From? Where Are We Going?
Source: The OCM Coach-Mentoring Journal, London, 2008

Coaches Red De Wereld
Source: Tijdschrift voor Coaching, Amsterdam

Transpersonally Speaking
Source: Training and Coaching Today Magazine, London, Sep 2007

Global Leadership
Sources: Fimmtudagur, Reykjavik, Sep 2007

Entrevista a John Whitmore
Source: Coaching Magazine International, Spain, Mar/Apr 2007

The Challenge for the Coaching Profession
Coach & Mentor, UK, Spring 2006

Leadership from the Inside
Radar, UK, Dec 05/Jan 2006

Denial and Demise: Capitalism is a flawed economic order that is palpably failing humanity. Is it curable?
Resurgence Magazine, UK, Nov/Dec 2005


  • Sir John Whitmore on Leadership Development

In this video Sir John Whitmore looks at the pressing need for leaders to develop a coaching style of leadership:


  • Interview with Sir John Whitmore | Big Ideas for CEE Conference, TA3 Bratislava (2011)

This video starts with a short introduction in Slovak. The interview is in English.

  • John Whitmore | Performance Consultants | Coaching: Video Playlist on Youtube

To learn more about Sir John Whitmore, leadership development and coaching, you may like to explore a selection of videos on the John Whitmore | Performance Consultants | Coaching playlist on YouTube.