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Obituary: Godfather of coaching, Sir John Whitmore is no more
Lipi Agrawal | HRKatha | New Delhi | Monday, 08 May 2017

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The pioneer of coaching in the workplace and author of Coaching for Performance, was 79.

Sir John Whitmore, the world leader in creating coaching and high-performance cultures and the founder of Performance Consultants International, passed away at the age of 79.

Whitmore was the pioneer of coaching in the workplace and author of Coaching for Performance, which is considered to be the ‘Bible’ of coaching globally. “We will continue to honour his great legacy. His loss will be felt on a personal level by the millions he touched, and the coaching and leadership industry will be forever grateful for the contribution he has made,” David Brown, CEO, Performance Consultants International, said in an official post.

“Our thoughts and sympathies at this time go out to his family and friends,” he added.

Whitmore, a veteran advisor to various associations and organisations, was also an established racing car driver in the 1960s. He was best known for winning the 1961 British Saloon Car Championship and the European Touring Car crown four years later.

It was in the 1990s that he made a brief comeback into racing in a McLaren M8F and won at the Silverstone Historic Festival. It was also in the 1990s that he began coaching and mentoring. Between 2007 and 2010, he was on the advisory board for the Association for Coaching and the European Commission. He was also on the advisory boards of the British Army in 2010–11 and the Institute of Coaching, McLean/Harvard Medical School in 2007–2012.

From 2004, the same time when he founded Performance Consultants International, he was part of the advisory board of the International Coach Federation Foundation in New York.

The world of HR is saddened by his demise as he was a great inspiration and guide. He had touched so many lives with his thoughts and ideas. As his LinkedIn page overflows with comments and remembrances, his legacy lives on.

Ram Ramanathan, C-suite coach, leadership trainer, and founder & mentor, Mentor Coacharya, had been in touch with Whitmore for the past four to five years. He also had an opportunity to meet him once when he was approached by Whitmore’s Performance Consultants International, just when he himself had started coaching.  

Ramanathan shares that he had the opportunity to be a trainer for International Coaching Federation and the European Mentoring and Coaching Council, along with Brown and Timothy Gallwey, Whitmore’s partner and the proponent of ‘Inner Game’.  “Working with his team is a priceless opportunity as he’s a legend in the domain and his work is like the Bible for all coaches.”

Fondly remembering Whitmore and his significant work, Ramanathan told HRKatha that Sir John Whitmore came from a middle class family in UK and at a very young age he became a racing car driver, choosing a risky proposition. He then moved to the US where he met Timothy Gallwey, and together they started the ‘Inner Game’.

© 2016 HR Katha

3 comments

  • Comment Link ollie Wednesday, 06 September 2017 posted by ollie

    I bought his book Super Driver in the 1980s. and what he said in the book about driving and more importantly attitudes are relevant today. Too many of us perceive ourselves as fantastic drivers and he certainly showed me how to adapt and understand driving and always keep learning about road safety.

  • Comment Link Sayed tahir Friday, 12 May 2017 posted by Sayed tahir

    I got really sad to know the demise of a legend.
    He presentation videos are so mesmerising that you love to see them again & again.
    May his soul rest in pease

  • Comment Link Sayed tahir Friday, 12 May 2017 posted by Sayed tahir

    I got really sad to know the demise of a legend.
    He presentation videos are so mesmerising that you love to see them again & again.
    May his soul rest in pease

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