15 Top-Notch John Whitmore Quotes

Sir John Whitmore is an author and performance coach. Going from a racing career to sports psychologist, Sir Whitmore works as a management consultant, helping to pioneer the field of business coaching. As author of the bestselling books, ‘Coaching for Performance,’ here is a look at some of the most notable Sir John Whitmore quotes ever recorded.

“As with any new skill, attitude, style, or belief, adopting a coaching ethos requires commitment, practice, and some time before it flows naturally and its effectiveness is optimized.”

“Building awareness and responsibility is the essence of good coaching.”

“Coaching focuses on future possibilities, not past mistake.”

“Coaching is unlocking people’s potential to maximize their own performance. It is helping them to learn rather than teaching them.”

“Given the leadership failures that are so apparent today, a little compulsory evolution would do our leaders no harm at all. In practice the coaching process fosters evolution at every stage, for evolution emerges from within and can never be taught in prescriptive ways.”

“I am able to control only that which I am aware of. That which I am unaware of controls me. Awareness empowers me.”


“Learning to create is essential, necessary, vital & fundamental. It is the centrepiece in which you create the life that you really want.”

“Problems must be resolved at the level beneath the one at which they occur.”

“The capacity is there, the crisis is the catalyst. But is crisis the only catalyst? And how long are we able to sustain extraordinary levels of performance?”

“The carrot and the stick are prevasive and persuasive motivators. But if you treat people like donkeys, they will perform like donkeys.”

“To get the best out of people, we have to believe the best is in there – but how do we know it is, how much is there, and how do we get it out?”

“To use coaching successfully we have to adopt a far more optimistic view than usual of the dormant capability of all people. Pretending we are optimistic is insufficient because our genuine beliefs are conveyed in many subtle ways of which we are not aware.”

“Traditional silo or linear thinking is no longer sufficient to cope with unpredictable emergencies.”

“Unless the manager or coach believes that people possess more capability than they are currently expressing, he will not be able to help them express it.”

“Whether we coach, advise, counsel, facilitate, or mentor, the effectiveness of what we do depends in large measure on our beliefs about human potential.”

Sir John Whitmore is the Chairman of Performance Consultants International and leading coach in business. With almost a half dozen published books, with almost a half million copies sold, Sir Whitmore discusses the topic of how to cleverly connect in the following Ted Talk.

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