Top Leadership Coaches of 2021

At Wishlist, we know the importance of having our leadership be supported by top coaches in the industry. Every great leader throughout history has had trusted advisors and counselors to ensure the decisions they made were sound. Today is no different. Here are the top leadership coaches of 2021 to consult:

Louis Carter, MA, is founder and CEO of Most Loved Workplace, Best Practice Institute, Results Based Culture, and is the author of more than 10 books on best practices in leadership and management, including Change Champion’s Field Guide, In Great Company and Best Practices in Talent Management. He was named one of Global Gurus Top 10 Organizational Culture gurus in the world and is one of the top advisers to C-level executives, helping them and their organizations achieve measurable results. His newest book is In Great Company: How to Spark Peak Performance by Creating an Emotionally Connected Workplace (McGraw Hill). Louis Carter is known for creating the full system programs in leadership development, starting with his first book with Warren Bennis, Best Practices in Leadership Development, which profiled 12 Fortune 500 organizations and their leadership development programs including Bose, Imasco, Abbott, Colgate-Palmolive, and more. 

Dr. Kim Janson is the President and CEO of Janson Associates and is a 20+ year seasoned talent management and development professional. She is known for her ability to build functions and businesses. She has worked successfully in over 40 countries. Her simple and direct style, commitment to helping people achieve excellence, and her relentless pursuit of results make her a terrific advisor and partner. Working with teams, individuals, functions, and the C-suite, Kim is able to drive change to achieve stellar business results. She is also heavily involved in research pertaining to Determining Leadership Potential.

Dr. Paul L. Corona is a clinical professor of leadership in the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, where his teaching and coaching ratings average 96/100. Paul is also the founder of the award-winning Lee’s 3 Habits system, which helps motivated professionals and organizations build stronger relationships and achieve greater happiness — and he is the author of The Wisdom of Walk-Ons: 7 Winning Strategies for College, Business and Life. As a Leading Global Coach award winner, Paul was considered for the first Thinkers50 Marshall Goldsmith Coaching & Mentoring Award (the Thinkers50 Awards have been called “the Oscars” of management thinking). During the past 35 years, Paul has transformed himself from a business person into a performance improvement specialist. He previously held a variety of leadership roles in Fortune 500 corporations, a Big 4 accounting and consulting firm, and major research universities. 

John Baldoni is a globally-acclaimed leadership educator, certified Master Corporate Executive coach, and author of 14 books that have been translated into 10 languages. As a highly sought-after executive coach and leadership educator, John has had the privilege of working with senior leaders in virtually every industry from pharmaceutical to real estate, packaged goods to automobiles, and finance to healthcare. John is a member of the renowned Marshall Goldsmith 100 Coaches, a group of executive coaches and thought leaders from the worlds of business, academia, and social services.

Dan Pontefract is a leadership strategist, keynote speaker, best-selling author and he founded the Pontefract Group in 2014. A renowned speaker, Dan has presented at four different TED events and also writes for Forbes and Harvard Business Review. Dan is an adjunct professor at the University of Victoria, Gustavson School of Business, and has garnered more than 20 industry awards over his career. Previously as Chief Envisioner and Chief Learning Officer at TELUS — a Canadian telecommunications company with revenues of $14 billion and 50,000 global employees—he launched the Transformation Office, the TELUS MBA, and the TELUS Leadership Philosophy, all award-winning initiatives that dramatically helped to increase the company’s employee engagement to record levels of nearly 90%. Prior to TELUS, he held senior roles at SAP, Business Objects, and BCIT. Dan is the author of four critically acclaimed, best-selling books.

David Nour arrived from Iran in the U.S. as a teenager in 1981 with a suitcase, $100 to his name, and no fluency in English. He lived with an aunt and uncle he had never met and grew up in the suburbs of Atlanta. He earned his Eagle Scout, graduated from high school, and enrolled in an undergraduate engineering program before graduating from Georgia State University with a business degree. His early career in sales and sales management at various technology firms reinforced the value of internal and external relationships.

David delivers 50 global keynotes annually on business relationships, social and mobile disruptive technologies, and adaptive innovation at corporate meetings, leading industry association conferences, and academic forums. He is an adjunct professor at the Goizueta Business School at Emory University and a guest lecturer at Georgia Tech’s College of Management. David serves as the lead independent director on the board of introNetworks, a privately held intelligent community technology firm based in Santa Barbara, California.

Maya Hu-Chan is president of Global Leadership Associates, an international management consulting firm based in San Diego, California. Maya is the author of the book Saving Face: How to Preserve Dignity and Build Trust and Global Leadership: The Next Generation (recommended by Harvard Business School). She is a contributing author to 10 business books and columnist for and CEOWorld.

Maya was named the top 8 Global Solutions Thinkers by Thinkers50, World’s Top 30 Leadership Gurus, and Top 100 Thought Leaders in Management & Leadership. Her charismatic and engaging style has made her a regular keynote speaker. She has lectured at The Brookings Institution, the University of Southern California, Penn State University, The University of Chicago, Dartmouth College, and the University of California, San Diego.

Born and raised in Taiwan, Maya received her BA in journalism and business from National Chengchi University. She was an anchor for the China Broadcasting Company, then moved to the U.S. to earn a MA from The University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg School for Communication. She served as the CEO of a non-profit organization in San Diego before embarking on her consulting career.

Mike Beer Is an accomplished practitioner and scholar in the field of Strategic Organizational Change and Development: He is Cahners-Rabb Professor of Business Administration, Emeritus at the Harvard Business School, co-founder and Director of TruePoint Partners, a management consultancy that works with senior executives to develop effective high performance and commitment organizations, and the Center for Higher Ambition Leadership, a not for profit organization dedicated to increasing the number of companies and leaders committed to creating economic and social value.

Mike has researched and written widely about organization effectiveness, organizational change, high commitment, high-performance organizations, leadership, as well as human resource management. In addition to numerous book chapters and articles in academic and business journals, Mike is author or co-author of twelve books, including his most recent, Fit to Compete: Why Honest Conversations About Your Company’s Capabilities Are the Key to a Winning Strategy (Harvard Business Press, Spring 2020). 

Michael Stallard is a keynote speaker, workshop leader, executive coach, and globally recognized expert on how to tap into the power of human connection to maximize the performance of individuals and organizations.

Michael is an author, thought leader, speaker, and a widely recognized expert on how effective leaders boost human connection in cultures to improve the health and performance of individuals and organizations. He is the author of Connection Culture: The Competitive Advantage of Shared Identity, Empathy and Understanding at Work and Fired Up or Burned Out: How to Reignite Your Team’s Passion, Creativity and Productivity, and a contributor to other books.

Bob Kaplan is the President of Kaplan DeVries Inc. and the author of Fear Your Strengths. Bob Kaplan’s consuming interest in leadership has taken him down three related paths. He has consistently done research and writing that have resulted in four co-authored books and numerous articles in publications such as Harvard Business Review and Sloan Management Review.

He has consistently designed best-in-class tools and services that were ahead of their time. He has consistently taken a research-driven and deep approach to helping top management teams, individually and collectively, grapple with their internal and external challenges. He has been fortunate all along to work with excellent colleagues.

An honorary senior fellow at the Center for Creative Leadership, he received a B.A. in English and a Ph.D. in Organizational Behavior from Yale University. Bob is an innovator, author, and consultant with 30 years of experience helping senior executives and their teams overcome their internal and external challenges.

Wendy Heckelman, Ph.D., is the president and founder of WLH Consulting, a management consulting firm focused exclusively on the pharmaceutical and life sciences industry. She has advised and consulted on hundreds of major change initiatives in the United States, Europe, Latin America, and Asia. In nearly 30 years of working with Fortune 100 clients, including pharmaceuticals, biotech, health care, animal health, and consumer products organizations, Wendy has helped leaders and individuals prepare for and thrive during turbulent and transformative change. In addition to her broad-based multinational experience, Wendy has worked with many non-profits and emerging entrepreneurial organizations, helping them successfully navigate change and transformation.

As a renowned leader in strategic organization design, Reed Deshler works with executive teams and human resource teams to define winning strategies, align their organizations and business models for success, and mobilize employees & stakeholders in the desired direction. He has guided Fortune 500 companies, middle-market companies, and nonprofits through successful transformation and supported them in solving complex organizational challenges.

Reed is co-author of the book, Mastering the Cube: Overcoming Stumbling Blocks and Building an Organization that Works – a guidebook that Clayton M. Christensen of Harvard Business School calls, “A great step-by-step manual on defining and changing the design of your company.” Reed also regularly presents at industry conferences.

Bill Joiner is CEO of ChangeWise, a forward-looking consulting firm focusing on leadership, team, and organizational agility, He is also a Senior Consultant with the Cutter Consortium. With the publication of the award-winning book, Leadership Agility, Bill Joiner has become a sought-after international thought leader on Leadership Agility. He focuses on the new mindsets and skill-sets that leaders need for a new business environment that is complex, uncertain, and very fast-paced.

Bill is a trusted adviser to corporations, a seasoned leadership expert, and an organizational change consultant with over 30 years of experience completing successful engagements with companies based in the US, Canada, and Europe. He partners with senior leaders, helping them navigate pivotal business conversations, develop high-performing teams, and transform their organizations. In addition, he designs and leads workshops and action learning programs on Leadership Agility and is co-developer, with Cambria Consulting, of the Leadership Agility 360, the only feedback instrument that assesses research-based levels of leadership agility.

Bill is also a researcher, writer, and speaker.  Over the past five years, he has provided over 50 talks and presentations on Leadership Agility. He is an expert at taking leading-edge ideas and making them very practical and easy for managers to grasp and, most importantly, to apply.

Tara Powers, CEO of Powers Resource Center is a best-selling author, award-winning leadership & DISC Expert, talent management strategist, executive coach, and speaker. With 20 years of experience working with over 200 companies and thousands of leaders, Powers Resource Center partners with fast-growing, conscious companies to develop the talent capabilities of new managers to executive teams. 

Mark Samuel is the CEO and Founder of IMPAQ Corp., and the Author of B STATE: A New Roadmap for Bold Leadership, Brave Culture and Breakthrough Results. Mark has been consulting and coaching organizations since 1980 and has specialized in strategic planning, strategy execution, business transformation, and culture change, building high-performance teams for Senior Management, Middle Management, Department, and Project Teams; and Leadership Development for Executives and Middle Managers. Mark has extensive background supporting Manufacturing, Healthcare, BioPharma/Tech, Nuclear Stations, Municipalities, Higher Education, and High Technology.

Lisa Bodell is an award-winning author and CEO of FutureThink. She was recently selected as one of the Top 50 Keynote Speakers in the World. As a futurist and expert on the topic of innovation and simplicity, she serves as a global council member of the World Economic Forum and has helped thousands of senior leaders ignite innovation at Bloomberg, Pfizer, Lockheed Martin, and more.

Lisa is an inspired global speaker who has brought her message to over 30 countries and nearly 100,000 people each year. She is also the author of two award-winning, best-selling books: Why Simple Wins (2016) and Kill the Company: End the Status Quo, Start an Innovation Revolution (2012). She is a regular contributor to Women@Forbes, is a featured contributor to Harvard Business Review, and a popular TED talk.

Lisa is an advisor on the boards of the Association of Professional Futurists; and Novartis’ Diversity and Inclusion Board in Basel, Switzerland. Among her many academic activities, Lisa has taught innovation and creativity at both American and Fordham Universities.

Dr. Ernest Gundling is the Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Aperian Global and has been involved with the organization since its inception in 1990. He partners with Fortune Global 100 clients to develop strategic global approaches to leadership, organization development, and relationships with key business partners. Dr. Gundling also works with executives with global responsibilities and multicultural management teams to help them formulate business plans based upon strong mutual understanding and a joint commitment to execution.

Dr. Gundling is currently a Lecturer at the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley, where he teaches a course on Global Management Skills. He facilitates in English and Japanese and is currently based in Oakland, California.

Dr. Gundling holds a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago. He received an MA from the University of Chicago, and a BA from Stanford University. Outside his corporate career, Dr. Gundling is a frequent contributor to numerous publications, including several books. His latest book, Inclusive Leadership: From Awareness to Action was published in 2019.

Merom Klein, Ph.D. brings 30+ years of experience as a Business Psychologist, entrepreneur, inventor, matchmaker, community-builder, author, and innovation champion — building leadership programs to PowerUP innovation, accelerate change, develop high-potential talent, and move enterprises from “what got them here” to “what’s needed to fast-forward to the future. Merom serves as CLO and CTO of Courage Growth Partners.

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