John Engels

John Engels is founder and president of Leadership Coaching, Inc., a science-based leadership development firm headquartered since 1996 in Western New York. John speaks across the U.S. and internationally on relationship management, emotional maturity, succession planning, and life beyond work.

John’s presentations combine cutting-edge science with humor, probing questions, actionable solutions, and compelling stories. His perspective has been shaped by his long-time work with inmates serving life sentences inside Attica Prison, visits to tribal villages in Bangladesh, and collaboration with biologists studying the leadership behavior of wolves, elephants, chimpanzees, and dolphins.

John began his career as a reporter for Gannett newspapers, earning an undergraduate degree in Journalism from St. Bonaventure University. While obtaining a master’s degree at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, CA, he gained deep familiarity with world religions and belief systems.

For the past 25 years, John has studied the Family Systems Theory of pioneering psychiatrist Dr. Murray Bowen at the Georgetown Family Center in Washington, DC. As an approved researcher at the National Library of Medicine’s Bowen Collection, John is widely recognized for his innovative application of systems thinking to organizational and family leadership. He currently serves as an Advisor for the Bowen Center for the Study of the Family in the nation’s capital.

John’s interactive presentations have informed, inspired, and challenged audiences around the world including military, health care, law enforcement, and education sectors, as well as nonprofits, government and religious institutions, and thousands of family firm leaders. He has addressed the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants in London, American University of Beirut, Caritas Bangladesh, Enterprise Worldwide, The Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, IR Global, New York State Chiefs of Police, The Port of Beirut, the Simon School of Business, and The United States Military Academy at West Point, among hundreds of clients.

John is an invited Practitioner Scholar for the Smith Family Business Initiative at Cornell University, where he assists family business owners with succession planning and development of emerging leaders. As a faculty member of the Racial Equity and Justice Initiative in his hometown of Rochester, New York, John works with local communities and businesses to reduce unconscious bias in leadership.

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