John Ainley

John’s deep experience of working at the very top of plcs combined with his extensive coaching skills and experience make him a potent coach for CEOs and Executive Committee members. John has a hard-headed understanding of the commercial context in which the senior leader operates, a clear grasp of the responsibilities they shoulder and the gravitas to command their trust.

“John’s advice and support was a great asset to me and to senior executives in my team. He has a great combination of unflappable common sense, practical business experience and thoughtful insight, all delivered with a welcome sense of humour. I would highly recommend him to any director looking for confidential and experienced mentoring, coaching or support.”

Chairman,
PZ Cussons PLC

Coaching Experience

John helps leaders to simultaneously grow and lead exceptional people with purpose and profit. He is a coach and advisor to CEOs and Executive Committee members of some of the UK’s largest companies. He equips leaders for the enormous demands of the senior executive career. He is plain speaking, saying what he believes to be true, but always with care for the receiver.

One of John’s most significant distinctions is his ability to help a leadership team craft a strategy that engages leaders and their followers to deliver change and real business results with agility, pace, resilience and consistency.

He regularly works with FTSE 100 executive teams to help them be more effective as a team and deliver business results with greater speed and effectiveness

Commercial Experience

Prior to becoming an executive advisor and coach, John had a 30-year commercial, diversely cross-cultural, executive career across engineering, retail and financial services. He has served as a member of the executive committees of 3 FTSE 100 organisations: WH Smith plc, Norwich Union plc and Aviva plc. He also has significant NED experience in healthcare and financial services.

John is CEO of Alexander, Europe’s Leading provider of Senior level coaching and top team development and facilitation.

Qualifications and Development

  • Accredited Business Coach (Worldwide Associate of Business Coaches)
  • Degree in Law (LL.B. Hons)
  • A sought-after advisor on and leader in business education, he has sat on the boards of the CIPD and the Centre for Executive Education (CEDEP) at INSEAD, the European Business School
  • Trustee of the Bloomsbury Festival
  • Companion of the CIPD
  • Graduate of the Meyler Campbell Coaching Mastered programme
  • Fellow of the Institute of Coaching at Harvard Medical School
"We all have challenges and for a senior leader they are not simple or straightforward. To be of real, lasting help to my clients, we need to go deep and think holistically to discover what’s really going on and co-create solutions"

Keith Krasny

Francesca Lanza Tans

  • ″No wonder so many top leaders worldwide seek his counsel.″ Chairman, Peak Inc
  • ″He is a highly effective coach and is able to help me work through critical and sensitive issues.″ Senior Partner & MD, The Boston Consulting Group
  • ″Probably the best event ever, a masterclass.″ Meyler Campbell ‘Fishbowl’ Attendee
  • ″Alexander has been an enormous support to me in developing our leadership capabilities.″ Chief Executive, Railway Children
  • ″He has an unflappable common sense, practical business experience and thoughtful insight.″ Chairman, PZ Cussons PLC
  • ″You have made a huge difference to my landing at GSK this year.″ President Consumer Healthcare Worldwide, GSK
  • ″A great foundation from which we can set goals for achieving our dreams with enthusiasm.″ MD, GoodBrand & Co
  • ″I would highly recommend him as a coach to others in leadership roles.″ Senior Partner & MD, The Boston Consulting Group
  • ″You have played a vital role in helping us on our journey towards becoming a truly world-class organisation.″ President RDQ, Jacobs Douwe Egberts
  • ″Highly supportive coaching, advice and challenge – very focused on my specific needs.″ CEO, South West Trains
  • ″I have rediscovered my confidence and have taken on challenges that I wouldn’t have thought I could deliver on.″ IT DIrector, Muller UK
  • ″I’m excited about the big ideas we identified for each of us.″ MD, GoodBrand & Co
  • ″He combines a wealth of practical business experience with a deep insight into human behaviour.″ Chairman, Performance Consultants International
  • ″He is very skilled at asking questions so that I examine all possible options.″ CEO, The Post Office
  • ″We were able to work through some tough issues in an extremely challenging business environment.″ CEO, Muller UK
  • ″He has helped inspire and motivate me and my team to a level I would once not have believed possible.″ HR Director, Whitbread Restaurants
  • ″No wonder so many top leaders worldwide seek his counsel.″ Chairman, Peak Inc
  • ″He is a highly effective coach and is able to help me work through critical and sensitive issues.″ Senior Partner & MD, The Boston Consulting Group
  • ″Probably the best event ever, a masterclass.″ Meyler Campbell ‘Fishbowl’ Attendee
  • ″Alexander has been an enormous support to me in developing our leadership capabilities.″ Chief Executive, Railway Children
  • ″He has an unflappable common sense, practical business experience and thoughtful insight.″ Chairman, PZ Cussons PLC
  • ″You have made a huge difference to my landing at GSK this year.″ President Consumer Healthcare Worldwide, GSK
  • ″A great foundation from which we can set goals for achieving our dreams with enthusiasm.″ MD, GoodBrand & Co
  • ″I would highly recommend him as a coach to others in leadership roles.″ Senior Partner & MD, The Boston Consulting Group
  • ″You have played a vital role in helping us on our journey towards becoming a truly world-class organisation.″ President RDQ, Jacobs Douwe Egberts
  • ″Highly supportive coaching, advice and challenge – very focused on my specific needs.″ CEO, South West Trains
  • ″I have rediscovered my confidence and have taken on challenges that I wouldn’t have thought I could deliver on.″ IT DIrector, Muller UK
  • ″I’m excited about the big ideas we identified for each of us.″ MD, GoodBrand & Co
  • ″He combines a wealth of practical business experience with a deep insight into human behaviour.″ Chairman, Performance Consultants International
  • ″He is very skilled at asking questions so that I examine all possible options.″ CEO, The Post Office
  • ″We were able to work through some tough issues in an extremely challenging business environment.″ CEO, Muller UK
  • ″He has helped inspire and motivate me and my team to a level I would once not have believed possible.″ HR Director, Whitbread Restaurants