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Meet John

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John P SchusterJohn P. (Cunningham) Schuster is an author, executive coach, and teacher who has enjoyed the good fortune of being in business for over thirty years helping leaders be more effective in their multiple roles.

This work has taken many shapes and directions, but often includes the profound and not-so-easy process of assisting clients to tune into the essential person, the original self, that lies underneath all the learning and acquired competencies they have acquired on their leadership journey. This original essence does not have all the answers, but it better be consulted before any major directions are put in motion.  And it often holds the clues for the best ideas of what will grow the leader into robust and useful next chapters.

Authentic leadership emerges from two sources—this essential/unique inner person, combined with the external experience of the leader. The potential learning embedded in the leader’s experiences, coupled with their original instincts for creative contributions, are the two streams of wisdom and knowledge that deep coaching and mentoring must tap and bring together.

John has worked in the private sector primarily, but has experience in government and the non-profit sector as well. His client list is long and well known. He has had the good fortune to be a business partner with his wife, Patricia Kane, also a coach, for over 25 years.

He is a coach-in-residence for Merryck, a mentoring firm for CEO’s that is doing break-through work combining business mentoring with coaching skills and is focused on premiere C-suite leadership development. He is on the faculty of the Columbia University Coaching Certification Program and The Hudson Institute of Coaching in Santa Barbara. He has been a Vistage chair and has given nearly 200 Vistage presentations around the world. He has taught in Executive MBA programs, and is on the board of the Jung Association of Central Ohio and Whole Child International.

John’s coaching and training firm, The Schuster Kane Alliance, teaches business and financial literacy as a form of empowerment and employee engagement. Toward that end, the Schuster Kane Alliance has developed

John recently earned a Master’s degree in psychology. Learn more about his Master’s focus.

Download the formal bio if you want it. John has several work and life passions:

  1. Helping leaders build the social capital within their enterprises so they can build a better world on behalf of communities, customers and shareholders.
  2. Executive teams that work, corporate cultures that can execute strategy, and leaders that inspire and bring out the best in others.
  3. Tying the fields of leadership development more closely to the field of human development. Coaching is perfect for this passion
  4. Helping non-profits like Whole Child International develop better processes for orphanages and child care.
  5. Applying the wisdom of psychology to the everyday life of those not interested or turned off by pop or tired uses of psychology, or those just too busy with life or unexposed to what psychology has to offer.

When in my early 30s, I founded an organizational effectiveness firm, The Schuster Kane Alliance. It is still a fun ride after 30+ years and there is plenty of work still to do. What I do now is mentor, teach coaching skills, and speak on issues like leadership, sustainability, and answering your call. I help leaders and teams from all the sectors – business and government and nonprofits – translate their innate wisdom into improved work environments. And with my colleagues, I address the questions of financial and business literacy with a board game/simulation we created Profit & Cash, now played by over 450,000 people, as it empowers them to understand the enterprise and the world around them. I live in Columbus, Ohio, and New York City in part, and hang out with my kids and grandkids, my friends and my clients. I am proud to be affiliated as faculty with

I think we have created a 30-plus year history of excellent service. The Schuster Kane Alliance is known for connecting soft people skills with hard business results.  We collaborated with INC. magazine writers as they promoted growth-oriented, business-savvy cultures of fully engaged employees. Out of this work, John and Patricia and our team built a business simulation tool, Profit & Cash®, that hundreds of thousands of people have used at GE, Harley Davidson, Virginia Mason Medical Center, Sprint and MBA programs – to sample a few clients.

I have been fortunate enough to work in every sector of the economy, countless industries and organizations, and worked on four continents. I like to write and that has resulted in many articles and five books:

  • The Power of Your Past: The Art of Recalling, Reclaiming, and Recasting, Berrett-Koehler,
  • Answering Your Call: A Guide to Living Your Deepest Purpose, Berrett- Koehler, (translated into Flemish and Spanish)
  • The Power of Open-Book Management, John Wiley & Sons,
  • The Open-Book Management Field Book, John Wiley & Sons,
  • Hum-Drum to Hot-Diggity on Leadership, Steadfast Publishers,

I have a 29-year marriage to Canadian-Irish born and Omaha-raised Patricia Kane, my business partner. We prospered with a flux of several business partners, mostly turning out well. I endured the ordeal of being a long-distance dad while my two sons grew up 700 miles away. (The kids survived as well.) My two sons live in Ohio and four grandkids, the newest adopted from Bulgaria, get regular attention from “pops and nana.”

Personal Fact Sheet

Get to know John at-a-glance

Why Psychology? Why Jung?

Wondering why John focused on Jungian psychology for his Master’s degree?


Beyond the bio and the facts

All things Celtic & Irish

How ancestry can inform