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Meet John

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John P SchusterJohn P. Schuster is a coach, author, teacher—an evocateur. He has had a business practice for 30 plus years with the purpose of helping leaders, coaches, and organizations turn what is potential within into actuality. John deploys his knowledge of psychology, and his passion for the arts and singing to do this work. And his business know-how is useful for turning inner insights into outer action.

This work takes many shapes and directions, and often includes the creative process of clients tuning into a more original version of themselves, the ones lying underneath the learning and habits that naturally accumulate on career and life paths. Our original selves hold many of the clues—stemming from values and aptitudes–for addressing today’s challenges and taking us into robust futures.

Authentic leadership emerges from two sources—the unique mindset/heartset of the leader, and their vision. The learning embedded in the leader’s current experiences and challenges, coupled with their creative contributions, are two streams of wisdom and knowledge that impactful coaching and mentoring amplifies.

John has worked in the private sector primarily, but has experience in government and the non-profit sector as well. He has had the good fortune to be a business partner with his wife, Patricia Kane, also a coach, for over 30 years. He is a coach-in-residence at the ExCoGroup, a mentoring firm focused on C-suite leadership development. He is a founding faculty member of the Columbia University Coaching Certification Program and The Hudson Institute of Coaching. He has been a Vistage chair and has given nearly 200 Vistage presentations around the world.

For pro bono work, he has taught in Executive MBA programs, and is on the board for Whole Child International for children’s well-being. He also gives presentations on how we as citizens can depolarize ourselves and find common ground in settings that matter–schools,  communities and families. He works with Braver Angels, which is dedicated to this purpose. 

John’s work in business and financial literacy–to enable employee participation for hi-performance/hi-engagement work forces–generated ProfitandCash, the trademarked accelerated learning board game.  GRITT Business Coaching, an employee-owned firm helping other companies reach their goals, is the owner and steward of this dynamic training tool.

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