About John Engels

John Engels, Founder and President - Leadership Coaching, Inc., Rochester, NY


John Engels is a leadership anthropologist who teaches, coaches, speaks and writes internationally on relationship management and emotional maturity. In 1996, he founded Leadership Coaching, Inc., a consortium of executive coaches who share a specialized background in family systems and relationship management.

Informed by the biological sciences, John’s team offers a deep dive into relationship competency, and its most important building blocks:  self-awareness, self-responsibility, relationship connectivity and anxiety regulation.  His work seeks to build strong families, resilient family businesses and healthy systems across all sectors of human society.

John’s formal education includes degrees in journalism (St. Bonaventure University), and theology (Graduate Theological Union at Berkeley, CA.) and 27 years of study and research in Bowen Family Systems Theory at the Georgetown Family Center in Washington, DC (now the Bowen Center for the Study of the Family).

His informal education consists of evocative discoveries within his cross- generational family, and 40 years of interactions with indigenous and spiritual leaders, animal biologists, cross-cultural village elders, Attica Prison inmates, neuroscientists, law enforcement chiefs, military combat leaders, education and government administrators, and thousands of business clients.

John learns as he teaches, weaving self-exposing reflections, real-life leadership challenges and penetrating questions into stories that jump-start new thinking. Exposing the humor, pain and complexity of leadership, John has delivered presentations, podcasts and programs for:

The Family Business Alliance, Young Presidents Organization, Vistage, United States Military Academy at West Point, Caritas Bangladesh, the American University of Beirut, Taziki Psychiatric Hospital in Okinawa, the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants in Dublin, the British Columbia SPCA, the Society of Animal Welfare Administrators, the Gandhi Institute, Cornell University and hundreds of other organizations.

John is a Family Business Fellow for Cornell University’s Smith Family Business Initiative, an Advisor for the Bowen Center for the Study of the Family, and a faculty member for the Racial Equity and Justice Initiative in his hometown of Rochester, New York.

“A willingness to see ourselves in perspective, and to view our problems as relatively routine, provides the emotional space to think more broadly and deeply.”
— John Engels