Performance, learning and enjoyment are inextricably linked.
— James Thorne


+44 (0)20 7907 2473

+44 (0)7810 655350



James Thorne

I believe the workplace is a university for personal development. Coaching is the best way for clients to explore the meaning of what they see and test their understanding of it. As a coach, I find that helping clients to develop the insight that takes their leadership to a completely different plain is immensely rewarding.


James started his career in the Royal Engineers where he graduated in Civil Engineering, and served with distinction in a number of operational theatres. He then joined a subsidiary of Philips, initially in senior project management, working in the construction and electronics sectors. He took on increasingly commercial roles before moving into general management to run one of their international subsidiaries. Looking to broaden his outlook of industry and to have a greater input, James moved into consultancy and executive search. He joined Whitehead Mann in the early 90’s and progressed rapidly through the firm, taking responsibility for the Group’s Industry and Business Services practice on a worldwide basis. He grew this to become the UK market leader and was responsible for some of the top board appointments before deciding to focus on executive coaching and Board development work.

He combines his broad experience of industry and knowledge of successful leadership to build a deep understanding of his clients’ situations, thereby helping them identify new courses of action to reach their goals. His particular interest is working with talented executives adapting to new situations, building on a foundation based on their own sense of purpose and self-esteem.

James was an Army rower and fitness fanatic. He still enjoys walking and the outdoors. Married with three sons, he has also learnt to play the violin and cook wholesome English food.

Professional Expertise

James has worked with the Boards of major multinationals across the spectrum of human capital management for nearly 20 years. Over the years he has coached teams and individuals across a range of industries including business services, leisure, manufacturing, consumer, retail, finance and the public sector. An internationalist, James enjoys coaching throughout the world with recent assignments that have taken him across Europe and to Kenya, India and China.

Education, Qualifications, Professional Positions

Strathclyde University – Certificate in Executive Coaching
The School of Coaching – Certificated Programme
BSc Civil Engineering – Royal Military College of Science

Selected Client Companies

Aberdeen Standard
Birmingham Airport
Cafe Rouge
Crown Prosecution Service
Direct Line Insurance
DS Smith
Environment Agency
European Bank for Reconstruction & Development
LGC Group
Lloyds Banking Group
Mitchells & Butlers
National Express
National Grid
Rolls Royce
Severn Trent

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