John Amaechi

John Amaechi

(5 customer reviews)

Organisational and performance consultant, psychologist, social entrepreneur, best-selling author and the first openly gay player in the NBA. As John Amaechi says himself ‘I would be upset if you could define me’, yet this is exactly what gives him his strength and incredible presence on stage. Drawing from all areas of life and experience he delivers strongly motivational messages on the themes of self-identity and communication, and the impact they have on leadership, culture and performance.


John Amaechi’s story started when at the age of 17 he picked up a basketball for the first time. Considered ‘not athletic enough’, ‘too late to the game’ and hampered by a severe injury, he went on to become an NBA star just 6 years later. Giving credence to his belief that ordinary people can become extraordinary, he remains the first and only Briton to have his jersey hung in the US Basketball Hall of Fame. His subsequent New York times bestseller ‘Man in the Middle’ underlines the importance of being true to yourself and provides distinct lessons to anyone ever told that they didn’t fit the mould, or weren’t capable of great things. John’s latest book, written in 2021, is ‘The Promises of Giants’, which is a Sunday Times Bestseller and has been called “one of the most powerful books ever written about leadership” by Adam Grant.

Moving on

On retirement from sport John pursued a PhD in psychology and has become a highly regarded speaker, addressing blue chip corporations throughout Europe and the US. Drawing from experience his message springs from the belief that self-knowledge and the way we then communicate sits at the heart of individual and team success. Individuals are challenged to look inside themselves to identify and leverage their own strengths. The aim must be to become the best version of themselves, rather than a poor version of a stereotypical ‘leader’. In turn it is only when the leadership of a company creates a culture that allows employees to be themselves, and recognises what language resonates with different people, that real team success can be achieved. The combined result allows the individual to shine and enables clients to maximise the performance of their human capital.


This message of inclusivity and personal achievement is just as powerful in wider society and is something John works tirelessly to promote. At the Amaechi Basketball Centre in Manchester over 2500 young people every week are coached in life as much as sport, in an environment that encourages personal growth. On a wider stage John is Vice President of the English Federation of Disability Sport, a global ambassador for Amnesty International and sits on the Diversity Board of LOCOG. Right from the 2012 bid stage he has worked to ensure that the Games are inclusive in the areas of staff and volunteer recruitment, supplier diversity and ensuring a legacy for the diverse neighbourhoods around the Olympic park.


Setting credentials aside the simple power of John’s speeches is not to be underestimated. In everything he does he forces audiences to step outside of the everyday, poses hard questions, and personally challenges each member of the audience to create the best conditions for themselves and others to thrive. John is a hugely popular international inspirational speaker and presenter and key themes include:

  • Leadership
  • Motivation
  • Performance
  • Workplace culture, communication and cohesion
  • Functional diversity vs. box ticking
  • Organisational culture

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5 reviews for John Amaechi

  1. Lesa Ukman | Founder, IEG

    I’ve seen John Amaechi bring audiences to their feet in Chicago, London, Brussels and Stockholm. Thought-leader, change-agent, rock star, John is witty and wise… provocative and purposeful…informed and inspiring. His views on sports and society, business and community, race, gender and so much more, combined with his world-class presentation skills, deliver unduplicated levels of audience engagement, conversation and buzz.

  2. Toshiba

    John Amaechi spoke at our national sales meeting and even though sales people are notorious for being quite cynical and hard to impress, John had an amazing impact on us all. He is a very interesting and though provoking person and left us all feeling very motivated. His honesty and integrity was a breath of fresh air!

  3. Gordon Mackenzie, Marketing & Sales Director, Performance First Ltd

    John Amaechi is literally stunning. He will make you think about who you are, what you do and believe. Don’t expect to be entertained, expect to get real. More thought-provoking than any speaker we have worked with to date!

  4. CEO, Weber Shandwick

    John has been called inspirational before, and that is not loose hyperbole. Clearly mastering his knowledge and understanding of what sets people apart, of our differences, he skilfully read his audience and triggered a process of individual reflection and collective realisation of the responsibility we all bear, and the ability we all possess to effect lasting positive change. I have never received so many unguarded and enthusiastic notes and e-mails of thanks for arranging the opportunity. Given the seniority of the people in the room, it is reasonable to say that if just one person’s outlook on embracing diversity was influenced by John Amaechi, then hundreds will be affected.

  5. Bill Brown, Chairman, Disarm Trust

    John Amaechi’s speeches at our Convention and Parliamentary Launch have been both powerful and moving, well-informed and possessing great clarity. His ability to inspire his audience is rare and we have always been extremely impressed with gravity his presence brings to an event.

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