Jonathan Wolf-Phillips

Jonathan Wolf-Phillips's picture

Leadership coach, trainer and consultant, with a particular interest in how an understanding of modern adult attachment theory and the emerging field of relational neuroscience can be used by leaders to enhance their leadership effectiveness.


For the whole of my working life I have had an active interest in leadership (historical and contemporary approaches) and the development of human relationships over the life-course (in particular John Bowlby’s attachment theory and the emerging field of relational neuroscience).

After working in operational and leadership roles in the computer industry, I set up New Leadership Ltd in 1999. This enabled me to offer specialist coaching services based on a distinctive relational approach to leadership that I call ‘Associative Leadership’. In 2021, in addition to my coaching services, I started to also offer specialist training and consulting services, based on my distinctive approach.

All my work is bound by professional codes of conduct and is clinically supervised. I currently work in the UK, US, New Zealand and Rwanda.

Other affiliations: Association for Coaching, Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, Chatham House (Royal Institute of International Affairs), Henley Centre for Coaching (Henley Business School), Institute of Directors, International Attachment Network, International Leadership Association.


In organisations, adult attachment includes relationships with leaders, co-workers, mentors, and the organisation itself. Adult attachment researchers have established how attachment dynamics in work relationships are directly related to valued organisational outcomes such as proactivity, ethical decision-making, effective negotiation behaviour, and creative problem solving. In contrast, when a person’s attachment needs are not met in a work context, among the many undesired outcomes are increased stress, higher reports of burnout, and increased turnover.

A perspective that draws on attachment theory and relational neuroscience has been found to be particularly useful in settings that see leadership as more ‘distributed’. In these settings there is often a need to take a hybrid approach to organisation design (e.g. developing and sustaining accountability structures and functions and leadership processes that strengthen the capability for both autonomy and collaboration).


My coaching is particularly suitable for small business owners and leaders in medium-sized or large organisations, who wish to enhance their ability to lead themselves and others, by developing a deeper intellectual and emotional understanding of leadership and relationships.

Drawing on over 20 years of coaching experience, my training is particularly suitable for leadership coaches and mental health professionals who wish to learn about specific concepts, frameworks or tools that I use in my coaching, so that they can draw on them in their own work. Guided by my distinctive ‘3Rs’ framework, I also offer consultative support to coaches and mental health professionals who are using elements of my approach in their work.

Drawing on all of my work since setting up New Leadership Ltd in 1999, my consulting is particularly suitable for senior human resources professionals and local and national public policy-makers, who wish me to provide them with an attachment theory and relational neuroscience based perspective on their work.