This month we pay a deep, heartfelt tribute to a founding father of our field of coaching science, who personifies the mission of the Institute of Coaching of bridging the best science to coaching practice. On February 3, the world lost Anthony Grant, Professor of Coaching Psychology at the University of Sydney and tireless contributor to the Institute of Coaching.
His pioneering research helped establish the foundation of coaching science and showed the world how impactful effective coaching can be. The Institute of Coaching would not exist without Tony Grant’s influence on Ruth Ann Harnisch in 2003. Hearing Tony’s research convinced Ruth Ann that the future of coaching depended upon robust science. Ruth Ann’s vision for science-based coaching led to her investment of $2 million in coaching research grants and the founding of the Institute of Coaching in 2009. We awarded Tony the first Institute of Coaching Vision of Excellence award at our first conference in 2008.
There is no doubt that Tony’s contributions, some featured in this month’s coaching report, help all of us navigate coaching research and upgrade our impact.
Professor Grant, affectionately known to us and his countless fans as “Tony,” believed strongly that the work of coaches must be grounded in the best science. While it is tempting to skew toward positive and inspiring findings in coaching and positive psychology, Tony reminded us to continually notice and acknowledge limitations, shortcomings, biases and gaps in our understanding. It is only with such rigor that we can elevate the field of coaching.
Just before Tony’s passing, the Institute had prepared a Research Dose for this month that distills an important article he co-authored with Sean O’Connor in 2019 on how to navigate coaching research and why that is an important skill for every coach. The article, “A Brief Primer for Those New to Coaching Research and Evidence-Based Practice” published in The Coaching Psychologist, shows that Tony did not believe in scholarship for its own sake. He believed in helping coaches navigate research so they can maximize their positive impact.
Tony’s contribution to the Institute was immeasurable. He served as a trusted friend and key member of our Scientific Advisory Council; he also generously shared his knowledge through IOC conferences and webinars.
In addition to other resources this month, we have compiled some of Tony’s “greatest hits,” including his conference presentations, webinars, and articles. Every resource shows Tony’s brilliance, clarity, and dedication to pushing forward the field of coaching science.
While Tony is a founding father of coaching science, even more importantly, he was funny, kind and generous. He cared about his students and colleagues. We will continue to feature his important work, the impact of which will only grow with time. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and community. For a complete obituary and tribute to his amazing life by the University of Sydney, click here.
Carol Kauffman, Margaret Moore, and Susan David
Founders, Institute of Coaching
The IOC is a global community of coaches.