John Costin in four words: Genial, soft-spoken‎, creative, mission-focused

John has a rare gift of understanding people of different nationalities and cultures and finding common ground. His disarmingly-gentle demeanor, charm and quick smile (which hide an underlying toughness) eliminate any risk of being viewed as dominant or threatening. People instinctively like and trust him.

They are among his most positive attributes. They brought him success in a corporation where fighting the bureaucracy was often like walking in solidifying concrete. He never gives up. It helped him conquer his serious illness. Years from now, when his time is finally up, he'll negotiate a better position for himself in Heaven…and St. Peter will sign.

 - Bob Lutz, Former Vice Chairman, General Motors


Management by Encouragement is by far the most effective management style I experienced during more than 25 years of experience in the automotive industry. Most managers intuitively believe that criticizing their team members and working on their weaknesses generates results. However, encouraging people to take risks and make mistakes turned out to be far more effective.

Management by encouragement means reinforcing people´s strengths and encouraging them to do the unexpected. I experienced myself with John Costin as my leader that this leadership style was a true booster of self-esteem and positive thinking. It drove me to step outside of my comfort zone and to take far more risk with the most positive attitude…generating great results.

Encouragement means leadership trust and backing in case of trouble, both aspects are critical enablers especially for young talents to explore new grounds and to work outside of organizational hierarchies and boundaries. It also means charging young talents with tasks they initially believe they can never accomplish. Whenever they succeed…and they will do…their motivation goes through the roof.

 - Imelda Labbe, Head of Global Group, Aftersales, Volkswagen, Germany


While working in John's organization, I had the privilege of witnessing first hand an inclusive yet decisive leadership style.  His approach was unfailingly even-tempered not only during routine meetings but also when engaged in arduous discussions.  Invariably, John had a knack for keeping his teams on track not only to arrive at difficult decisions but also to yield results his contemporaries and all whom he managed sought to emulate.

 - Kim Kurtz-Seslar, Engineering Group Manager - Type Approval/Certification and Export Regulations, General Motors, USA


I have had the pleasure to work for and with John. He is an astute businessman, able to handle complex structures and exceed expectations on targets and delivering high levels of profitability. He has a keen ability to rally teams together, (including diverse multi-cultural groups) motivate them and obtain the best results. He has been a teacher, mentor and friend.

 - Robert C. Triulzi, Former General Director Aftermarket, Asia Pacific, Private Consultant and Global Automotive Executive, USA


Top executive with positive human approach!

 - Armin Grond, Languages, Cultures CEO, Switzerland


John has something special that nobody has. He is so unique in his ways as he has an abundance of charisma and his approach in all things is refreshing and motivating. I have learned so much from John as he always leads by example. I have been fortunate enough to have worked with John since 2002. He is an engaging, enthusiastic born leader. A big problem is nothing when it comes to John. He has a style that is calming and reassuring as he always finds a solution to the problem. You can have many friends, but in this man, I have discovered a mentor, a leader, a business guru, and most importantly, a friend that I have learned to rely on and trust.

 - Paul Chedid, President, Paul Chedid Automotive Group, Paris, France


Dog Gone Great!
5 out of 5 stars

"I enjoyed reading and gaining insight for managing through encouragement. The author's light hearted style still delivers a powerful message. I hope to use this book as inspiration to try and lead by example. Dog gone great!" - Karen C.

Best in Show
5 out of 5 stars

"If your teamwork is ruff, this book will be your best friend. This one may well be the best in show." - Tony Johnson

A Great Book

"...I was sorry to hear about the serious illness that hit you recently, but very pleased that you have made a full recovery and were to inspired to write the book referring to your 'Tool Kit'. Wow what a great book of yours just published. So easy to read and I love the style with the characters. But what I find even more interesting is the book bleeds the leadership style of John Costin. I can very easily relate to the style that you portrayed during the mid-nineties, that being of a strong leader, not a manager, with strong traits of being a Mentor and Coach. I learnt so much from you and the great organisation and team that you lead, of which I was proud to be a member. I guess, having seen your recent TV interview, that both of us probably owe a lot of our formative years at AC-Delco and also to Jim Cross. But in my case my 4 years working with you definitely shaped the final 15 years of my career and I could never imagined being responsible for all IT at the DVLA and, in my early sixties, being assigned as Regional Operations Director at HP for the Africa and the Middle East - just unbelievable. This also set me up, after retirement, to a new career in the public sector as governor on an NHS Trust, elected Councillor and now a Non Executive Director of a Housing Association. I, like you, cannot sit down retired as I must keep busy and linked into the business/public sector real world. Now that I have read your book then I will be passing it on to my 26 year old son who has just been promoted to first line management in the Financial Services sector. I think that it will give him some tools that will assist him in the next stage of his career. A great book John - well done." - Tony