John Shull MA, CPBC


John Shull, MA, ChFC, CPBC, is a leadership coach, retired Army Infantryman, and experienced business executive. He has over forty years of experience leading people and directing programs. He is currently coaching leaders and practitioners in the financial services field. His primary focus is on executive communication, time management, and advisor recruiting and training.

Over four careers, the central focus of John’s life has been leading. While on active duty for 21 years in the US Army, he began with leading teams of soldiers in the United States, Korea, Germany, and in the former Soviet Union. He continued his leadership journey in subsequent careers in defense contracting, management consulting, and financial planning.

In the Army, John held leadership positions in the infantry, from platoon leader and company commander to battalion executive officer. As a staff officer, John’s last assignment in the military was at the Pentagon, where he led intelligence and operational teams into the Soviet Union in support of inspections for the INF Treaty.

As a defense contractor, he expanded his focus on former Soviet republics, leading numerous teams to Russia, Belarus, and Ukraine, supporting US foreign policy and Department of Defense objectives during the post-Soviet thaw in the mid ‘90s.

As a management consultant, John was an executive of boutique firm, Meridian Ventures, LLC. He participated in and led engagements for Mobil, Avery Dennison, Home Shopping Network, Hanover Direct, and other Fortune 500 companies.

In his 16-year financial planning career, John served as a client-facing advisor for five years, followed by 11 years as a front-line field leader of three financial advisory offices in Maryland and Delaware.

John and his wife, Ellen, have three children and nine grandchildren. They currently live in Annapolis, MD.

Education, Certifications, and Boards:

  • Education and Languages
  • BS, United States Military Academy, West Point, NY
  • MA, Cornell University
  • US Naval Command and Staff College, Newport, RI
  • Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC), The American College of Financial Services
  • Certified Professional Business Coach (CPBC), Professional Business Coaches Alliance
  • Russian: professional proficiency
  • French: limited conversational proficiency
  • Vice President, Alumni Council, The American College of Financial Services

Areas of Expertise

In his current role as a leadership coach, John’s primary focus areas are executive communication, time management, and advisor recruiting and training.

He works with executives and field leaders on their personal rapport with their teams, helping them address people challenges and systemic concerns within their businesses. He also works directly with financial advisors, coaching them on client communication and service.

He has devised a time management matrix to assist leaders in prioritizing their life goals and work tasks to focus on what matters most.

In recruiting and training, John has assisted clients to strengthen their accession process, merging onboarding and long-term comprehensive training to improve selection and retention.

John has served as a speaker and seminar presenter for active duty military communities and federal employees, promoting financial literacy and personal responsibility. In addition, he is a speaker for the GAMA Speakers Bureau, and has given presentations to practitioners in the life insurance and financial advisory communities.

Recognition and Awards

  • Top 20% of 500 member advisor force for each year as advisor.
  • Top 20% of field leadership force for 10 of 11 years as a field leader.
  • 2012, GAMA International Award for First in Class, as the top recruiter and field leader out of 65 peers in his company.


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