David Clutterbuck has made tremendous contributions to both coaching and mentoring
theory and practice over the past three decades. One of the pleasures of reading David
Clutterbuck’s work is that he communicates clearly without jargon, a tribute perhaps to his
journalistic background. He captures what is known or believed about a topic at the time and
is not afraid to say that things have changed or that his predictions have not yet come to pass.
By articulating the conceptions of coaching and mentoring at a particular point in time,
Clutterbuck allows us to recognise the changes that take place over time as well as the
changes in different contexts, changes that can be almost imperceptible unless someone
draws our attention to them. In this commentary, I will focus on the evolving definitions of
mentoring that are explicit in Clutterbuck’s work and consider the distinction between
coaching and mentoring.