Jonathan Gifford

Jonathan Gifford – Ghostwriter

I am a business author and a ghostwriter specialising in leadership biographies and business stories.


I write books and op ed articles for businesspeople.

In recent years I have ghostwritten, among other projects, a major autobiography of a leading UK businessman and adventurer; a thought-leading book by a global policy analyst; a “how to” guide on buying small pieces privately-owned land to become your own property developer; a US banking consultant’s account of his business and management philosophy; an ex-Olympics sports coach and leadership consultant’s account of how he helps clients develop their own personal leadership model; and a series of op-ed pieces on life success and long-term wellbeing by an organisational consultant and personal advisor.

I have five books published under my own name by Marshall Cavendish International: History Lessons (2010), 100 Great Leadership Ideas (2010), Blindsided (2012), 100 More Great Leadership Ideas (2013) and 100 Great Business Leaders (2013). These books have been translated into Chinese, Thai, Indonesian and Korean. History Lessons is in its second edition; 100 Great Leadership Ideas is in its third edition. Ideas from my Great Leadership Ideas books feature in Marshall Cavendish’s An Idea a Day and More Ideas a Day. I have also co-authored four books with senior management consultant Dr Mark Powell: My Steam Engine is Broken (2016), Perform to Win (2016), Machiavellian Intelligence (2017) and The Five Principles of Performance Thinking (2019), all published by LID Publishing.

My own op ed pieces have been published in The Huffington Post, The Guardian, Culture University, London’s Metro newspaper, History News Network and various HR and management journals. I happily produce 500-2000-word op eds at short notice when an issue is topical and there is an opportunity to place articles with interested media outlets.

As a ghostwriter, I like to make life for the author as easy as possible. Written notes or early drafts are not essential, though always welcome. I talk at length with authors (typically virtually) before beginning to assemble core ideas into a proposed framework. Once this is agreed, I carry out any desk research needed to flesh out and support the ideas and interview any third parties the author directs me to. Then I start writing.

As the project begins to take shape, we revisit each element to reassure ourselves that it tells a compelling story and hooks the reader in at every stage. I pride myself on my versality and on delivering the right tone of voice for every author. I write quickly: once I know what needs to be said, I write several thousand words a day.

I am based in Oxford, UK, but I have worked with authors from all over the USA, from Africa and from the United Arab Emirates.

And I'm a nice guy and fun to work with!

Biographies & Memoirs Business & Management Political Science & Current Affairs Self-Help & Self-Improvement
English (UK)
  • Published works
  • Member of the Association of Ghostwriters

Work experience


Oct, 2015 — Present

Marshall Cavendish International and LID Publishing

Jul, 2009 — Present

I have five books published by Marshall Cavendish International: History Lessons; Blindsided; 100 Great Leadership Ideas; 100 More Great Leadership Ideas and 100 Great Business Leaders.

I have four books published by LID Publishing co-authored with management and strategy consultant Dr Mark Powell: My Steam Engine is Broken; Perform to Win; Machiavellian Intelligence and The Five Principle of Performance Thinking.


Oct, 2006 — Mar, 2015 (over 8 years)

After founding my own advertising and design consultancy I began to work closely with the founder of Definitely Mably creative services and together we co-founded the digital advertising agency Bluequest.

BBC Worldwide

Feb, 1992 — Oct, 2006 (over 14 years)

Working on BBC Magazines' specialist titles: BBC Wildlife, BBC History and BBC Music Magazines. I was the launch publisher of BBC History Magazine in 2000.


Apr, 1989 — Feb, 1992 (almost 3 years)

Co-founder of advertising sales consultancy.

National Newspapers

Nov, 1979 — Apr, 1989 (over 9 years)

In the 80s worked on the commercial side of various national Newspapers: The Guardian, The Star, The Sunday Express and the Mail on Sunday.


Book Ghostwriting
Book Ghostwriting
Book Ghostwriting
Book Ghostwriting
Made with Reedsy
Lessons in Leadership: Volume 1: The Bully

Grayson, Shaundala

Independently published

Book Ghostwriting
Book Ghostwriting
Pericles of Athens, Lorenzo of Florence, Alexander the Great, Genghis Khan, Elizabeth I, Napoleon Bonaparte, Zhou Enlai, Ghandi, Lee Kuan Yew – these are just some of the great names who changed the course of history. Far from being dated and irrelevant, their... read more
The best way to secure yourself against being 'let go' in the modern economy is to rise to a level within the corporation where you are making the strategic decisions, not bearing the brunt of their consequences. It may be tough at the top, but it's dangerous ... read more
This book explores and demonstrates the transformative learning experiences that organizations and their leaders can derive from the arts. It is through the arts that we have always explored our humanity: through dance and music; art and sculpture; theatre and... read more
The typical structure of today's corporate organization was essentially invented in the nineteenth century and based deliberately on the military's "command and control" model and on the hierarchical pyramid of the Catholic Church. As such, it is outmoded and ... read more
The success of every great company or popular brand is often the vision of a great leader. Here in this book, we profile 100 Great Business Leaders, giving an account of their business career, demonstrating the innovations, opportunities and business principle... read more
Human beings, it seems safe to say, are irredeemably selfish, greedy, short-sighted and prone to mass delusion. Time and again throughout history, business and society have been blindsided by people's irrational and unpredictable behaviour. More often than we ... read more
If you are a manager in today's business environment, demonstrating that you have leadership skills is essential to success. But what does it take to become an effective and influential business manager and leader? There are no sure-fire ways, but you can take... read more

Jonathan has 6 reviews





Mike B.

Mike B.

Jun, 2024

Jonathan was fabulous to work with. He took a genuine interest in my memoir and was consistently careful to improve my telling of the stories while maintaining my voice. He started with a thoughtful overview of my whole book, and asked good questions about my goals, approach and themes. He kept careful track of all the edits he was proposing throughout the process and was happy to spend as much...
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Ben C.

Ben C.

May, 2023

Jonathan is excellent at what he does and has really allowed me to take my ideas and energy and put them into the words needed on the page. It’s been an incredibly easy and enjoyable process and I find Jonathan possesses great integrity, skill and really adds to the process. For me, ghostwriters are the difference to you either having a book or not. I would 100% recommend Jonathan to others.
Patrick F.

Patrick F.

Nov, 2022

Jonathan was a fantastic partner who managed to deliver a complex topic within a short period of time. He’s easy to communicate with, punctual, and very thorough. Would definitely recommend.
Jonathan G.
Thanks Patrick, it was a pleasure working with you.
Isabel G.

Isabel G.

Jul, 2020

Jonathan is an amazing listener; he's attentive to detail and easily captures his clients' voice. Plus, he's also kind, thoughtful, and funny. I am enchanted by his professionalism and how fast he can deliver high-quality content. It has been delightful to work with him.
Wayne W.

Wayne W.

Jun, 2020

Jonathan made the process very easy! This was my first significant writing project, and Jonathan helped to keep us on track. I had about 19,000 words written when we met. Most of that was at the front of the book with a basic outline of ideas for the later chapters. I simply ran out of available time to continue my own progress with the task of writing. Jonathan completed my thoughts, add...
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