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John  Foley

John Foley

Former Lead Solo Pilot, US Navy Blue Angels

Biography

In 2015, John Foley has been recognized as one of the top 10 most in demand speakers. John has spoken to some of the Highest Performing organizations such as, Microsoft, Hitachi, Intel, Cisco, Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Goodyear, Chevron, Lowe’s, Marriott, Wyndham Hotels, Hilton, Penske Racing, Rawlings, LA Kings, Sprint, Motorola, Merrill Lynch, Mass Mutual, Capital Group, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, GE Capital, American Hospital Association, Merck, Reach Air, Adecco, Gillette, McDonalds, and Million Dollar Round Table. Read More >

He is a former lead solo pilot of the Blue Angels, a Sloan Fellow at Stanford School of Business, a gratitude guru and an expert in the how of High Performance teams. His exciting, rare journey inspires awe, triggering audiences to take action and rethink what they believe is possible. John employs those intense realities as a metaphor to motivate teams and individuals to reach their highest potential while empowering organizations to sustain excellence under dynamic change.

John consistently performed in an extreme, high-stakes environment, flying at speeds of more than 500 miles per hour and in formations as close as 18 inches apart. To survive in those circumstances, he relied on a culture of high trust and leadership that turns inherently unforgiving flight into extraordinary experiences. He employs those intense realities as a metaphor to motivate teams to reach for their highest potential and empower organizations to sustain excellence under dynamic change.

John’s post-Naval experiences as an entrepreneur and a Sloan Fellow at the Stanford Graduate School of Business put him in a unique position to reverse-engineer the culture of excellence and teamwork found in the Blue Angels. He has created a framework and a mythology that inspires greatness while propelling others on their own journey toward Higher Performance.

John graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy with a degree in mechanical engineering. He also was a defensive back for the Midshipmen, playing in two bowl games and helping Navy to one of the best four-year records in its football history. As a pilot, John was a “Top Ten Carrier Pilot” six times before becoming a Marine instructor pilot and a Blue Angel. He holds master’s degrees in business management, from the Stanford Graduate School of Business (as a Sloan Fellow); in international policy studies, from Stanford University; and in strategic studies, from the Naval War College.

In 2011, John founded the Glad To Be Here® Foundation. John donates 10% of his speaking fees to charities through the foundation. John works with every client to donate 5% to charities of their choosing. Through this program over 100 charities and 1 million dollars have impacted thousands of lives globally. It’s part of his mission to connect a shared “purpose larger than self” with every organization. Read Less ^

Speaker Videos

The John Foley Experience

WHY

Finding Your CenterPoint

High Performance Pyramid

Glad To Be Here

Speech Topics

Drive the Ball: Sustaining Excellence & Leading Through Change

We live in a time of rapid development. Business culture is evolving and mergers, acquisitions, and global expansion help create new opportunities. Smart companies keep ahead of the curve, but those willing to push the limits of what is possible - the .01 percent - are breaking the curve. Read More >

Speaker John Foley has worked closely with top professionals from Fortune 500 companies, major league sports franchises, and healthcare service corporations and has discovered that at the crux of their challenges is one burning question: How do they adapt to change?

"Drive the Ball" is the answer to that question. This keynote will help you in the following areas:

  • Create sustained innovation: Foley will share how creating group unity helped him innovate maneuvers for the Blue Angels
  • Communication & Collaboration: Foley will help you unlock the wealth of experience in your organization
  • Continuity & Mastery: using the "diamond performance framework," Foley will help you master the Blue Angel methodology
  • Proactive vs. Reactive Habits: Foley will teach you the proactive habits of top Navy pilots that can help your organization adapt to changing business realities

"Drive the Ball" equips companies with actionable tools that create a culture of sustained excellence and reinforce the "diamond performance framework." Foley's tailored messages resonate with even the most diverse audiences. His enthusiasm is contagious and his story is inspirational. Read Less ^

The High-Performance Climb

Every organization depends upon the performance of its people and its teams. There are few examples where this is more dramatically demonstrated than with the Blue Angels. John Foley draws upon his experience as Lead Solo of the Blue Angels to inspire audiences and show them how to achieve substantially higher levels of performance. Read More >

Foley demonstrates a simple, systematic, yet exciting approach for how to develop the clarity, focus, commitment, and trust necessary to achieve ever-higher levels of performance. He shows how to create buy-in and commitment for a team’s vision and goals, leading to clarity that drives execution decisions. He demonstrates how learning to focus prepares individuals for action and increases successful outcomes. In this insightful program, he emphasizes the development of trust and respect among team members as essential to execution, and demonstrates proven ways for teams to achieve deep levels of trust. He also explains a process that he believes is the primary key to continuous improvement and exceptional growth.

He drives home his message with dynamic videos of his adrenaline-pumping performance with the Blue Angels. His charismatic and enthusiastic presentations stimulate audiences emotionally and intellectually with a whole new perspective on their ability to excel. They leave the event not only transformed, but also with a set of concrete tools to immediately begin a high performance climb. Read Less ^

Employee Commitment

When people are deeply engaged in their work and feel valued, they are more productive and elective, leading to a positive impact on the bottom line. Foley shares how management can stimulate performance by creating a culture that values expression of gratitude and appreciation—for opportunities, co-workers, and clients. With his signature “Glad to be Here”® mantra, Foley discusses the power behind gratitude as a way of thinking, working, and living. He shows how a culture of thankfulness engages employees on an intellectual and emotional level to create deeper commitment and raise levels of performance.

Team Oneness

The importance of teams being in sync is a concept that Foley understands profoundly. The Blue Angels must be closely aligned in thought and action in order to accomplish their mission. Through their interdependence as a team, members challenge and stimulate each other to achieve higher levels of team and individual performance. In this dynamic presentation, Foley addresses the essential elements of exceptional team performance and makes them relevant, simple, and immediately actionable. He shares how to center a team around shared goals, strengthen relationships, and create unity that leads to consistent and elective results.

Living the High Performance Zone (Half Day)

In addition to delivering The High Performance Climb keynote, Foley will lead your group in a focused breakout session that expands on the Diamond Performance Framework and applies it to the real situations your group is facing. Foley uses a proprietary Pre-Flight Briefing tool to research the issues your group is experiencing and then breaks down the issues using his high performance team approach.

The How of High Performance (Three-Quarter Day)

Foley will deliver The High Performance Climb keynote and the Living the High Performance Zone breakout with a third event (breakout) around having open, honest and powerful conversations about the nature of high performance and how the Blue Angels applied their model to recruiting, selection, training and mentoring.

Connect with John Foley