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John Foley

Former Lead Solo Pilot, The Blue Angels

John Foley is a leadership keynote speaker who inspires audiences with his energy and his commitment to serving others, while also providing a unique leadership framework that makes trust, teamwork and high performance possible for anyone in any organization. His exciting, rare journey inspires awe, triggering keynote audiences to take action and rethink what they believe is possible.

Boise, Idaho, USA


High Performance
High Performance is a mindset, a process and a state of being that accelerates everyday achievement. Individuals and teams that embrace High Performance begin a journey toward excellence and elevated execution that has the power to carry them beyond their dreams. John Foley will take your team to the next level with this unique, high-voltage Keynote experience that will go beyond all expectations and leave a lasting drive for reaching high performance at all levels.

Teams become elite because of leadership, a commitment to excellence and a proven process. As companies transform their DNA and pivot their business to compete in the new digital paradigm, the ability to develop transformational leadership and enable workforce evolution is a critical competitive advantage. The potential of elite performance lives within every individual, every team and every organization. It takes intentional leadership to enable that potential and turn it into focused action.

John challenges today’s leaders to inspire collaboration and elevate trust among teams. Teamwork is the collective potential of individuals harnessed to create an exponential outcome of a unit. Effective teamwork requires many variables including trust, communication, a belief in a purpose greater than self, and a common goal. A CenterPoint is a single reference point or a shared goal that holds the collective focus of a team. The concept of CenterPoint can be used to create unified, powerful action in any organization. A well and clearly communicated CenterPoint helps individuals maintain a vision of goals and objectives. For teams, an effective CenterPoint keeps actions focused on priorities while inspiring collaboration, which leads to faster outcomes, innovation and elevated trust. Identifying and aligning your teams on a CenterPoint keeps action directed toward desired outcomes while still allowing teams to be adaptable.

How would your teams perform if there was complete inherent trust in each other and the organization? Implicit contracts are all around us. They bind our world together, and they are part of the natural fabric of any business. Research shows that vocalizing contracts, and establishing them in a formal agreement can lead to increased productivity because both employees and managers recognize the risk inherent in breaking trust contracts. Acknowledging and improving these agreements can have substantial positive effects. Because contracts permeate the entire organization, turning your attention to them has the ability to elevate both trust in individuals and teams. Contracts present an opportunity to build trust. Trust is well known as a necessary component—if not the most important variable—of successful teams.

  • Never before in the history of our event has anyone ignited the audience the way John did. Learning from John how gratitude, trust and the pursuit of perfection help the best of the best become even better was a truly powerful experience that I will carry with me for the rest of my life.

    - Head of Consulting, C2 Management
  • John combined captivating stories about the Blue Angels with his leadership and business savvy, delivering a first-class performance that both educated and enlightened. Truly inspiring and first class!

    - CEO, Tiger Paw Software
  • John has a way of connecting with the audience that's meaningful and his message resonates! He's inspiring, humble and connects with all participants on many different levels. John's framework will help any company or team achieve even greater results without question.

    - Chief Sales & Marketing Officers, Wyndham Vacation Ownership
  • John is the single best speaker I have ever heard in person. He delivers a dynamic and compelling keynote and masterfully converts the principles of the Blues that translate to your business.

    - Co-Founder, Global Sports Summit
  • John lit up the crowd. Energetic, funny, and inspiring…..but more important than that- relevant. This is a content driven speech. Lots of “Thunder & Lightning.

    - President, Beeline

Summary Profile

John’s presentations provide a contagious attitude of thankfulness that he calls Glad To Be Here®. His energizing delivery inspires high performance through a focus on a purpose larger than self. John shares the Blue Angels’ practical model for living out his message that works in organizations outside the elite flight squadron.

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. To survive those circumstances, he relied on a culture of high trust and leadership that turned inherently unforgiving flights 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 methodology that inspires greatness while propelling others on their own journey to high performance.

John graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy with a degree in mechanical engineering. He was a defensive back for the Midshipmen, playing in two bowl games and helping Navy to one of the best four-year records in 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 net speaking fees to charities through the foundation, working with every client to donate 5% to charities of their choosing. Through the Foundation, more than 100 global charities have received $1M in donations. It’s part of John’s mission to connect a shared “purpose larger than self” with every organization.

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, Sunovion, Reach Air, Adecco, Gillette, McDonalds, and Million Dollar Round Table.