John Foley

High Performance in Action

Foley, John

High Performance in Action
Fee Code : 4

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About John Foley

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.

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’s presentations are marked by three overriding traits:

  • A contagious attitude of thankfulness that he calls Glad To Be Here®.
  • An energizing delivery that inspires High Performance with a purpose larger than self.
  • A practical model for living out his message that works in other organizations as well as within the Blue Angels.

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.

The High Performance Climb

John shares his first-hand experience in a culture that pushes High Performance to the extremes, flying at times as close as 36 inches apart at speeds of more than 400 knots – upside down! See how John helps audience members understand their High Performance gaps and begin a High Performance Climb to close them.

Team Oneness

It takes more than six highly skilled pilots to make the Blue Angels the best flight demonstration squadron in the world. In fact, the Blue Angels are a team of more than 120 members operating with a commitment to High Performance. That team oneness isn’t dictated; it’s developed. Learn how the Blues create a team atmosphere of trust and respect that empowers its members. Learn how you can create an environment that has team members eagerly opting into this type of Blue Angel team oneness.

Belief Levels: Soaring to New Heights

As human beings, we don’t perform at our full potential. We perform at a Belief Level. Understanding our Belief Levels is a key to turning any vision into a new reality. Listen as John describes how he elevated his Belief Levels so that he could join the top 1/10th of 1/10th of 1 percent of all pilots — the Blue Angels.

Trust: Executing with Precision

The “Knife Edge pass” is a highly precise maneuver originally developed by John Foley and one of his teammates when they were Blue Angels. It involves the two solo pilots flying directly at each other and crossing a CenterPoint at the same time and at the same altitude — without hitting each other. Listen as John describes how Contracts — verbal and nonverbal — played a vital role in creating the type of trust essential to executing that maneuver and why that type of trust is key to operational excellence in every organization.


“John’s presentation was exceptional! He hit the mark on the issues we are dealing with. Our entire group is using the Glad To Be Here® approach since we’ve returned. I’m amazed at how one 90-minute presentation has changed the mentality of our people. John’s Blue Angel approach to performance works!”
– Eric Murphy, Chief Sales and Marketing Officer, Ingenix

“John Foley did an awesome job for us. His skills in preparing and listening to the issues we are facing and then incorporating those into his presentation are fabulous. The feedback from my field force was absolutely incredible. I’ve had the whole grand scheme of motivational speakers and John Foley was the most well tied together presentation we have ever had.”
– Hugh O’Toole, Senior VP of Sales & Distribution, Mass Mutual

“Flying 36 inches from wingtip to canopy requires the kind of precision, clarity, and discipline that I truly believe you can directly apply to every aspect of your life, and to your sales effort, every single day.”
– Hayward L. Sawyer. Principal, E2 Financial Distributors

“John made such an impression that people are still talking about his presentation two years later. I’m excited about bringing him back for an encore.”
– Bob Mirman, Founder and CEO, Eliant, Inc.

“John Foley shows you how to take complicated endeavors and make them simple as you strive for global excellence.”
– Tony Sarsam, Executive VP Operations – Dreyer’s Grand Ice Cream