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John Foley Idaho
John Foley

John's personal path to High Performance began as a child, when he stood alongside his father at an air show featuring the Blue Angels. From that moment, John knew deep in his heart that someday he'd be carving up the skies as a member of the Blues.

Eventually, he lived that dream, but getting there wasn't easy. In fact, John's journey from an awe-struck child at an air show to the cockpit of the Blue Angels' F/A-18 Hornet is a study in persistence, hard work and the will to overcome obstacles and setbacks.

Those ideals fit within three overriding traits that mark John's presentations:

  • 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.

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 for 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 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 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.


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  • Diamond Performance Framework - The Diamond Performance Framework - or DPF - is based on John Foley's experiences as a Navy fighter pilot, including three years with the Blue Angels. John applied those experiences to the business theory he learned at Stanford as a Sloan Fellow, and then refined it by working with some of the highest performing organizations in the corporate world.

    The Diamond Performance Framework builds on the strategic management theory that teaches vision, planning, execution and feedback by incorporating extreme levels of buy-in and commitment. It includes four components - Belief Levels, Brief, Contracts and Debrief - that take place around an agreed upon CenterPoint and with a shared mindset known as Glad To Be Here. The result is a spiraling upward process that incrementally closes performance gaps and leads to exponential improvements in results. This framework provides the foundation for keynotes that address a multitude of topics around leadership, management, and team effectiveness.

  • The Path: Create a Glad to BE Here Culture - John Foley takes leaders along a three-stage path to give them a full understanding of the Diamond Performance Framework so they can put it into practice in their daily work. The stops along each path provide learning opportunities comprehensive enough to add value regardless of the order in which they are experienced, and flexible enough to work alone or as a complement to other training programs.

    Typically, teams first experience the message through a keynote presentation that uses behind the-scenes videos of the Blue Angels in action to unpack the components of the framework. The second stop along the path provides lessons that deepen their understanding and their ability to apply what they've learned in specific, practical ways to their daily jobs. The final spot on the path allows for a broadening of the message by spreading the Glad To Be Here vision and values throughout an organization.
Ignited
Glad To Be Here® Debrief: Activating High Performance for Teams

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