Patrick Houlahan

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Former United States Marine Corps “Top Gun” Fighter Pilot Founder and CEO of Strategic Leadership Consultants LLC

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1 Video(s) By This Presenter

Topgun Lessons Learned

6 Programs By This Presenter

In speaking, delivering the presentation should be the easiest part of the engagement. It’s the pre and post work that makes all the difference. This process consistently delivers engagements that the leadership team and audience reflect on three, six, or 12 months down the road and state, “that was worth my time. I learned a lot and I can apply it.”

In this presentation, Patrick Houlahan reviews his tried and true process to deliver TOPGUN-worthy presentations and workshops to an audience.

Beyond being a cool movie, TOPGUN, and the more recent movie MAVERICK, displayed the elite of the elite: elite fighter pilots, elite teamwork, and the dedication it takes to succeed on any mission. You need an elite, high-performing team to complete your missions in your business. But how do you lead a high-performing team? How do you create a high-performing team in the first place? What are the key behaviors and attributes needed?

Hard work, introspection, attention to detail, and a charge to hold yourself and all those around you to the highest standards are the attributes that identify a TOPGUN pilot. However, these attributes are not reserved for the top 1% of Naval Aviators. It is possible for you and your team to execute at the same level as a TOPGUN pilot.

As a kid, I thought it would be cool to be a TOPGUN pilot when the first movie came out. However, it wasn’t until I graduated from TOPGUN that I began to understand what it really meant to be a “TOPGUN” graduate. I flew fighters for 21 years and was a TOPGUN graduate for 14 years during that time. I have been in the business world for 20 years, and the lessons I learned from TOPGUN aren’t reserved for just the best of the best. When you apply those principles to your business, you create high-performing teams and succeed inside and outside your organization.

In my presentation “TOPGUN Lessons Learned,” you’ll learn the top six lessons (Purpose, Dedication, Humility and Honesty, Tough Love, Teamwork, and Debrief) from TOPGUN and how they can be used in business to develop and lead high-performing teams. Apply these lessons, and your high-performing team will be the TOP 1% in your marketplace and achieve any mission they are given.

Patrick’s interactive presentation gives you and your team:

  • LEARN six critical lessons from the United States Navy Fighter Weapons School, TOPGUN.

  • APPLY these lessons to the teams you lead and serve.

  • BUILD high-performing teams to change the game in your organization.

Leadership happens at all levels, or at least it should. Leadership can make or break an organization in an increasingly competitive employment market.

Where do our rising leaders learn to be inspired, compassionate, mission-driven leaders?

What are the key principles they should follow?

You want to train and retain your best talent to achieve your company’s strategic goals. Having simple yet effective leadership principles for all organizational leaders is critical for success. As a TOPGUN-trained Marine fighter pilot for 27 years and the founder of Strategic Leadership Consultants, Patrick understands and teaches the importance of creating a leadership structure that provides teams with the necessary training and empowerment to get the job done.

In “Simplifying Leadership: Keys to Leading a Successful Team,” Patrick delivers the key leadership principles necessary to take your leadership and team’s performance to the next level. He shares what he has learned as a TOPGUN fighter pilot and 20 years of leading top executives and millennials in the business world.

When your team commits to these leadership principles, your business will retain your top talent and create the next generation of leaders to achieve your business goals.

The interactive presentation will help your team members:

  • APPLY the key leadership principles required to INSPIRE and BUILD mission-driven teams.

  • BUILD key leadership principles paramount to employee morale and productivity.

  • FOSTER a team-first mentality to aid in retaining your most valued employees.

The mission is complete, the sale is won or lost, and the quarter is over. What comes next?

Is it time to go after the next client or get started on the next quarter?

No. It is time to have a DEBRIEF. Reviewing what your team did right, what they did wrong, what they can improve, and what they can learn is critical to the growth of the team and the success of the next mission. As a military and business professional, nothing is finished until the DEBRIEF is completed.

Unfortunately, most organizations don’t DEBRIEF because they think they don’t have the time, don’t plan for it, or don’t know how. Further compounding the problem, they only DEBRIEF when something has gone wrong. This makes DEBRIEFING a negative experience.

DEBRIEFING is a Teaching and Learning opportunity. It is non-punitive in nature. The whole goal is to learn what we are doing well, repeat those actions, and negate the “others” that cause us to fall short.

In “Communication is Key: The Art of the DEBRIEF,” your teams will learn the steps and the art form of leading and conducting an effective debrief. Most reviews uncover surface-level causes and do not get to the root of the issue. Get the heart of the matter, so you don’t miss the opportunities to build best practices that can exponentially impact your business going forward.

Patrick’s interactive presentation will teach your team members:

  • DEBRIEF principles and APPLY them to your business.

  • LEAD and CONDUCT an effective debrief.

  • CREATE an open, honest, and inclusive environment where a culture of debriefing can flourish.

  • DRIVE agility and IMPROVE performance throughout the organization.

Life is hard. Pandemics, politics, business setbacks, and personal setbacks can drag down even the most dedicated and successful person and team. Charles Swindoll says,“…life is 10 percent what happens to us and 90 percent how we respond to it.”

How do we bounce back and lead our teams?

How do we take a seemingly terrible experience and dig ourselves out?

How do we ensure the “bads” do not define our lives and careers?

In “Resiliency: How to Build and Lead a Resilient Team,” you’ll hear professional and personal stories of resiliency. Stories that nearly doomed Patrick’s TOPGUN dream to being “let-go” in the business world, leading to newfound success.

Success isn’t predetermined. To succeed, leaders, teams, and any organization need to rise above challenging situations to persevere and reach great heights. Personal and professional resiliency is paramount for any high-performing team.

Your team members will experience:

  • LEADING during challenging times and building resilient teams.

  • PERSEVERING to keep moving forward, turning failures into successes.

  • PROCESSING and USING tools individuals and teams use to ensure the lows are never too low.

“We agree all the time at the executive level, but then things break down below us.” Has this happened in your organization? We know it can, but why does it happen?

Unfortunately, many companies do not build effective, action-based plans throughout their organization. This dilutes their strategic direction. Planning takes effort, but as Yogi Berra reminds us, “If you don’t know where you are going, you’ll end up someplace else.”

In “Fast and Effective Planning: Link Tactical Actions to Strategic Direction,” your teams will learn how to plan and ensure a line of sight from the frontline employees to the organization’s strategic direction.

This interactive presentation will teach team members to:

  • UNDERSTAND the “why” and REINFORCE the strategic direction when building a plan.

  • BUILD a consensus and alignment behind the President’s/CEO’s strategic direction and WORK effectively across boundaries.

  • BUILD effective, actionable plans and LINK tactical actions to the strategic direction.

  • PLAN and EXECUTE during a crisis


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