Creating a culture of excellence

TBK: Episode 13

This episode features an interview with John Foley, former lead pilot of the Blue Angels, keynote speaker, and bestselling author. After more than 20 years in the military, flying jets off aircraft carriers and performing in Fleet Week, John is an expert on high-performance teams. In this episode, he discusses how to improve team performance by 300% by creating a culture of excellence. He explains how to do that by building a high level of trust, a commitment to improvement and the idea that a spot on the team has to be earned.

Headshot of John Foley, Former Lead Pilot of the Blue Angels

About the guest

John is a former lead solo pilot of the Blue Angels, Sloan Fellow at Stanford School of Business, a bestselling author, and an expert in high-performance teams. His Fearless Success System has transformed thousands of organizations around the globe.


"Any elite person, anyone in business, in life, has this ability to focus, this mental toughness. So how do you block out distractions? How do you focus down on what’s important? That’s why data’s so important. What do I need to know? Okay, got it. Focus down.”

“Here’s the beautiful part: it’s not just about you, it’s about the team. It’s this beautiful combination of personal mastery of excellence, and then connection to your teammates, alignment, commitments, and these high-trust contracts.”

“You need to have the mindset first. I call that mindset ‘Glad to be here,’ which is the ethos of being grateful and appreciative to have the opportunity. But also to bring in your operational excellence. You’ve got to earn the right to be there every single day. And that’s how I felt on the Blue Angels.”


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