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Patrick Houlahan keynote speaker
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Patrick Houlahan

    • Founder and CEO of Strategic Leadership Consultants LLC
    • Former United States Marine Corps “Top Gun” Fighter Pilot
    • Management Executive Consultant, Organizational Development Executive, and Entrepreneur
Full Bio
In Person-Fee 🛈

$10,000 - $15,000

Virtual Fee:

$7,500 - $10,000

Travels From


TOPGUN Lessons Learned

TOPGUN Lessons Learned

Strategic Leadership Consulting

Strategic Leadership Consulting

Patrick Houlahan Speaker Biography

Patrick Houlahan is the Founder and CEO of Strategic Leadership Consultants LLC. Founded in 2019, Strategic Leadership Consultants’ mission is to Build Inspired, Compassionate, Mission-Driven Leaders. Since 2019, Patrick has conducted Keynotes, led Workshops, and Consulted with numerous organizations such as State Farm, Technology Marketing Toolkit, Association of Inside Sale Professionals, and Mission Produce. Patrick has had a distinguished career in both the military and business world.

Patrick graduated from The Citadel in 1992 and was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps. He was stationed in San Diego, CA. serving as a fighter pilot flying the F/A-18 Hornet and deployed twice to the Western Pacific. Patrick graduated from the United States Navy Post Graduate Fighter Weapons School, “Top Gun,” and served as an instructor pilot. In 2003, Patrick was selected as the Instructor Pilot of the Year.

After leaving active duty in 2004, Patrick flew the A-10 Warthog with the United States Air Force Reserves and joined the Marine Corps Reserves in 2006. After returning to the Marine Corps, he established the first Reserve Training Unit and continued to serve as an Instructor Pilot. As a reservist, Patrick deployed to Al Assad, Iraq and again to the Western Pacific.

Patrick has trained over 500 replacement aircrew, accumulated over 2800 hours of flight time, and rose to the rank of Colonel. He is a graduate of the United States Marine Corps Amphibious Warfare School, the United States Marine Corps Command and Staff College, and earned his Master of Strategic Studies as a Distinguished Graduate of the United States Army War College. Patrick has served in a variety of roles in the Marine Corps including as a Supply Officer, Maintenance Officer, Operations Officer, and Unit Officer in Charge.

In 2004, after Patrick left active duty and joined Afterburner Inc.. Patrick quickly rose to become an Executive Consultant and Director of Seminars. In 2006 was selected as the San Diego’s MPI (Meeting Professionals International) Speaker of the Year. During his 13-year career at Afterburner, Patrick led over 450 keynotes, workshops, and consulting engagements with today's leading corporations such as Verizon, ExxonMobil, Medtronic, DOW, VMware and H&R Block to name a few.

Patrick has also worked as the account manager for Southern California for Kratos Public Safety and Security, as the Director of Business Development for Citadel Defense Company, and as the Organizational Development Executive (ODE) for Brooks International. As an ODE, Patrick worked with numerous executive leadership teams and was responsible for gaining consensus and alignment in support of the CEO’s imperative.
Throughout his career, Patrick recognized that the organizations that succeeded in any endeavor possessed great leaders. Those that did not, failed. Recognizing the need for leadership training, Patrick founded Strategic Leadership Consultants in 2019 to help organizations Build Inspired, Compassionate, Mission-Driven Leaders.

TOPGUN Lessons Learned
I remember seeing the original TOPGUN movie as a kid and thinking, “that’s awesome and really cool.” However, it wasn’t until I had earned my very own Naval Aviator Wings that I began to understand what it really meant to be a “TOPGUN” graduate.

Graduating from TOPGUN wasn’t just a rite of passage and it wasn’t just a check mark along a career path. It was a validation of hours upon countless hours of hard work, introspective reflection, and attention to detail that is beyond reproach. It also came with an almost mythical charge to hold yourself and all those around you to the highest of standards.

In addition to the tactical instruction, I also learned what it meant to wear the TOPGUN patch and to be a TOPGUN grad. The lessons I learned at TOPGUN and the ways of conducting oneself as a TOPGUN grad hold true in Naval Aviation as well as in the business world. They are effective and timeless.

In my presentation “TOPGUN Lessons Learned,” I discuss the top five lessons (Purpose, Dedication, Humility and Honesty, Tough Love, Debrief) I learned from TOPGUN and how they can be used in business to develop and lead high performing teams. They are not hard to understand. However, they do take dedication. Let me share these lessons with your clients and their teams and show them how to become the TOP 1% in their marketplace.

Patrick’s interactive presentation will help your team members:
➢ Understand five key lessons taken directly from the United States Navy Fighter Weapons School, “TOPGUN.”
➢ Understand how these principles apply to the teams they lead and are a part of.
➢ Understand how these lessons are a game changer in any organization and are key to building and having a high performing team.

Simplifying Leadership: Keys to Leading a Successful Team (especially in a crisis:)
Leadership happens at all levels or at least we expect that it should. But where do our rising leaders learn to be Inspired, Compassionate, Mission-Driven Leaders? What are the key principles they should follow?

In “Simplifying Leadership: Keys to Leading a Successful Team,” Patrick delivers the key leadership principles necessary to take your leadership and your team’s performance to the next level. The keys to leading successful teams are not hard to understand, but they do take commitment. Patrick shares what he has learned and experienced over the past 30 years, leading top executives and millennials alike.

Patrick’s interactive presentation will help your team members:
➢ Understand and APPLY the key leadership principles required to inspire and build mission-driven teams.
➢ Understand how the key leadership principles are of paramount importance to employee morale and productivity.
➢ Understand how the key leadership principles foster a team-first mentality and aid in retaining their most valued employees.

Communications is Key: The Art of the Debrief and Building a Debriefing Culture:
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 time to get started on the next quarter? No, it is time to have a debrief. Take this time to review what your team did right, what they did wrong, what they can improve, and what they can learn. As a military and business professional, nothing is finished until the debrief is completed.

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. Many companies review their productivity without ever getting to the heart of the matter. Unfortunately, they only review the surface-level causes and do not get to the root of the issue. They miss the opportunity to build best practices that can have an exponential impact on their business going forward.

Patrick’s interactive presentation will teach your team members:
➢ The steps and the art form of leading and conducting an effective debrief.
➢ How to create an open, honest, and inclusive environment where a culture of debriefing can flourish.
➢ How debriefing can drive agility and improved performance throughout their organization.

Resiliency: How to Build and Lead a Resilient Team:
Life is hard. Pandemics, Politics, Business setbacks, and Personal setbacks can drag down even the most dedicated and successful person and team. Charles Swindoll is credited with saying, “…life is 10 percent what happens to us and 90 percent how we respond to it." This is a perfect outlook for what we are dealing with today and what all of us have experienced at some point in our lifetime. 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,” Patrick shares professional and personal stories of resiliency that has led to his success. From the challenge that almost kept him from becoming a fighter pilot, the obstacle that nearly doomed his Top Gun dream, to being “let-go” in the business world, Patrick has always found a way to rise above the situation and persevere.

Patrick’s interactive presentation will teach your team members:
➢ How to lead during challenging times and build resilient teams.
➢ How to personally persevere and the one key step to keep moving forward and turn failures into successes.
➢ The processes and tools individuals and teams can use to ensure that the lows are never too low.

Fast and Effective Planning: Link Tactical Actions to Strategic Direction:
A senior executive once said, “We agree all the time at the executive level, but then things break down below us.” Has this happened in your organization? Believe me, this situation can happen anywhere. But why does it happen?

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 strategic direction of the organization. Unfortunately, many companies do not build effective actionable plans throughout their organization, which allows their strategic direction to become diluted. Planning takes effort, but as Yogi Berra reminds us, “If you don’t know where you are going, you’ll end up someplace else.”

Patrick’s interactive presentation will teach your team members:
➢ The importance of always understanding the “why” and reinforcing the strategic direction when building a plan.
➢ How to build consensus and alignment behind the President’s/CEO’s strategic direction and work effectively across boundaries.
➢ The critical steps to build effective actionable plans and how to link tactical actions to the strategic direction.
➢ How to plan and execute during a crisis

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Customer Rating 5

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October 17, 2022

Patrick did a fantastic job at our conference. He was a perfect fit for us and highly recommend him.

Clarity Benefit Solutions


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