Ep. 172 – Leadership and Life Lessons From a Blue Angel Pilot – with John Foley
John Foley has some serious flying skills, but for him what’s truly important as a team member, leader, and mentor is connecting with people who have a deep connection to who they are and why they’re there.
John had an amazing childhood, where he received both wisdom and love from his parents, who created a supportive environment for his dreams. His father was an army instructor at West Point and John wanted to be an army officer just like him – until he saw an air show and decided that he wanted to be a pilot.
Of course, there were also rules in John’s family, and the self-discipline he developed as a child served him well when he went to study at the United States Naval Academy. He played college football while he was there and, after graduation, trained as a fighter pilot. Moving up the ranks, he then became an instructor pilot and later joined the Blue Angels, the United States Navy’s flight demonstration squadron.
John’s hairy experiences in the Blue Angels included flying into Russian air space shortly after the end of the Cold War to do a show and seeing Russian fighter jets coming towards his plane. Fortunately, the Russians were also keen to make friends and John ended up waving at one of the Russians from his cockpit.
Flying in a squadron means that you and your teammates literally rely on each other to stay alive, and in this episode John talks about how it’s so important to hold up your end of the deal and do your job well. He explains that he sees a huge difference between being scared and being afraid. To him being scared just means, “Hey, I need to do my job. Everybody’s counting on me.” Being fearful means that you go into defense mode.
John’s new book, Fearless Success, is about the secrets that elite performers know and practice on a daily basis. You can buy it from Amazon and other booksellers, but if you get it from his website, it comes with a free second book, Breaking Beliefs.
Some of John’s tips include:
- Worry about performing well, not on the outcome.
- Take negative thoughts and put them in the back of your head so you can focus on what you need to do
- The key to doing something difficult is visualization and focus
Another one of the secrets to success revealed in the book is that he meditates every morning. He says gratitude is so important because, “Gratefulness changes the way you see the world. And then the way the world sees you changes too.”
Don’t be a podcast junkie…
- Read: Fearless Success
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/johnfoleyinc
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JohnFoleyInc
- LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/johnfoleyinc/
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