Patrick Houlahan Profile

Patrick Houlahan is a top motivational speaker and is the Founder and CEO of Strategic Leadership Consulting, LLC. He rose to the rank of Colonel in the United States Marine Corps Reserve as an award-winning F/A-18 Hornet Instructor Pilot and graduated from the worldfamous United States Navy “TopGun” school. Patrick’s entertaining and thought-provoking keynotes teach audiences how to Build Inspired, Compassionate, Mission-Driven Leaders.

Patrick had a distinguished 27-year career in the United States Marine Corps as an Active Duty and Reserve fighter pilot. He was stationed in San Diego, CA. and participated in four sixmonth deployments: three to the Western Pacific and one to Al Assad, Iraq. Patrick was recognized as the Instructor Pilot of the Year and graduated from the United States Navy Post Graduate Fighter Weapons School, “Top Gun.” During his military career, he trained over 500 replacement aircrew, graduated from the United States Marine Corps Command and Staff College, earned his Master of Strategic Studies as a Distinguished Graduate of the United States Army War College, and served in a variety of leadership roles.

After leaving active duty in 2004, Patrick joined a management consulting company and quickly rose to become one of their top speakers. Over 13 years, Patrick delivered and conducted over 450 keynote presentations, training workshops, and consulting engagements with today’s leading corporations such as Verizon, ExxonMobil, Medtronic, DOW, VMware and H&R Block to name a few. He became an Executive Consultant/Director of Seminars and in 2006 was selected as the San Diego’s MPI (Meeting Professionals International) Speaker of the Year.

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 military and business 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 organization’s Build Inspired, Compassionate, Mission-Driven Leaders.

In addition to owning Strategic Leadership Consultants, Patrick also serves as the VP of Operations and Co-Founder for a startup company: Neck X LLC ( Neck X LLC has developed and patented a scientifically proven neck exercise and strengthening device. The NECK X® is in use by universities, chiropractic and physical therapist offices, U.S. Olympic Training Centers, and U.S. and NATO militaries. Patrick is on the forefront of supporting academic and military studies (USAF, Australia, Italy,) website development and SEO optimization, marketing, and has been responsible for 85% of Neck X LLC’s direct sales. Patrick’s in the trenches work with Neck X LLC gives him a unique perspective on what it means “getting a company off the ground” and generating success in any environment.

Patrick Houlahan Speaking Videos

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Patrick Houlahan's Speech Descriptions

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

What People are Saying about Seeing Patrick Speak

Rating Entries

“Patrick, Thanks again! Here are a few short comments about the program….
-Extremely exciting and informative
-You gained instant credibility with your background and ability to tailor your message to our sales reps by speaking our “company” language.
– Easy to see that you took the time to get to know how our organization works.
– Well organized, entertaining, great content. Strategies that our work force can use. You delivered a clear and precise message.”
–VP Marketing, 3M Industrial and Transportation Business

“Patrick really delivered for us. Excellent energy! He arrived at our conference prepared with industry specific language and scenarios directly applicable to our audience. Not only do he motivate, he presented new concepts and reinforce core principles of management in a high impact way.”
–Director Meetings and Conventions, Grocery Manufacturers Association

“We were holding an annual kick-off meeting for our Team Members and needed a speaker that would deliver a strong message along with motivation. We found the right speaker when we chose Patrick Houlahan. From the beginning, Patrick was engaged and wanted to learn about our business and the audience for the meeting. After a few discussion on the phone and I am sure several hours of prep work on his end, he killed it. He hit the mark and then some because he could speak to our business and the audience was extremely engaged and wanting to learn more. We were so impressed with Patrick, that we will be working with him in the future.”
–Director of Training, Regional Management Corporation

“I wanted to thank you for the presentation and information given to our key brokers, internal team, and the way you related to our industry. You did a great job making it meaningful to them while providing some needed “entertainment” in your discussion. We are always looking for ways to kick off a successful symposium and your execution was superb and right on point. Thanks again and best of luck in the future.”
–Texas Divisional Vice President of Local Group Markets, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas

“This is to recommend Patrick Houlahan strongly for excellence in structuring information, presenting, and adaptability. Mr. Houlahan is a distinguished retired USMC officer and aviator who has transitioned to management consulting. After several planning meetings, he spoke to my MBA students at the University of San Diego. He listened carefully, and prepared intensely, with frequent consults to assure that his message fit the audience. He even adapted in real time between presentations based on feedback from an earlier group. Mr. Houlahan’s talk was engaging and informative. He drew the audience in with personal anecdotes and business lessons-learned, solicited questions, and gave responsive answers. Highly recommended in all the areas where I have experience.”
–Professor, PhD, School of Business, University of San Diego

“On behalf of the San Francisco Region, I would like to thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule to attend our Field Supervisor / Supervisory Examiner Meeting. Your presentation on the FDIC’s Core Values was informative, insightful and well received by the audience. Thank you for contributing to the success of our Field Supervisor / Supervisory Examiner Meeting.”
–Regional Director, FDIC

“It was a pleasure to have Patrick speak at our user conference. He provided solid advice on leadership by weaving in examples from popular culture, business, and his military background. We received great feedback from the audience, which was a blend of technical and business folks, from analysts to CEOs. Patrick was able to relate his experiences approachably and in a way that didn’t alienate anyone. We really appreciated that he didn’t just speak and disappear; he stuck around and chatted with the attendees, sharing some pretty fascinating stories from his fighter pilot days!”
–Director, Public Relations, Tecsys

“Patrick Houlahan recently spoke at a University of Pittsburgh’s Business and Operations Leadership Retreat. His talk was very valuable, providing actionable tips in an engaging delivery that attendees appreciated. Furthermore, Patrick tailored his presentation to our organization, personalizing his approach. In addition to a solid presentation, Patrick remained through the end of the retreat to speak one-on-one with team members. This act demonstrated his full commitment to the event and allowed for additional beneficial dialogue. In a previous marketing and communications role, I partnered with Patrick on a series of road show presentations that inspired attendees across the country. I recommend Patrick to any organization looking for a professional, compelling and results-driven presenter for their next conference or meeting.”
–Director of Communications, Business and Operations, University of Pittsburgh

“Patrick recently spoke at our 2020 Sales Kickoff Meeting in Palm Beach Gardens, FL. Patrick’s energy, clarity and passion was amazing; he really customized his messaging to our industry and goals, commanding the audience for the entire 45 minutes we asked him to speak. He effortlessly related his career experience as a Marine fighter pilot to the audience, sprinkling in some laugh-out-loud humor. However, the real value of having Patrick as a speaker was his ability to get the attendees to think differently about how they organize and accomplish their everyday missions at work, using real-life military team-work and leadership scenarios. Our attendees left the presentation energized to enact his top five leadership principles, debriefing methods and SMART goal strategies. Inspired by his keynote and the materials he gave us, we’ve made it a company-wide practice to debrief on all projects and have seen a tremendous positive impact in our culture and productivity level. If you’re looking for a speaker who is not only entertaining in the moment but also sincerely inspires action and improvement for your team, look no further than Patrick.”
–Senior Marketing Manager, IVCi

“Let’s be honest, sales teams do not debrief enough and if they do they are not delivered in a way that adds value. What better way to learn how to debrief that provides immediate improvement to your sales process than from our military experts? The AA-ISP Atlanta chapter had the pleasure of Patrick Houlahan presenting on why and how to conduct debriefs the right way. Using a combination of his military background as a fighter pilot and several years of experience with leading businesses, Patrick provided a practical process to conducting debriefs that pulls the right intelligence to help teams improve. His approach makes debriefs not only valuable but even desirable. He finished with providing empirical evidence to the positive results that occur after following his proven debrief process. I highly recommend Patrick for training your teams on how to use debriefing to immediately improve your performance.”
–VP Commercial Client Services, MarketSource, Inc.

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