Mike McCabe | Former TOPGUN, Naval Aviation Leader and Instructor

Mike McCabe

Former TOPGUN, Naval Aviation Leader and Instructor

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Mike McCabe

An Experienced Leader With a Passion for Innovation and Change
As a Leader, Mike McCabe oversaw some of the deepest technology shifts and changes at the US Navy. He ensured thousands of military personnel would be ready for these transformations and managed the budgets that supported these key innovations and changes.

His whole military career was driven by one motivation: sustaining a culture of excellence while caring for his people. He is eager to share these leadership values of care, action and innovation with today's decision makers.

Mike's passion for leadership took root during his term as an instructor at the renowned Navy Fighter Weapons School, aka TOPGUN. Blending his extensive command experience and TOPGUN best-practice, Mike McCabe has created an approach to leadership that is compelling, current and truly one of a kind.

Mike's career is the stuff of dreams. As a child, he could be often found moving down the hallway with his five model aircraft carriers. When he became Director of Air Warfare at the Pentagon, Mike McCabe oversaw mega budgets of $31 billion per year in resources to support over 4000 aircraft, 12,000 naval aviators 60,000 personnel, and of course, 12 full-size aircraft carriers.

However, Mike's story does not end with the military. In 2005 he retired from the Navy, and his unique leadership found new home as the President and COO of a commercial airline. In that arena, he successfully employed the same tactics and approaches he honed in his naval career. As a speaker and a leadership consultant, Mike is dedicated to translating his experience for use in varied and unique organizations.

The Carrier Deck Mentality
An aircraft carrier is made of moving parts, like an orchestra where musicians need to be synchronized and coordinated. A floating airport is loud, dangerous, and demands precision execution from its crew members, most of whom are young and working in an edge of the envelope environment. From an outside perspective, it shouldn't work, but it DOES. Carrier protocol creates control even amid chaos. It's a mindset that has powerful implications in the world at large. Mike is a skillful "conductor" who can help you infuse these leadership skills into your own organization and teams.

The Navy's TOPGUN Fighter Weapons School has produced incredible success for over 40 years. "The most amazing organization I have seen, in or out of the Navy," says Mike, who served as the executive officer. During that time, Mike developed an approach to education, review and focused execution that he used to replicate TOPGUN's success throughout the Navy, and later in the world of business and government.

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Mike McCabe

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