Leadership with Patrick Houlahan – Episode 1

Level Up Claims
January 23, 2023

Episode Description

Today we have with us an exceptional leader who has led high-performing teams in the military and in the business world. Our speaker today is Patrick Houlahan. Patrick has had a 27-year career as a fighter pilot in the Marine Corps and is the Founder and CEO of Strategic Leadership Consultants, leading numerous teams and organizations to success in the 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 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.


  • Patrick’s experience graduating from the United States Navy Postgraduate Fighter Weapon School
  • What separates the United States Navy Postgraduate Fighter
  • Weapon School from other schools
  • What led Patrick to join the military and become a fighter pilot
  • Flying planes to consulting: the process
  • What are the common areas of growth and challenges
  • How things such as employee and department issues factor into leadership
  • How does good or bad leadership play into the ability to get the appropriate people in the door
  • What leaders today are lacking
  • What is Patrick’s coping mechanism?
  • Example of an inspired leader
  • How a good leader communicates
  • What are the four things that can help you become a better leader
  • What it means to level up

Episode Resources