AGL 103: The Leadership Killer with Captain John Coach Havlik

About Captain John Coach Havlik

CAPT John “Coach” Havlik, U. S. Navy (Retired), is the CEO of JRH Consulting, offering individual/team consulting on building and leading high-performance teams. He is also the Special Advisor for Giant Leap Consulting. He retired in 2014 after 31+ years of distinguished military service, 29 of those years in the Naval Special Warfare (SEAL) community.leadershipkiller

John graduated from West Virginia University with a B.S. in Business Administration (Accounting). He was a 4-year swimming letterman, and his career was highlighted by being the first swimmer in school history to qualify for the U.S. Olympic Swimming Trials (1980), qualifying for the NCAA Division 1A Swimming Championships (3 times), and serving as tri-captain of the first undefeated men’s swim team in school history his senior year. He was inducted into the WVU Sports Hall of Fame in 2017. In 2018, John became the first former WVU male swimmer selected for the Mountaineer Legends Society, WVU’s version of a sports Ring of Honor.

John enlisted in the Navy in 1982, and was subsequently assigned to the U. S Naval Academy as a swim coach/physical education instructor. He was later commissioned as a naval officer via Officer Candidate School in 1984. He successfully completed Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL (BUD/S) training in 1985. His subsequent military assignments included a full range of duties in the SEAL community, to include the elite Naval Special Warfare Development Group. He commanded several times, and completed numerous deployments in key leadership positions to named and contingency operations around the world during his career.

While in the Navy, John completed graduate studies at the Naval War College in Newport, RI, receiving a M.A. in National Security and Strategic Studies.

Connect with John through social media: website:, Twitter (@coachhavlik), and LinkedIn (

Coach’s book, coauthored with his WVU buddy Bill Treasurer, is The Leadership Killer: Reclaiming Humility in an Age of Arrogance, which focuses on humility as the fundamental leadership attribute. Jim Kouzes, one of the world’s most renowned authorities on leadership, calls the book “one of the most unique and valuable books you will read all year.”

Learn more at

Today We Talked About

  • How Coach got into the seals
  • The Dangers of Hubris
  • Why is leadership so seductive?
  • Why this book?
  • Leadership Triad
  • Find someone to keep you in check (Master Chief)
  • Lessons of Humility
  • Ego Issues
  • “Make it Happen”
  • 360 Reviews
  • “The needs of the many out way the needs of the few.”

Connect to Coach

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