John “Boomer” Stufflebeem is a former professional athlete, retired US Navy admiral, business owner, and specialty Leadership Coach of Diversified Professional Coaching, LLC (DPC). As a professional football player, he learned and practiced an elite level of teamwork development and execution in creating success recognizing the inherent value of team over individual accomplishment. As a career military leader, he built organizations and led them into combat in positions of ever-increasing responsibility conquering every challenge presented. As owner of the NJS Group, LLC, a crisis management and strategic communications firm, John translates the experience of leadership under extreme stress from the gridiron and battlefield to corporations, medium-to-large private companies, executives, business owners, and NFL clubs to enhance winning and success through elevated leadership. Based on an extensive record of executive leadership development over decades in front line practice, he was invited to join DPC to bring his Executive Leadership Coaching skills to the Financial Services profession.
As a Leadership Coach across a broad spectrum of business enterprises with extensive experience in coaching, mentoring, training, and developing leaders, “Boomer” was asked to join DPC to focus his coaching talents as a Certified Professional Business Coach for Financial Services professionals after coaching leaders in such industries including the U.S. Military, Lockheed Martin Aerospace Corp., ADARA Networks of Silicon Valley, FOXFIRE Printing & Packaging, the NFL Players Association (NFLPA), the New England Patriots, Houston Texans, Detroit Lions, LEVERAGE (Disability & Life Insurance), and Capitas Financial, Inc. It was with this financial services brokerage firm that he was credited for saving the company during the downturn caused by the onset of the world-wide pandemic.
John employs his master coaching skills to “make leaders better” with a significant backup network and team of diversified experience coaches from all walks of life. He specifically uses a proven five-step process taught and practiced in the U.S. Military for elevating leaders to new levels of performance and accomplishment translating the process for leaders in any type of business to enhance leadership success. His coaching success is the result of lessons learned in life and death crucibles under fire in crises from the military that included service in combat during every major military campaign from 1993 through 2007. He manned, trained, resourced, led, and developed leadership at multiple levels of organizations as small as 250 people up to and including 25,000. Recognizing that team leadership is responsible for the success of the enterprise and that performance is the only measure of effectiveness, Stufflebeem was deployed eleven times in combat spanning more than eight years. He embraces these experiences for the expertise and passion he holds for developing leadership with a particular appreciation for and focus on turning challenges into opportunities. During his military career in the field, Stufflebeem was tasked and successfully executed leadership development in preparing officers for higher duties and responsibilities including his own succession.
Examples of these campaigns include the lessons learned in his initial team leader qualification after two extended deployments to the harsh Indian Ocean/Persian Gulf during the Iran hostage crisis. As a result, he was identified for and designated an elite weapons training instructor/leader after successfully completing the Navy Fighter Weapons School course, TOPGUN.
He subsequently moved up the operational team leadership ladder in aircraft carrier power projection after qualifications from the Naval Aviation Warfighting Development Center, Strike University, and successful deployments commanding a fighter squadron employed in combat in Bosnia-Hercegovina and Kuwait, a carrier air wing deployed in combat in the Persian Gulf, a carrier strike group deployed in combat to Iraq as well as a task force commander in direct support of special operations in Iraq. As a task force commander – a Chief Operating Officer – he led 25,000 American troops into combat in Iraq north of Baghdad against 80,000 Iraqi regular Army, in eleven divisions, to victory without a single loss. He notes his greatest leadership challenge and reward was bringing all 25,000 troops home to their families alive and well.
He ultimately led as a Chief Executive Officer at the operational level of war as Commander U.S. 6th Fleet deploying in combat to Lebanon during the Israeli-Hezbollah conflict and rescuing 20,000+ Americans out of Lebanon and reinforcing the U.S. Embassy in Beirut; supporting Special Operations Forces in Africa as the maritime component commander to the newly established Africa Command; and, deploying as a NATO commander leading the Alliance’s first-ever out of area deployment into Pakistan. As an admiral, he led thousands of troops in harm’s way in Iraq, Lebanon, and Africa to victory without ever losing any of his warriors.
In non-deploying rotations he served as a weapons lead instructor during tours as an exchange aggressor pilot to the Israeli Air Force, a TOPGUN instructor-adversary pilot, and war planner in the Pentagon. He additionally served as Executive Assistant to two of the Navy’s Chief of Naval Operations, or CEOs of the Navy. He was in the Pentagon and on the Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff, Joint Staff, during the attacks of 9/11 and earned the colloquial “Jedi Knight” designation in joint force employment after putting together and leading a special activities team devising the initial response plan in Afghanistan for the President, Secretary of Defense, and four-star commander of Central Command.
He was additionally tasked to be the face and voice to the world’s news outlets via television and radio from the Pentagon as a war planner and the operations briefer on Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks before returning to operations to lead as a task force commander in Operation Iraqi Freedom in Iraq. Earlier in his career, he was a team leader of the National Emergency Actions Operations for President George H.W. Bush in the White House responsible for the training and leadership of more than 1,800 employees of the President’s staff and carrying the nuclear “football” as his aide.
Education, Certifications, and Boards:
Stufflebeem graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy with a B.S. in Operations Analysis and received professional training (see Specialty Training) throughout his military and business careers. He is a Certified Professional Business Coach (CPBC) conferred by the Professional Business Coaches Alliance. He served as Chairman of and on the Board of Trustees of Randolph-Macon Academy for more than ten years leading a governance team of this private, independent college prep school and on the board of The American College of Financial Services, Penn Mutual Center for Veterans Affairs providing governance and raising scholarship for U.S. Military, Veterans, and their spouses for training and certifications into the Financial Services profession.
Areas of Expertise
Leadership development – First and foremost, Stufflebeem is an ardent and proven practitioner of leadership development having excelled in the finest leadership organization of America—the U.S. Military, the most trusted institution of the Nation. Throughout his career he was responsible for the successful development of junior officers up to senior Navy admirals in executing team enterprises. In recent years, he has been a by-name call for leadership development of NFL coaches and was drafted to challenge the Executive Director of the NFL Players union in run-up to the Collective Bargaining Agreement negotiations with NFL Owners.
Crisis management – Having spent the last ten years of his military career as an admiral leading in international crises, he developed specific leadership success in crisis management that he has successfully translated into disparate business worlds and as a business owner. Recognized as a Leadership Influencer possessing the experience of being tasked with daunting challenges, given little guidance and few resources, but expected to produce outstanding results, Stufflebeem commands a specialty in managing crises and leadership facing crises forged in the fires of his careers.
Strategic planning – As a strategic war planner in the Pentagon, he developed the strategy for addressing the attacks of 9/11. At Lockheed Martin, he led coaching for the tortured planning of building of and introducing stealth fighters into the U.S. inventory. At FOXFIRE, he led planning for the successful sale of the company. In the NFLPA, he was instrumental in coaching the leadership in planning to hold the Players together in negotiations with the NFL Owners trying to divide to conquer their employees.
Public speaking – Accomplished, polished, instructive, and entertaining public and keynote speaker to Media (Press presentations and interviews), conventions, conferences, and in-house corporate and association retreats. He delivers lively educational speeches laced with personal anecdotes of real-world leadership challenges and successes.
Media relations – Was the face and voice to over two billion people worldwide through News Media outlets from the Pentagon and forward deployed in operations. Cited by many Media professionals as one of the most authentic and trusted presenters to the Media. His reputation spawned a Media company with a former investigative television reporter in Canada on Media training for executives in a wide array of businesses in North America.
Recognition and Awards
Awarded more than 40 formal awards for exemplary leadership, including the Bronze Star as well as foreign awards, during his military career—mostly classified. Lauded by both former U.S. Presidents, George H.W. and George W. Bush as “the greatest return on our investment” in American leadership as a 3-star admiral.