Former RAF pilot, POW, author & speaker
Former RAF pilot John Peters knows more than most people about dealing with uncertainty, change and performing under pressure, although that description doesn’t do justice to the situation that he found himself in.
In January 1991, during the Gulf War, John was the pilot of a Tornado GR1 Bomber in Iraq when he was hit by a Surface to Air Missile, forcing him and his navigator, John Nichol, to eject over enemy territory. Shortly after parachuting to the ground, the two men were captured by Saddam Hussein’s forces. For the next seven weeks John was a Prison of War, his battered and bruised face paraded on Iraqi state television and around the globe by Saddam Hussein’s brutal regime.
Despite enduring sustained physical and psychological brutality and torture, John emerged from his experience a stronger, more resilient and more confident individual and resumed his flyer career. He even describes his ordeal as probably the making of him.
It is this attitude and his insight and ability to relate his experience to everyday challenges that has made John so sought after as a speaker and explains why so many are so eager to hear him speak. He has a particular focus on leadership, resilience, uncertainty, motivation, strategy and change.
In 2000, John Peters retired from the RAF as a Squadron Leader and set up his own management consultancy firm focusing on helping blue-chip organisations by providing business-critical development, consulting and coaching through a leadership lens.
With over 15 successful years on the public speaking circuit, John has gained an international reputation as an exceptional and versatile speaker with audiences worldwide ranging from 5 to 5500 people, from corporations to charities, from royalty and heads of state to schools. He was the sole reader representing the British Armed Forces at the National Gulf Memorial Service, in front of Her Majesty, The Queen, presented the Sir James Martin Lecture at the Royal Aeronautical Society in the presence of Prince Philip, and has followed Mr Nelson Mandela on stage in South Africa for which he gained a standing ovation!
John Peters was appointed a Board member and Chair of the Association of MBAs. He was the Director of Performance for the Executive MBA at Aston Business School, he is a Fellow at both Kingston and Henley Business School and a Governor of the Royal Grammar School Worcester. He is Patron to the charities KidsOut and The Battle of Worcester Society and is Honorary President of Throckmorton Airshow and a Worcester Ambassador.
John has written two best-selling books and a documentary; Tornado Down, which was Independent Documentary of the Year and a BAFTA Award Nominee. His next book focuses on leadership in uncertainty.
John Peters is truly extraordinary. No one that hears him speak can remain unmoved or unchanged or uninspired.
Your address was truly excellent. The sustained applause for you was almost unstoppable.
One minute I wanted to cry my eyes out and the next minute you had me laughing out loud. The feedback has been incredible. Twitter has gone mad. Thought provoking, empowering and inspirational are just a few of the words people have used to describe yesterday’s event.
-Centre for Leadership Performance
John was great. Probably the most powerful story the audience has ever heard. Quite controversial, but we wanted to stir up the audience and get them really talking and thinking about the messages he delivered in his presentation.
The audience was absolutely captivated by him and absorbed every single word that he delivered. John truly is a hero in every sense of the word and the feedback that we have received from our guests is off the scale!
-Gordon Poole Agency Ltd
Your presentation was one of the most moving and poignant I have ever heard.
-Institute of Directors
They leave with an inspired sense of purpose, with a greater understanding of how to cope with unexpected change and how to drive through these difficulties to set and achieve real goals. The impact he has on an audience is reflected by the 75% standing ovation rate and overwhelming response he always recieves after his presentations.
-City Speakers International
One of the most extraordinary talks I’ve been to.