There are individuals who lead humble lives, but their presence can still polarize the people around them. One such person is John Parker, a retired professional and college football coach with over 30 years of experience. He can be brash, unapologetic, and painfully direct, never shying away from saying what others may be thinking but are too afraid to speak. John takes pride in being authentic with people and "keeping it real."
He believes in giving direct answers to questions, even if they may not be what people want to hear. If he thinks a situation is great, he will say so, but if he thinks it's "messed up," he won't hesitate to say that either. However, he will also offer his help in fixing the problem. As a motivational speaker, John has helped people find direction and follow their dreams.
John has always been a rebel with a cause, disrupting comfortable systems to wake people up. His expertise lies in motivating, inspiring, and leading individuals, teams, and organizations. He is highly sought-after as a motivational and leadership speaker, delivering keynote speeches and presentations to groups of all sizes.
According to John, power, authority, and titles are not necessary for impact. Instead, it's influence and the desire to be influential that matter. Anyone in an organization can learn to be influential, regardless of their position. John's speeches are perfect for teams and organizations seeking to develop more influential leaders. His presentations motivate people to become top performers who influence outcomes, contribute to major decisions, and create positive change that helps move their company forward.
Parker on being a "Survivor"
One word used in describing John Parker is “survivor.” During the summer of his junior year of college, he was driving on a major highway, in the North County area of St. Louis late one evening. The events that would happen next would change his life forever. A drunk driver decided to drive down the exit ramp and proceeded to get on the inside lane, lights off and doing 80 mph, traveling in the wrong direction. When he appeared in front of John, it was too late. The driver hit him head-on. John probably should have been killed in the accident, after all, who survives a head-on accident at 80 mph? But, although he was only injured, those injuries would be quite devastating. He had stitches in his head, detached the retina in his right eye, broke both collar bones, cracked his sternum, and broke nearly all his ribs. In addition, his right knee was smashed and required major reconstructive surgery.
He did survive the accident, but he was a mess. But, with determination and drive unlike most, one year later he was back on the football field and finished his college football playing career. Later, during his 30-plus years as a college/professional football coach, he endured several health scares, but through all of this, John has never lost his focus or his drive to be a leader and to motivate others to be the absolute best they can be. As he has been known to do, he has always kept silent about most of his health issues. He truly is a walking miracle.
BOOKS AND MEDIA
John has written four books, is a published author, and can frequently be found with his wife Nancy, where he often performs on stage .
Parker on "Leadership"
Leaders who achieve success are highly focused on engaging in high-value activities at the right time. They possess the skill of directing their daily strategies towards executing work that has the most significant impact. Effective leaders have mastered the art of controlling their schedules through time blocking and delegation. They also know how to say "no" effectively to anything that may interfere with what is most important. John, an exceptional motivational speaker, trains leaders on how to manage their time so that it doesn't manage them.
After completing his college football career and playing professionally for a short time, John made it his mission to become a Division I College Football Coach. Although he had several opportunities to explore other career paths, he was driven by his desire to provide young men, especially those of color, with the same opportunities that the game of football had provided him. John acknowledges that "football has been a platform for everything I have ever done. I owe the game and the coaching profession everything." As he traveled across the country pursuing his ambition, he also aimed to bring about social changes within the coaching profession, particularly for black coaches. John was elected to the Board of Directors of the Black Coaches Association of America in 1994, and he willingly risked his career to advocate for minority coaches in the football profession.
Despite not becoming a Division I head coach, John remains content and holds no bitterness. He believes that true leadership is not about popularity, but about the opportunity to make sacrifices for the greater good. He takes pride in his coaching career, which spanned over 30 years, and in the fact that his players graduated and transitioned into productive lives. John has no regrets and is proud of the work he accomplished, which paved the way for young coaches of color to gain opportunities. He expresses gratitude for the opportunity to work with some of the greatest people in the coaching profession.
Before leaving coaching, John ventured into public relations, crisis communications, and contract negotiations. This came as a surprise to him as he discovered his negotiation skills while helping other coaches negotiate their salary contracts with universities across the country. Soon, he was privately representing almost 20% of the top college and professional football coaches in the country, handling their endorsement deals and crises. John left college coaching in 2010, after leaving Tennessee State University, but his reputation, persistence, and hard work later earned him two NFL Championship/Super Bowl rings, one as a Defensive Secondary Consultant with the Seattle Seahawks (2012-14) and the other as a Lead.Film Analyst with the Philadelphia Eagles (2017-18).
"Parker on Social Justice"
In the pursuit of social justice, John Parker has always been a fighter. He believes that inequalities exist in every sector of this nation. He has always been a courageous social justice speaker and advocate willing to shine a light on racism. Sharing his own stories from the front lines, he illuminates his keynotes, workshops, and panel discussions with empathy and humor. Whether your organization has been immersed in these issues for years or is simply trying to understand new concepts of intersectionality, diversity, and inclusion, he can match your needs with the perfect conversation/discussion to inspire and challenge your audience.
Parker on "Motivation"
The human mind's motivation and purpose are crucial to performance. However, how does motivation work in our minds? What can we do to maintain our own and others' motivation during challenging times? Is there a secret to keeping others attentive and engaged?
John Parker is a professional motivational speaker who has effectively connected with people from varying backgrounds and ages. He has influenced, instructed, and inspired people across the country in corporate settings, high school and college campuses, and civic and charitable events. He feels his life's mission is to motivate people to be better and to be of assistance to those who feel helpless. As children, we were fearless and unstoppable, and we continued to try, fail, and try again until we learned to walk, speak, play, and eat. As we grow older, we learn from the experiences around us and develop habits, beliefs, and fears that shape our lives. John strives to help people understand themselves better.
Currently, John is the Senior Director of Corporate Communications and Public Relations for Evolution St. Louis, a high-tech knitting and fabric company. He is also the Owner/President of Evolution Communications & Media Group, which specializes in crisis communications and media management for large corporations, government entities, and non-profit organizations. John is a former Senior Director of Corporate Communications and Media for the St. Louis Development Corporation and holds seats on several charitable boards such as ARCHS, the St. Louis Ambassadors, the Viral Cancer Research Foundation, and the St. Louis Small Business Institute. He is a devoted supporter of the St. Louis Crisis Nursery, the Make A Wish Foundation, and the Leukemia Lymphoma Society. In December of 2018, John was named one of the Top 100 Most Influential African Americans in the City of St. Louis, Missouri. He has also written four books, is a published author, and can frequently be found on lower Broadway Avenue in Nashville, Tennessee with his wife Nancy, where he often performs on stage ."
John does not consider himself an over-achiever but rather a person who takes advantage of life's opportunities. He believes that we must have the courage to risk everything and persevere in the face of adversity. John emphasizes that our stories define who we are and that our legacies will remain with us after we pass. We all have the potential to be led and motivated to gain courage and speak out without restraint, just like John Parker.
John is a rare individual who repeatedly reinvents himself, has unwavering perseverance and dedication, and is an excellent motivator and leader. He has hosted television shows, had a national radio show on 130 stations, published a men's magazine, built and sold several companies, and authored books. John Parker epitomizes leadership, inspiration, relentless hard work, passionate preparation, and a polarizing persona that forces people to "get comfortable being just a bit uncomfortable." He believes in authentic conversations that create real change, motivation, and leadership by keeping it real.
The Ideal Opening Keynote Speaker
Looking to start your meeting or conference on a high note? Look no further than John Parker, a seasoned platform speaker who can captivate your audience with his engaging, thought-provoking content delivered in a lively, humorous style. With John as your Opening Keynote Speaker, you can be sure your event will be both informative and entertaining. He'll provide the perfect blend of content and context to set the stage for a successful event.
A Memorable Closing Keynote Speaker
As a powerful Closing Keynote Speaker, John Parker will reinforce the learning and value received by your conference participants, while challenging them to forgo ingrained behaviors and think beyond the traditional mindset. With the right mix of humor and energy to keep audiences engaged and in their seats, participants will stay until the end and leave with a smile on their face, along with a clear idea of what’s next and how to get there.