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Justin Hughes

Justin Hughes
Justin Hughes
Justin Hughes

Best known for:

Justin Hughes is a former RAF fighter pilot and Deputy Team Leader of the Red Arrows.


Justin gives an extraordinary insight into the behaviours, processes and leadership issues which make for a world class team. With breathtaking cockpit footage, he shows how to reproduce performance year after year, in spite of manifold risks and a constantly changing team.


Justin is Managing Director of Mission Excellence, a consultancy which partners with clients committed to building high-performance organisations. His first career was in the Royal Air Force. During officer training, he was awarded the Wilkinson Sword for outstanding leadership and graduated as top cadet of his entry. After completing flying training, Justin went on to fly the Tornado F3, a front-line air defence fighter aircraft. He has taken part in both training and operational deploymentsallovertheworld,including in UN peace keeping operations in Bosnia. On theTornado he was qualified to lead any scale of mission in any theatre, and was subsequently selected for the Red Arrows. Justin served for 3 years on the team performing over 250 displays worldwide including 3 international tours. He was Executive Officer, responsible for operational day-to-day management of the team, a hand-picked group of 9 elite pilots and 90 support personnel.

Justin founded Mission Excellence in 2003, managing both business growth and overseeing the design and delivery of consultancy services and development programmes for clients throughout Europe, the Middle and Far East and Africa. Clients range from global corporations (e.g. 3M, Microsoft) to public sector (e.g. Bank of England, NATO) and world championship-winning sports franchises (e.g. Mercedes F1).

Justin is a renowned presenter on areas including:

  • High-performance organisations 
  • Leadership
  • Decision-making under ambiguity and pressure

Behavioural safety and safety culture 
He has presented at hundreds of management meetings, conferences, academic forums and dinners worldwide. Previous engagements have included Europe’s biggest gathering of business leaders, the Institute of Directors’ Annual Convention at the Royal Albert Hall, and the Middle East’s premier leadership forum, ‘Leaders in Dubai’, alongside Kofi Annan and Sir Richard Branson.

Justin’s ‘signature presentation’, ‘The Business of Excellence’, based on his book of the same name, explores the drivers of high performance in teams and organisations, drawing on examples from business, sport, the military, and his own personal experience as a fighter pilot and member of the Red Arrows. In addition to the subject areas above, bespoke presentations are available on request.

Fee range:

5,000-10,000 GBP