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Mike Mears is a leadership speaker and consultant to government and private sector organizations. Along with his CIA operational experience, Mears brought about numerous innovations, and founded and headed the CIA Leadership Academy. He retired as the agency's chief of human capital. 

Prior to joining the CIA, he was senior vice president at GE investments where he managed private equity funds, was a turnaround specialist, and a Six Sigma Black Belt. Before that, he launched 11 small business start-ups, and was president of a fast-food company. Mears served as commander of a nuclear missile site, a general's aide, and as a US Army combat platoon leader in Vietnam where he was decorated for valor. For his exemplary contributions, Mears received the Kellogg School of Management achievement award, the National Security Agency's highest award from its Directorate of Operations, and the CIA Distinguished Career Intelligence Medal. He earned his undergraduate degree at the US Military Academy at West Point and his MBA from Harvard Business School.

Mears is the author of "Leadership Elements: A Guide to Building Trust." As a speaker, he is an acknowledged expert in applied leadership and organizational change and transformation. He combines leadership research with rich, relevant stories and a dash of humor to supply imaginative ways to increase employee satisfaction and organizational performance. In addition to consulting, he teaches or lectures on leadership at the Department of Defense, Georgetown, the University of Salzburg, National Intelligence University and the University of Maryland.