Johan Martinez-Khalilian is an internationally recognized motivational speaker and executive coach who has dedicated his life to shaping culture and helping teams achieve the impossible. He has been featured on the front cover of Chicago’s premier young adult newspaper The Red Eye. He has been a special guest on a number of TV and radio shows, including two appearances on The Tyra Banks Show, Fox News in the Morning, WLS Radio Chicago, Jane The Virgin and the critically acclaimed Today Show. He works with professional athletes in the NBA, NHL and MLB, GM’s, and NCAA Division 1 coaches on vision, mindset, strategy and culture creation.


Virtual Talks

This Is Happening FOR Me

If we aren’t careful, we’ll start to think life is happening TO us.

Have you ever felt that way?

Maybe we failed a test even though we studied hard.

Maybe we got rejected by our crush.

Maybe the pandemic killed our plans.

Have you ever asked yourself, “Why is this happening to me?”

It’s tempting to sit in self pity as we face difficult, painful, hard to explain moments in life. But, what if it isn’t happening TO you? What if it’s happening FOR you?

Taking the most difficult moments of life and examining how it’s happening FOR and not TO us is one of the most powerful tools we have at our disposal. It may not be simple but it is definitely worthwhile.

In this talk Johan invites us to reimagine our worst moments and adopt an empowered mindset. Because true leaders know that life isn’t happening TO them, it’s happening FOR them.

The Crazy Ones and COVID-19

“The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do.”

Pre-Covid, I was traveling the nation recruiting Crazy Ones. Inviting people, young and old, to be crazy enough to change the world with me. Now, we need Crazy Ones more than ever.

We need people who are crazy enough to protest for social justice.

We need people who are crazy enough to find a cure for this disease.

We need people who are crazy enough to thrive while schooling at home.

We need people who are crazy enough to lead in the midst of uncertainty.

We need you. The misfits. The rebels. The Crazy ones.

In this talk, Johan invites us all to become the type of people who aren’t afraid to stand out and own their uniqueness for the sake of a better world. He invites us all to be Crazy Ones.

Are you crazy enough to make a difference?

The New Normal

“I just want things to go back to normal.”

Normal was full of greed.

Normal was full of racism.

Normal was full of poverty, homelessness, police brutality, mental illness – the list goes on.

Going back isn’t an option. Going forward is our only hope.

Instead of wishing to go back to a normal that wasn’t working for us, what if we went forward and created a new normal?

A new and beautiful world where we’ve healed.

A new and inspiring world where we’ve learned from our past.

A new and necessary world where everyone belongs.

In this talk, Johan invites us to ditch the “get back to normal” mindset. This talk is designed to help us fight for the new instead of resurrecting what’s already behind us.

The New Normal awaits, are you ready?

What Is The Cure For 2020?

In March, we were all united against an invisible enemy: COVID-19.

Then the next villain surfaced – the financial crisis. 40 million people lost their jobs in a matter of weeks. We entered the highest level of unemployment since the great depression.

Then there were murder hornets.

Then the government told us UFOS are real.

Then we got word of a parallel universe where time moves backwards. It feels like a bad movie that won’t end!

Then the antagonist that won’t go away, Racism, made sure its presence was felt.

Not only are we looking for a cure for COVID, we’re looking for the cure for 2020. What will it be and how can we get through this year?

In this talk, Johan provides insight into the cure for 2020 and how we can access it. Join in as we discover and implement the cure for our current climate.

Six Feet Away

One of our main weapons against this pandemic is social distancing. Staying six feet away from each other is necessary and, in some cases, life saving.

But, staying away isn’t easy. We’ve all felt the awkwardness and even isolation that social distancing can bring.

You may feel fed up with keeping your distance. You may be tempted to break the rules.  But what if I told you there was a way to stay connected while social distancing? What if I told you we can feel close to one another even when we’re apart? What if I told you six feet away is an opportunity to be closer than ever?

In this talk, Johan sheds new light on the six feet away paradigm. Giving us six steps we can take to be closer than ever in the midst of a pandemic that has many of us feeling so far apart.

What Is Behind The Mask?

What challenges are our students facing in 2020?

Virtual learning.

Prom and homecoming being cancelled.

Being behind a mask all day.

How does wearing a face covering all day make you feel?




On edge?


In control?



What are we dealing with behind those masks?

If we aren’t intentional we can get lost behind the mask.

If we aren’t careful we can become anxious behind the mask.

If we aren’t careful we can get depressed behind the mask.

If we aren’t careful we can give up behind the mask.

That’s why we need each other. That’s why we can’t allow a mask to keep us alone.

In this talk, Johan will discuss the importance of intentional living and mental fortitude. He will help us choose to wear a mask while refusing to hide behind it.

The Crazy Ones
Audience: Teens or Young Adults
Length: 45-60 minutes

“The people, who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.”

Have you ever met someone who is crazy?
Not the kind where you’re confined to a straight jacket and restricted to ‘Shutter Island’.

I’m talking about the kind of crazy that you don’t understand at first or second or fifteenth glance. The crazy that sits in silence and hears a song that has never been written, the kind that stares at an empty canvas and sees a work of art or gazes at a red planet and see’s a laboratory on wheels.

Johan believes that we all have a little bit of crazy in us that is waiting to be unleashed. His story is CRAZY, to say the least. He is a product of Humboldt Park Chicago, one of the roughest areas in Chicago; an area where he has witnessed everything from friends being killed to family members living destructive lives. An area of Chicago, he was told, he would never get out of. An area where, he was told, he would never make it, never amount to anything, never succeed, never create, never inspire.

Johan refused to believe the messages of his environment. Instead, he was crazy enough to believe his life could make a difference. He was crazy enough to make choices that no one else was making; he decided to live a life worth living as a teen and young adult.

Now he is spending his life encouraging kids to be crazy enough to think that their lives can make a difference. While others use their voice to be “realistic”, Johan motivates kids to move past reality and begin to dream and create even the craziest of possibilities for their lives and the world around them.

Topics Covered in The Crazy Ones Include…

• The Power of Healthy Choices
• The Importance of Goals and Dreams
• Critical Thinking
• Striving for Excellence
• Believing in yourself
• The Significance of Good Role Models
• Becoming an Agent of Change
• Withstanding Peer Pressure

Strength And Honor: Manhood And The Masculine Journey
Audience: Teens or Young Adults
Length 45-60 Minutes

I’m A Real Man! Those words spill out of the mouths of males of every shape, size, age, and color. But what do those words really mean? Have we really figured out the mystery of masculinity? Do we know what a real man looks and acts like? Or have we bought into our culture’s perception of manhood and masculinity?

In this informative and thought-provoking session, Johan leads us through some of the primary misconceptions of manhood and then unveils the primal essence of a “man”…

Because being a “man” and a male aren’t one in the same.

Topics covered in “Strength and Honor” Include…

• The Top Misconceptions of Manhood
• The Result of false “Manhood”
• Masculinity defined
• The True Essence of a Man

Johan Khalilian travels from California