Most People Know Jim For His Success On The Ice In Lake Placid, But Jim’s Success In The Business World Over The Last 30+ Years Is Equally Impressive.
Jim Craig is known for his success in hockey. He has always been considered a leading figure in the “miracle” win of the 1980 Olympic Gold Medal Hockey Team. The moment was named as the greatest sports historical moment of the 21st century.
However, Jim is also a success in the corporate world. He is a motivational speaker, a powerful salesperson, a corporate consultant, and a leadership trainer.
Jim uses all the lessons he learned in sports to translate them to business. He has worked to both inspire and provide direction to many companies over the past 30 years as the owner and president of his company Gold Medal Strategies. He also is a member of the board of directors for the Special Operations Warrior Foundation.
Each keynote Jim does includes research and preparation to meet the specific needs of the company. This is what makes him a coveted keynote speaker.
Power of Teamwork:
Very few things great are done alone. Epic achievement is almost always the result of successful and enduring collaboration. Jim explains and details the elements of winning teamwork. He provides specific examples from the experience of the U.S. “Miracle on Ice” hockey team, and how it confounded the experts, made history … and made it to the top of the podium.
Fundamentals of Winning:
Jim talks about the “stuff” and marrow of winners. Jim drills down and talks about the following: What winners share in the way of character. How they prepare. Their priorities. How they handle victory. How they handle defeat. Jim discusses what truly drives winners – the greatest winners.
Commitment to Excellence:
Jim has studied … and continues to study and research … what inspires the pursuit of excellence in those who achieve greatness. He describes what is it that separates those content with good enough, and with all right, and with the okay … and those who have an unquenchable thirst and drive to make history and establish the highest standards.
As Jim often tells audiences, “If you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there.” Jim shares the elements and fundamental components of goal setting, defining missions – and then going confidently … and smartly … in the direction of your dreams.
One of the nine “Gold Medal Strategies” that Jim teaches … that he writes and speaks about … is that Great Teams Manage Through Ego and Conflict. Jim tells the story of early on in their journey to Lake Placid and history, the players on the 1980 U.S. Olympic team were not working cooperatively; the team was beset by regional and personal rivalries. But the players got beyond the conflict – and they forged a team, and executed teamwork, for the ages.
Transformational (Change) Management:
Had the members of the 1980 U.S. Olympic hockey team – under the guidance and direction of Herb Brooks – not thrown off the old ways and play of U.S. international hockey … had they not embraced a revolutionary form of the game … they would not have beat the team that couldn’t be beat, and won the game that couldn’t be won. There would not have been any gold medal, any stop atop the podium. Jim talks about how he and his teammates executed that transformation and change – and how the example of that transformation and change can aid your organization to perform more effectively.
Accountability for Action:
Great Teams Hold Themselves and Others Accountable – this is one of the nine “Gold Medal Strategies” that Jim teaches. Accountability, as Jim explains and breaks down, is an exercise in looking inward and demanding accountability of yourself – and then working together as a team to make sure that every person on the team is accountable … and, as a team, helping people to be accountable and to better perform their job.
How do you inspire and impart confidence? How do leaders and teams accomplish this critical task? How do you pull greatness out of people? How do you challenge and inspire people to get outside their comfort zone – and to reach for what they at one time not thought reachable, and not attainable? Jim shares with you the tactics and strategies of confidence building.
Risk takers make history. If there is no risk, there is no great achievement. Jim talks about the risk taking enterprise that was the 1980 U.S. Olympic hockey team. He shares more examples of risk taking … in sports, business, and other areas of human endeavor … that enabled greatness and the epic.
Recruiting for Results:
How do you find and identify the people who have the “stuff” and potential who will work for your system, culture, and mission? What is meant by the importance of not necessarily finding the “best” players but the “right” ones. Jim discusses and breaks down the elements of successful and winning recruiting.
“Jim’s appearance was nothing less than the perfect commencement to launch a product and a company in such a very impressive way. His experience coupled with his distinctive presentation was a custom fit for our client’s audience. Jim tailored his presentation around our client’s company, their core values and objectives at hand, while lending very personal anecdotes that complimented the overall meeting theme and messaging of the product. After Jim’s presentation, he maintained a very approachable nature, indulging our group by honoring requested photos and autograph signings with true class and kindness.”
The Westfield Group
“We were challenged to move our sales teams from individual business units to central locations. We asked Jim to draw parallels from his athletic and business success on winning teams and Jim exceeded our expectations with a thoughtful message on winning through his brilliant storytelling and sales experience.”
Regional Vice President, Crossmark
“Your story is a great one but your message was even better. We have received all positive feedback from the team today on your speech. It really resonated with the group which is exactly what we wanted. I loved your book! We will be distributing your Gold Medal Strategies book to my team to help reinforce and keep the sustainability of your message.”
VP Strategic Grocery Kimberly-Clark Corporation
“We had the pleasure of having Jim Craig speak for our sales organization I was impressed by many aspects of Jim’s talk. I was overwhelmed with how many hours of investment in preplanning and doing research on our company and team Jim put into the event. I had never seen this type of pre-work from any previous speaker.
Jim was spot on with the way that he identified with many of the challenges we face and was able to draw so many fitting analogies to his business and professional sports. He maintained great energy and passion in his presentation. It was clear that he actually cares about our company and people he works with and it came through in his keynote. Jim had a great summary of the key action points and led our team down a path of success.
I continue to get great feedback from my sales professionals and managers!!!”
VP, Sales, Sanofi
“Jim Craig could entertain an audience for hours purely telling stories about the 1980 Gold Medal Team but he raises the bar in his presentations by integrating his Gold Medal Strategies. He shares ideas for success pulled from his unique experience and achievement. It should be noted that Jimmy still puts forth Olympic effort. After having his flight directed to Tyler, TX, he hired a car service and drove 5 hours through a torrential storm to Austin making his scheduled appearance. He is a class act from start to finish.”
President, NRF Capital Markets
“I had extremely high expectations for Jim’s presentation. I have hired and witnessed hundreds of keynote addresses in my career. Jim was by far the best. He took the time to profile our organization and understand our future vision. His delivery was flawless and there was not one individual out of the 200 attendees that did not leave with multiple compliments and a renewed sense of pride in themselves and others.”
Sr. Vice President, National Sales, Multi-Financial Securities Corporation
“From the moment you finished speaking Tuesday afternoon, straight through Thursday’s departures, our employees raved about your presentation. In particular, they were amazed by the fact that you knew so much about our company, they could relate your experiences to them as sales people. It made a huge a difference.”
Member of Board of Directors, Welch Allyn, Inc.
“I’ve been a financial advisor for over 30 years and I have never been more inspired by the speech that Jim Craig gave to our group. Jim provided me with the energy and vision to understand that my job is to grow and protect people’s legacies.”
Financial Advisor, Janus
“Jim Craig addressed a meeting of the BP Refining and Marketing IT&S leadership team in London, the annual assembly of our top-hundred leaders. We are always seeking to improve and optimize teamwork, and we brought Jim in to entertain, inspire, educate and challenge our group. He did all of that and more, and the response from our team has been immensely positive and enthusiastic. Many of the BP colleagues in the room hailed from countries against which Jim and his teammates had competed in the 1980 Olympics – and Jim easily tapped into the room’s collective competitiveness and expectation to win. BP is thrilled with the job Jim did. Any organization focused on and committed to improvement and optimum teamwork can benefit greatly from Jim Craig’s message, the lessons he delivers, and the enthusiasm and energy he elicits from his audience.”
CIO America’s Fuels, BP America INC.
Jim Beam Brands
Miller Brewing Co.
American Home Food Products