PERSONAL BRANDING MAGAZINE - JIM CRAIG
EDITOR'S NOTE: I had the opportunity to speak to Jim Craig about his new book, Gold Medal Strategies: Business Lessons From America’s Miracle Team. Jim is the president of Gold Medal Strategies (www.goldmedalstrategies.com), a Boston- area–speaking and training company is committed to assisting individuals and organizations achieve their full potential.
Gold Medal Strategies An Interview with Jim Craig Tim Hare
The company focuses on coaching, educating, guiding and inspiring individuals and teams to operate at peak performance, thereby building strong and virtuous legacies. Over the past 25 years, Jim has provided strategic direction for employees and associates from more than 500 organizations. He is a former NHL Professional and Olympic Gold Medalist ice hockey goaltender who is most notable for being the goaltender for the 1980 “Miracle on Ice” U.S. Olympic hockey team that won the gold at the Lake Placid Winter Games.
It seems in this day and age that people lack direction to find that love or passion to sacrifice for. Can you think of any way you’d find that passion?
Yes, there’s a lot of different ways that passion is developed. If you’re a doctor, passion might be developed by watching your dad or mom be a doctor; being a doctor may have been ingrained in your head. Maybe you are driven to become a doctor because you or someone you loved was seriously ill, and you saw up close the comforting and healing power of a doctor. Sometimes, it’s being scared: In my case being one of eight (children), I wondered, how would I go to school? You’ve got to use your best asset, and so fear becomes a good motivator. But I think the best motivator is to expose young people to a number of different things and let them figure it out for themselves. I think the biggest part about the sacrifice is it’s never really a sacrifice. Sacrifice to me is taking advantage of the opportunities people give to you. I don’t think people lack direction; I think they have too much direction. They’re told what to do, how to do it, how much to do of it. And people are making big decisions at a young age when they really don’t even know what passion is. You want to take whatever you can to inspire young people and pull greatness out of them. And I think they’ll find direction by doing that. You need to let them dream: encourage and support their dreams.
One of things you talk about a lot in the book is an underdog mentality and how to stay the underdog, but when you’re a top dog in business, how can you keep that underdog mentality?
Who’s going to replace you? For example, you could be the best pitcher in the league and win the Cy Young award. But there’s always someone younger, someone who works harder, someone more committed. So you seek those people out, and you’ve got to be careful and not take it for granted.
There are a number of ways to do that. For example, by working on any weakness you might have so you become stronger, never being comfortable, staying young in spirit and outlook – which is one of the strategies I discuss in book – and realize there’s always someone trying to be better than you out there. Hire and surround yourself with the best talent and look to mentor someone to take your place. I also tell people that going into the 1980 Winter Olympics, the Soviet Union hockey team was the top dog – and their top dog mentality resulted in complacency and lack of focus.
What do you think the 1980 Jim Craig would think about the current Jim Craig’s commitment to excellence, and what he would think about you being an author?
I think that he’d see a growth. I’ve always tried to be passionate about whatever I was doing. When I was playing hockey, it was my dream. I wanted to try to do the best at it that I possibly could. I constantly lived all these strategies that I talk about and added more over the years. I think the young Jim Craig would be really proud of the “old” Jim Craig for not getting old. Remember, members of great teams stay young in spirit and outlook.
How’s life after the release of Gold Medal Strategies?
It’s been really good. We here at the office are receiving a steady stream of book orders, and shipping books at a brisk pace. People from all age groups are providing nice feedback on the book. They say that Gold Medal Strategies has already become a valuable tool for them – and to hear this is always a good feeling.
What are some of the best ways to build the family or team locker room environment in a business?
I think the best way to do that is you have to care. There are parts of the book where I help make people understand what I mean by that. The first thing is get people to buy into your vision, or what I call a shared dream. Then, recruit the right people to be in that locker room. If you get the right people and they feel empowered to make decisions and feel their opinion means something, then what happens is you hold people accountable within that locker room, and it becomes a healthy respect. To make people really believe in your team locker room concept, you have to make them believe in your vision, the shared dream aspect. You have to have the right people, and then from there it’s a process.
You have all these great sayings in the book. Where do you get them?
Life experience. From people who cared for me and really mentored me throughout my life. In the book, I didn’t want to tell people what to do. I tried really hard to accomplish this. When they read it, I want them to drift off to some spot and really think how it helps them and changes them. I think that if you get people to the right spot you can really help them, there are three things that I say: listen, learn and read. The listening part is listening to me by reading the book. Learning is from past successes and failures, benefitting from that knowledge and getting better at whatever they wanted to improve.
What are your plans after the release of this book?
Well, I do motivational speaking and sales training. I hope that the book inspires people to do what they’ve been doing for the past 35 years, which is to drop me a note telling me something I did to help them achieve their goals. For example, when I had the flag on my shoulders and was looking for my father, I had so many people call and say it really helped them develop a relationship with their dad and other people saying you can be a man and still be public in love and affection for your father. I hope this gives people the opportunity to become reinvigorated, to refocus, to become more inspired – and that will help them feel good about themselves and where they’re going. I’d love to really hear about their dreams and their journey to achieve their dreams.
Tim Hare is the Events Director for Millennial Branding. In his spare time he is the bass guitarist for The Painted Lights, a rock band based in Boston
Nunzio Bruno, Brand Monetization Columnist
It is not easy to develop a brand. You spend time and capital to constantly add value to your audiences. Besides always being in their faces with your tweets and Facebook links, how can you continue to be at the top of their awareness, or at least in their Kindles? Last issue, we talked about some of the tactics you can use to help strengthen your brand’s income potential. This issue, we are going to talk about the monetization power of information products.
Information products, or info products, are everywhere. If you follow any popular blogger, odds are he/she has packaged some content together for you in the form of an e-book or e-course. These products are often sold and positioned as a premium form of content that the normal reader or follower won’t be privileged to — often even offered in limited amounts and to select (invested) members of a community. Now that you are an expert, it might be time to look back through what you have worked so hard to create and think how you can offer a solution to a specific problem and monetize that information.