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Jim Craig          

Gold Medal Olympian, Inspiration for Disney Film "Miracle," Entrepreneur, Sales & Marketing Executive

Jim Craig is best known as the backbone of the 1980 Olympic Gold Medal Hockey Team, whose ‘Miracle’ win was voted by Sports Illustrated as the greatest moment in sports history of the 20th century. Craig, who started every game in goal, was a leading figure in the team’s success. One of the enduring images of the 1980 Games was of Craig, wrapped in an American flag, searching the stands for his widowed father in order to share the gold-medal-winning victory.

Before the Olympics, Craig was an All-American goalie at Boston University, leading his team to a NCAA national championship. After the ‘Miracle’ game, Craig went on to play professionally for three NHL teams, where he sustained a career-ending injury while playing for the Minnesota North Stars. He is enshrined in the Boston University Hall of Fame, the International Ice Hockey Federation Hall of Fame, the United States Hockey Hall of Fame, and the United States Olympic Hall of Fame and is a co-recipient of both the Lester Patrick award and the Sports Illustrated "Sportsman of the Year" award. He is also a graduate of Boston University and earned his doctorate in humane letters from Mercy College.

Following Craig’s professional hockey career, he transitioned his success into the corporate world as a motivational speaker, powerful salesman and corporate consultant. He has been inducted into the Sales Halls of Fame for two different companies, having increased a sales territory from $300,000 to $50 million in annual sales. Following this role, Craig moved on to become the Vice President of a promotional marketing agency. Under his guidance, the agency increased annual dollar sales by 80 percent and its number of clients by 30 percent in just two short years.

For more than 35 years, Craig has inspired, instructed and provided strategic and winning direction to some of the most prestigious companies across the world, including Kellogg's, Bayer, Deloitte, Bank of America, Coca-Cola, Procter & Gamble, and Disney, as the successful owner and president of his company, Gold Medal Strategies. Craig has been selected three times as one of the top five speakers on team building in the United States, and has evolved to not only deliver motivational speeches, but host immersive corporate training programs that teach participants how to think differently and believe in their possibilities. Craig is the co-author of the highly acclaimed business book, "Gold Medal Strategies: Business Lessons from America's Miracle Team" and recently released his newest book and legacy piece, "We Win! Lessons on Life, Business & Building Your Own Miracle Team." In addition to his role with Gold Medal Strategies, Craig serves as a board member of the Special Operations Warrior Foundation, and he has a passion for leveraging his athletic and business success to help others achieve their full potential and lives in integrity with his mission every day!

Speech Topics

Innovation and Strategic Change

  • Always be on the lookout and the hunt for better ways to do things
  • What tools and resources are available to help your team win?
  • How Coach Brooks, a supreme innovator and strategist, taught and mentored us to play a revolutionary type of hockey that would enable us to beat the mighty Soviet machine: a hybrid of the bruising and physical Canadian form of play and the speed, fluidity, and finesse of the Eastern European and Soviet game
  • When needed, abandoning the old, unsuccessful, yet comfortable, for the new and uncomfortable, yet what will eventually enable success

Identifying the Right People for the Right Position

  • As Coach Herb Brooks said when building the U.S. 1980 Olympic hockey team: "I'm not looking for the best players - I'm looking for the right ones."
  • Selecting the type of players so that the whole (team) is greater sum of the parts (employees, players)
  • Being on guard against prima donnas and disruptive influences
  • Finding your captain and team leader

Creating Great Groups

  • Instilling in people a sense of destiny and desire to accomplish greatness
  • Maintaining a competitive edge and a view that the team is an underappreciated underdog that will win, shock, and inspire

Self Reliance and Personal Responsibility

  • How do I strive for and achieve personal excellence?
  • How do I stay committed to my personal goals?
  • How do I condition myself to be professionally tough – better than my competitor?

Building a Winning Team and Corporate Culture

  • Recruiting and selecting the right players
  • Inspiring, guiding, and motivating team members to put "team" in front of individual interests
  • Managing and coaching team members to work efficiently and in synchronicity
  • Identifying "diamonds in the rough"

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