Rocking leadership with Jim Knight

Mar 16, 2021
Jim Knight doing devil horns hand sign

From his twenty-one-year career leading Global Training for Hard Rock International, to his award-winning training and development workshops and high-energy keynote-speaking engagements, Jim Knight has been bringing rock-star energy to the corporate world for decades—and showing others how to do the same.

Recognized by Training Magazine as representing one of the Top 125 training companies in the world out of all industries and businesses, he has been featured in Forbes Magazine, Inc., Fast Company, Entrepreneur and Fox Small Business News. So you can see why we’re so pumped to be bringing Jim’s book, Leadership That Rocks, to the world stage this spring. Read on to learn more about Jim,  and his rock-star life!

Which three words best describe you?
Passionate, detailed, authentic.

What is your book about?
Leadership That Rocks is an “edu-taining” how-to business book, complete with inspiring leaders, relevant case studies and real-world examples, designed to amp up a new or middle manager’s leadership in maintaining or enhancing a company’s culture.

Whom do you most admire?
Tim Tebow. He is a person of high character and unwavering faith (he is Christian and was home-schooled his entire childhood through high school) who has attained the highest levels of achievement: national college football champion and Heisman Trophy winner. But he has also struggled with challenges in his professional football and baseball careers, handling it all with grace. In his current roles as speaker, author, TV sports analyst, and philanthropist, he positively impacts and influences more people than ever before.

What are the most recent books you’ve read?
If You Build It, They Will Stay by Christopher Cano, Compete Every Day by Jake Thompson, and Black Sheep by Brant Menswar.

What songs do you listen to, to pump yourself up?
Your Time Has Come” by Audioslave, “Thunderstruck” by AC/DC, and “Desire” by U2.

What’s the wildest experience you’ve had at a public speaking engagement?

I have had a few!

  1. I was invited to speak in a major opening keynote role for 4,000 people the day before another speaker backed out. All of the other speakers were well-known celebrities and I was an unknown. Crushing that talk helped put me on the map.
  2. I spoke for a fair association, where my talk was sandwiched between a group of kids spinning plates before me and human contortionists after me. The conference trade show floor afterwards had magicians at booths, clowns walking around, acrobats on stilts, new games to play/try out, a tiger being led on a leash, and fair food samples.
  3. I observed an American Idol–style performance competition between conference attendees made up of funeral directors.
  4. I was snowed in and had a cancelled flight out of Sun Valley, Idaho, with a speaking engagement the next morning in Las Vegas. This forced me to rent the last car in town, drive nine hours through the night in rain/snow mix with zero sleep, to arrive just in time to deliver my keynote at the event.
  5. I spoke in a ballroom for 9,000 attendees as a keynote speaker, among other well-known speakers Giada De Laurentiis and Jay Leno, when the client executives asked me to stay after my speech and do a one-on-one interview with Giada for 30 minutes in front of the crowd.

What is your personal motto?
“A single person with a great idea can start a revolution.”

Where do you find inspiration?
I find it in a healthy mix of music lyrics, business books and podcasts. Some business gurus who resonate the most with me include Jen Sincero, Gary Vaynerchuk, Peter Diamandis, and Steve Farber.