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Jim Knight - Culture That Rocks

174: Jim Knight: I’ve got to be the shield and set the example

Jim Knight Show Notes Page

Jim Knight was asked by his CEO to deliver on a project with an extremely aggressive timeline. Despite all of their effort of working 18-20-hour days and on the weekends, Jim began to realize the task was larger than first assessed. So, Jim reported to the CEO and ultimately learned a vital lesson about transparency.

Jim Knight was born and raised in Kissimmee, Florida just south of Orlando) along with his two younger brothers Greg and Brad. His parents are still married; his Dad was a policeman and fireman, Mom was an office manager. His Grandfathers: Southern Baptist minister and a Georgia farmer.

Jim always wanted to “perform” in some way in front of others. He has always been attracted to people who could sing, dance, act, speak, perform…and so he tried all of those as a youth and utilizes those skills in what he does today. He creates edu-tainment for others.

Early career to current job? 1st job was in hospitality at a local alligator farm attraction (Gatorland Zoo) where I worked on snack bar, sold fish, drove a mini-train, took guest photos holding reptiles. He turned his high school signing experience into a music scholarship at college, which morphed into being a public middle school teacher for 6 years…during which he had an evening job at some restaurants.

Eventually Jim took on a summer job at Hard Rock Café in Orlando (one of the busiest restaurants in the world) …and stayed 21 years (16 as head of Training & Development). He traveled the world for them and built up a world class team delivering programs to protect and perpetuate the brand. He left in 2012 to become a professional keynote speaker and author.

Jim is the Author of Culture that Rocks and his daily mission is to positively impact and influence others. The more that he can get his disrupter ideas into the public domain the more excited he becomes, especially if it has some stickiness to them.

Jim currently resides in Winter Garden, FL and has three kids, Madison and twins Alec and Sydney.

Tweetable Quotes and Mentions

Listen to @knightspeaker to get over the hump on the @FastLeaderShow Click to Tweet  

“Everything is predicated on human learned behavior.” -Jim Knight Click to Tweet 

“In this world of vanilla, that everybody serves, people want a little bit of chocolate in their life.” -Jim Knight Click to Tweet 

“In a world of vanilla ice cream, you’ve got to serve up some chocolate.” -Jim Knight Click to Tweet 

“There are people that are in jobs, that shouldn’t be in jobs that are dealing with human beings.” -Jim Knight Click to Tweet 

“If I can put the right people in the environment that we needed, then they would become rock stars.” -Jim Knight Click to Tweet 

“Turnover, for most industries, is the root of all evil.” -Jim Knight Click to Tweet 

“We’ve got to wear many more different hats than it used to be.” -Jim Knight Click to Tweet 

“I’m not going to be everybody’s cup of tea, but my goal is, I’m going to be myself.” -Jim Knight Click to Tweet 

“I would much rather fail forward.” -Jim Knight Click to Tweet 

“Some people would love for it to be 100% transparent, but there are many times you’ve just need to be able to put a cork in that.” -Jim Knight Click to Tweet 

Hump to Get Over

Jim Knight was asked by his CEO to deliver on a project with an extremely aggressive timeline. Despite all of their effort of working 18-20-hour days and on the weekends, Jim began to realize the task was larger than first assessed. So, Jim reported to the CEO and ultimately learned a vital lesson about transparency.

Advice for others

Your long and winding road is riddled with failures, but you’re ultimately going to reach nirvana.

Holding him back from being an even better leader

Having more access to senior decision makers.

Best Leadership Advice

Stay within your circle of influence.

Secret to Success

To stay ever present.

Best tools that helps in Business or Life

Time management.

Recommended Reading

Culture That Rocks: How to Revolutionize Your Company’s Culture

Rock ‘N’ Roll With It: Overcoming the Challenge of Change

Contacting Jim Knight




Resources and Show Mentions

Call Center Coach

Empathy Mapping


Show Transcript: 

[expand title=”Click to access edited transcript”]

174: Jim Knight: I’ve got to be the shield and set the example


Intro: Welcome to the Fast Leader Podcast, where we explore convenient yet effective shortcuts that will help you get ahead and move forward faster by becoming a better leader. And now here’s your host, customer and employee engagement expert and certified emotional intelligence practitioner, Jim Rembach.


Call center coach develops and unites the next generation of call center leaders. Through our e-learning and community individuals gain knowledge and skills in the six core competencies that is the blueprint that develops high-performing call center leaders. Successful supervisors do not just happen so go to to learn more about enrollment and download your copy of the Supervisor Success Path e-book now. 


Jim Rembach:   Okay, Fast Leader legion, today I’m excited because I really get to learn the true meaning behind vanilla ice cream today and so will you and that’s why I’m so excited to have the guest that I have on the show today. Jim Knight was born and raised in Kissimmee, Florida just south of Orlando along with his two younger brothers Greg and Brad. His parents are still married his dad was a police and fireman and really a service person most of his life. His mom was an office manager and his grandfathers were Southern Baptist ministers and a Georgia farmer. Jim always wanted to perform in some way in front of others. He’s always been attracted to people who could sing, dance, act, speak, perform so he tried all those things as a youth and he utilizes those skills today in what he does. He creates edutainment for others, for those that know I actually call the Fast Leader show a docu-edutainment so my part is that we’re going to learn a little bit more about Jim. 


Early in his career, he actually worked hospitality at a local alligator farm attraction where he worked at the snack bar, sold fish, drove a mini train and took guest photos holding reptiles. He used his high school activity in singing and turned it into a music scholarship at college which morphed into being a public middle school teacher for six years during which he had an evening job at some restaurants. Eventually he took on a summer job at Hard Rock Cafe in Orlando and stayed 21 years. He traveled all over the world for them and built a world-class team delivering programs to protect and perpetuate the brand. He left the Hard Rock Cafe in 2012 to become a professional keynote speaker and author. Jim currently lives in Winter Garden, Florida and has three kids Madison and twins Alec and Sydney. Jim Knight, are you ready to help us get over the hump?


Jim Knight:   I am so ready. I love it. What a great introduction, thank you, Jim. 


Jim Rembach:   Man I’m glad you’re here. I had the opportunity to actually see you on one of your keynote speeches and I was I was just so charged and energized loved your story loved your catchphrases loved your analogies I just wanted to have you on the show, so I’m glad you’re here. I’ve given my legion a little bit about you but can you tell us what your current passion is so that we can get to know you even better?


Jim Knight:   Probably the session that you saw was around either culture or services tend to be my number one and number two topics. I move at blazing speed it sounds like you’re faster than I am which I love but I am loud and fast and aggressive when I’m on stage and probably the session you saw was around culture and that honestly is my passion. Just whenever I get a chance to help out a brand amp up their organizational culture, I’m all about that. So I will go out of my way to help define it to help brands understand that everything is predicated on human behavior learned behavior. I try and get people to think a little bit differently than just the actual stuff that they actually sell. I will focus on surrounding yourself with great people, I say an army of giants. If you can sort of get the right people on the right seat on the bus I know that’s an overused sort of cliché but you really will just perpetuate the brand I think. Ramping up company culture and it could be anything around customer service or employee engagement you sprinkle in a little bit of philanthropy and leadership that’s pretty much in a nutshell is the essence of what I talk about.


Jim Rembach:      Well, I would dare to say that you kind of make things a little bit more real to the mainstream like you were talking about having things to be sticky in the mainstream. I think everybody can resonate and connect with like the whole—everybody serves vanilla ice cream however you have to do what? 


Jim Knight:   I use that analogy just because I think there’s such a world of melees going on. For the most part people are focusing on down the middle of the plate it’s a sea of sameness and so when I use ice cream as an analogy I say in this world of vanilla that everybody serves people want a little bit of chocolates in their life. I’m looking for people that when I go out to eat and drink and shop and stay and play and be around anybody where I’m going to spend money, I want to be treated special and that’s what I think chocolate ice cream is like. It’s just a little bit unique it’s a little bit different than the same-old, same-old that everybody is getting. The catchphrase for me is always in a world of vanilla ice cream you got to serve up some chocolate, people need a little bit of chocolate in their lives.


Jim Rembach:      I could totally understand that. You said something a moment ago when you had mentioned about the learned piece. I think especially going through and doing some of the corporate training pieces and trying to get people to live the brand you really have to go beyond the learn piece and turn it into practice. Something that they have to do in order for it to become  something that is consistent and that’s kind of where a brand kind of can take off and really find its power.


Jim Knight:   That’s right. But the problem is that there are people that are in jobs that really shouldn’t be in jobs when they’re dealing with other human beings so I guess because my background is being more in hospitality than anything else what I’ve learned over the years. I was a training and development guy I’m smack dab in the middle of the employee lifecycle. I don’t have anything to deal with how people come into the business or how they leave so I’m going to train with whatever you give me. If I was smart enough to really help the brand out a little bit more if I had a time machine I’d go back to be a recruiter because I think I at least understood that if I could put the right people in the environment that we needed then they would become rock stars. But here’s the problem, because everything is learned behavior everything you learned everything from school from your parents from your friends from your siblings from religion from lack of religion from the playground by the time that you come to me as a 19-year old kid you are the way you are. I could fake it if the boss is watching me if you told me my job depended on it and I’m staring at you for a certain amount of time I could fake it for a while. But if my natural disposition isn’t to be around other people isn’t to really deliver something with excellence isn’t to move at blazing speed and have an attention to detail and sense of urgency well that’s going to be a problem because they’re going to be fake the whole and so I think eventually these people wash out of these positions where they have to interact with others. I know it’s learned behavior I know that with some training and development and rewarding and recognizing and leadership you can help them along the way but at the end of the day they’ve got to be able to do that and for them it’s sheer will. And if they’ve not learned it early on if their value orientation isn’t the same you’re going to struggle with that individual. It’s almost better to go out and find these rock stars. You might have to mind for them but if you can find them somewhere else and bring them into the fold it’s better than trying to create them while they’re there with you for the very first time.


Jim Rembach:   Now you bring up a really interesting point and I would dare to say that a lot of people have learned how to fake it but you still have that natural wiring thing and they end up getting exhausted because they have to essentially operate outside of their norm that’s a lot of energy. I had a guest on the show a while back we talked about energy units meaning that we only have so many energy units in a given day. We have things that affect our energy units like, did we get enough sleep the night before? Are we eating well? Are we exercising? Too much stress and so our energy units could be impacted but the fact is that we only have so many. If we’re operating outside of what our normal behavior is man we just suck those things up faster.


Jim Knight:   You got it. That’s why TV shows like Big Brother and Survivor they’ve got the cameras on all the time but people actually really do and they’ll say this every time they’re on these shows they do forget that the cameras are rolling everyone’s law and I’ve heard that you can only fake behavior around the 70 minute mark that’s an hour and 10 minutes. So, somebody really was staring at you can fake it fake it fake it but an hour and 10 minutes, oh my god I’m exhausted, you will resort back to the way you actually are. It’s one of those things where, yeah, you can sort of kick it up a notch you can actually teach yourself if you had that ability and the wherewithal to say I’m going to learn this I’m going to get better but it is really, really tough if you’ve had 19 to 21 years of the ensconced behavior that doesn’t allow you to go and do that and now you put them in an environment where you’re expected to do it it’s really, really tough. And so that’s the problem right now the talent war is so huge right now. Even right now we’re lucky to be in an environment where it’s low unemployment. You’re going to have a harder time finding the right people because it’s just not being taught somewhere else, and that’s unfortunate.


Jim Rembach:   Gosh, there’s so many things as running through my head listening to you talk with other guests that I’ve had and other things that I’ve followed up on in regards to the education system in regards to the emotional intelligence being sucked out of kids because of a whole slew of different factors including their addiction to their devices it just goes on and on and on. I would so I would dare to say, and you could probably shed some light on this, is that if we start looking at the worker that we had 10 years ago versus the worker that we have now, what are  companies have to do differently to develop those people to get the performance that they need out of them?


Jim Knight:   If it’s frontline employee, I actually have a couple friends and I there’s a couple of businesses even now where it’s almost 100 percent populated by millennials. It’s funny to even—I hear so many people talk about the millennials. Millennials are already here I mean I actually think about the next generation these digital natives. My kids, my 18-year old kids are part of that next generation and in a year or two they’re going to be working for us. The problem is these businesses because they realized that these behaviors are not being taught you have a choice you can do one of two things you can get frustrated and say, there’s no way I’m going to hire you because you don’t have the skills or they’ve learned that the first job is going to be the right job. And so what they’re having to do is teach them how to count money how to use a mop and a broom how to not be on their device and actually look at people in their eye and smile and then be ever-present when somebody is around them. These are things that are just not taught, the physical activity of wiping down a counter or whatever. If you haven’t learned any of these things if you had no chores like probably you and I did Jim, it’s really going to be a struggle. 


I have a friend he has a frozen dessert concept in Chicago and every single one of her employees are young kids they’re all like 15 16-year olds. If you’re 19 you probably a manager at that point you’ve got all these kids in there and she’s just decided I’m going to teach him life skills. And so what happens is they’ll go to college and get a degree and sometimes circle back around and come and work for her or their parents will write them letter saying you changed my kids trajectory and how they think about life and the world and everything else. Being in an automaton manager where people coming in and punching the time clock. I’m not sure there’s a lot of business owners that are thinking like that because I think they’re just frustrated they’re looking for the talent out there and they get frustrated because they can’t find the right ones versus you might have to sort of be the pseudo parent a little bit and teach them some of these skills. If you can go through that and you have the patience to deal with it and put it in the time and the energy the effort and the rigor I think what you get out of that are some brand ambassadors that will stay with you forever. 


Jim Rembach:   I think that’s a really important to note is because I think it is a situation and I think this part of where that whole generational and that picking on the millenials because that’s the kind of what I see it. Even when I start thinking about some of the behaviors that people who are my age now having to lead these people or a couple of levels down is that they’re like, these darn kids. I’m like, I was one of those and some of the things that they’re talking about meaning I wanted to be the CEO at 23, I had that mentality because I was impatient that’s the way I’m wired. So I’m like, is it really all that different? I think one of the differences may be that we’ve hyped it. The other difference maybe is that there’s more of those people that have some of those behaviors where it’s like, gosh, they don’t even know—I even jokingly asked my kids when they’re essentially doing things that are they’re (12:35 inaudible) like helpless, I’m like, do I need to come wipe your butt too? I mean it’s like, come on.


Jim Knight:   I’ll chew your food for you if you need that? 


Jim Rembach:   Do you mind if I get older and have teeth problem but hey— but it’s like, come on— we’re trying to trying to teach them these life skills thinking that you don’t have to do that as an employer I think is really where the change has to come. Like you’re saying we want them to already be at a step three of life development and they hadn’t hit one yet.


Jim Knight:   Exactly, exactly. And it’s tough and I’m not going to stand here and say that it’s an easy thing it’s probably the hardest thing you’ll ever do. Unless you’re a standalone entrepreneur working in a kiosk I guess by yourself, we need people to do the things that you need them to do. They might not want to do it I mean that’s part of leadership getting people to do the things you need them to do. For me it’s a preordained result I know exactly what I need people to do to bring the standard to deliver something with excellence. Especially when I’m not around, I know exactly what I need people to do. I have a choice you can either go and find these people who already have that inherent DNA running through their veins they got the juice inside of them already or I’m just going to have to admit most the people coming to the party aren’t going to have all of those skills and I’ve got to train them some of the skills. And then I can’t get frustrated if they don’t get it right away. So that’s training, its development, it’s rewarding, recognizing, leading them, throwing your arms around and loving them and then once again will get people to stay with you longer. I know turnover for most industries is the root of all evil people are just coming and going you never get to the sweet stuff you never get to the awesomeness so you’re constantly working like a hamster in the wheel. The longer that you can get people to stay with you and be like I said that brand ambassador they will do anything for you, you’re going to have a whole lot of awesomeness that’s waiting for you on the other side.


Jim Rembach:   Right. I’m thinking about a mindset perspective it used to be that emotional intelligence wasn’t even on the radar screen and then it was, hey, I want to find people that already are emotionally intelligent and then I want them in my organization. I think now it’s like, okay, I just need to know that I’m going to have to teach them emotional intelligence.


Jim Knight:   Yeah, exactly. I think there are so many people out there that have got to become better educators, better human resource, directors if you will. Again even if you’re the standalone person that they think that’s in charge of the business and you started the thing and you’re the president or whatever we’ve got to wear many more different hats than what it used to be. In the past it’s all segmented you could relegate it out to somebody else but now you’re just going to have to take on the role of, I’m going to be an educator and that’s not going to stop on day one that’s going to be continuous.


Jim Rembach:   Without a doubt. Okay, talking about having to do all of those different things and having all of those frustrations and you’re a big guy who brings in the energy when you’re on stage and so when you start talking about where you find energy and where we find energy. On the show one of the things we look at are quotes. Is there a quote or two that you can share that you like?


Jim Knight:   There are a couple, yeah. Unfortunately, most my stuff is rock and roll icons it’s just that the great philosopher Bono actually said at one time which I use quite a bit, “The world is more malleable than you think and it’s waiting for you to hammer it into shape. Sure he was talking more about the philanthropic side this guy has done so much for the world and he commands the voice of the Pope and presidents and everything else but he’s using his stage to really go out there and try and influence and impact people in a positive way from a philanthropic way he’s trying to save the world. So that quote has always stuck with me. I also have Kurt Cobain’s quote from Nirvana the lead singer sadly passed away in the early 90s. He talks about the fact of an individual so the one from Bono was about, you can go out there make a difference. But Kurt Cobain’s I love, “I’d rather be hated for who I am then love for who I am not.” So, I do tend to think that I’m a little bit irreverent at times I’m a little bit unpredictable at times I’m fairly safe when I’m on stage but I do try and think with a little bit of a different mindset. I’m not going to be everybody’s cup of tea but my goal has always been I’m going to be myself I’m going to be  my true, authentic self. And so I would much rather be hated for who I am than loved for being a poser and lip syncher out there. I’m just not going to that. So if I use this two music icons if that’s alright for a quote that’s how I’m living my life.


Jim Rembach:   I think that’s great. The impact and the lyrics and many of those things that are said and the personalities and all of that’s within it they’ve had a great impact on our life. When you start thinking about, gosh, I’m thinking about the restaurant business and my short foray in it talking about the whole fast pace and remembering  things and you understand the other it’s like, gosh, that’s a tough place to be in. I also know even that time and tenure when you were at Hard Rock I think the business itself kind of took up a few rollercoasters it wasn’t always right. 


Jim Knight:   Yeah, exactly. 


Jim Rembach:   But I’m sure—and also making the decision to kind of do your own thing and step away. There’s a lot of humps that you’ve had to get over. Is there a time where you’ve gotten over the hump that you can share with us?


Jim Knight:   I have had a hump or two I would much rather fail forward I know that’s probably another cliché line but it’s the truth. Now as I’m older I know to lean into it. I can clearly remember that I had one moment that was really—for me is a little bit embarrassing it was a little tough from a leadership standpoint. When I first took over the department I was by myself when I left we had nine people working for us. It was probably near the end of my tenure at Hard Rock, my CEO had come to us we were coming up on our 40th anniversary of the brand and asked us to do a video basically a video montage pulling from old Hard Rock footage from the founders from the very first server out of the first piece of merchandise, how did memorabilia start it’s really more of a documentary, I know that’s the world that you play in as well, the problem was we had an entire room full of every bit of format you could think of DVD, CD, Betamax, VHS, and what he wanted was to create almost a media library, if you will, sort of like a news room would do. He wanted us to digitize all of that work because some of it honestly if you took it out of the box it had already disintegrated like some of the film 8mm stuff and all sort had fallen apart. So the goal was I had to in less than two months digitize all of that footage pulled from all of that meta tag all of it and say, this was this person she was here in this location on this date with Rod Stewart in the background, like there was a lot of work that would go into this in a very short finite time. 


He told me cost was not an issue all hands on deck so we stopped doing everything, my team of nine I had one person that focused on the day-to-day management training that we couldn’t come off, but everybody else immediately stopped what they’re doing, We all started working pretty much 18-20 hours a day we’re working on the weekends I had a couple people that we had to cancel their vacations, this was all during the holidays coming up through Christmas, we were using people’s sons and brothers and daughters and significant others we went online on the Craigslist and bought something like 20 I think Beta machines that could actually play stuff and converse—I know it’s sort of a long story—but it was really painful because we did all of this work and it was starting to get close to the end date for the conference which was really cool nice to have but it wasn’t mission-critical for the brand but that’s what the CEO wanted. He had talked about it with me on a regular basis and I finally went into the office and said I think we’re going to miss the date, I don’t think we’re going to be able to get it done. I can’t have them work any harder all my people are burned and exhausted we’re all sleeping here we’re on Red Bull, coffee and Mountain Dew and everything else and he said, then I will fire everybody on the team. And it was a real tough moment and—I like to CEO I like him a lot and I know it was a little bit of frustration for him probably to say that my leadership failing and I went back and told the team that and I should have done that. I know this was probably one of my biggest leadership failings that I got to keep stuff close to my vest and I’ve got to be the shield and I’ve got to set the example and we could have done things pretty much a little bit different not any harder for sure but what came out of that is I immediately lost one person on the team. That was it he was done and I lost another one pretty soon after that and I think you can pretty much go back to that moment in doing all of this work and then all of a sudden your boss comes to you and says, hey listen if you guys don’t get it done the CEO said we’re all out of here. I just learned a lot from that there are times when you do share information and I’m sure some people love her to be 100% transparent but there are many times you’ve got to just be able to put a cork in that and figure out a way to deflect it. I bet you he would have never ever fired the team that was just something he said and I made it a little bit worse than it needed to be. And I was in a department that we had hardly ever lost anybody so to lose two right after that that’s a clear indication of my leadership failing. So, that’s why I wish I could have gone back in time and had a little bit of a do-over. 


Jim Rembach:   Well, I’m sure there was a whole lot of factors that went in to that. Thanks for sharing that story because I actually saw myself in a couple of those things I’m like, oh huh gosh, I know I probably conveyed one or two things and I probably shouldn’t have either and I think we’ve all kind of done that. There’s so many factors that play into that, your frustration your own fatigue your own—I’m sure even going in his office and telling them that you don’t think that you were going to make it, that was a huge effort. 


Jim Knight:   I got caught too because somebody on the team went back and told my boss, who then also told the CEO, so within probably two hours I had a door slam in my office the CEO and my boss is standing in front of me and asking me direct questions, did you go and tell the team? And I said, yeah, it was pretty disappointing I wouldn’t say that it was a complete knocked out of me I wasn’t getting demoted I wasn’t getting fired but boy I put a chink in my armor that it took me a while to climb out just from a headspace standpoint to be a much better leader and I just said that’s not going to happen for me again, so, it was it was clearly a moment. I’ve had some pretty good runs as a leader I would say I’m just as good of a follower as I am a leader. But when I’ve been in that role I’ve been okay but boy the one or two times they’ve been a couple black eyes I wish I could go back in time, but it did make me stronger I can certainly say that. 


Jim Rembach:   Well, just like you said eventually you kind of fell forward but it felt like I probably I can kick back but you fell forward. I know you have a lot of things are going on it’s not just the speaking and all of that. You said you had a couple of businesses that you’re working on, the kids I know are important to you and family as a whole, but if you started looking at one goal that you were to have what would it be?


Jim Knight:   My goal regardless of who it’s with is going to positively impact and influence others, it’s always been like that. You said it best. Whether it’s just being a rock for my kids I like doing that for my friends and family just being a positive influence in their life it’s also helping individuals out with their careers. I want them to be rock stars in their own businesses. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a close friend of mine but if people have reached out this is sort of the one-on-one consultancy side of me I’ll certainly do that. It could be leading people to Christ I have a strong religion inside of me so when it’s appropriate when it makes sense I will go out of my way to help impact to influence people with that. I’m hoping companies obviously be world class that’s in my professional career and honestly like I said I’m out there in shop land myself. I have to eat and drink and go and spend time in retail store it just frustrates the crap out of me when it’s just mediocre service. So whether it’s their culture or their organization or even—if I could somehow get my hands in sconce and revolutionizing in the entire industry even if it’s one business at a time that’s my goal. You would think from the majority of my background is food and beverage and hospitality but the majority of my speaking is actually outside of that it’s banking and insurance and auto mechanics, funeral directors are my number one clients senior assisted living number two right behind it. And you’re like, what is this guy from the hard rock with the freaky hair and whatever like what is he going to do? And yet everybody’s going through the same challenges. I think if I can help those individual businesses just get better and then along the way I’m just sort of taken some individuals with me who need a little bit of some love and arms thrown around them and I’m going to be that part. I think if there’s one thing that I could probably do it’s going to be the positively impact and influence other people. Whether that’s an organization or individuals I’m going to take as many people with me it’s just been my driving force forever. 


Jim Rembach:   And the Fast Leader Legion wishes you the very best. Now before we move on let’s get a quick word from our sponsor. 


The number one thing that contributes to customer loyalty is emotions. So move onward and upward faster by gaining significantly deeper insight and understanding of your customer journey and personas with emotional intelligence. With your empathy mapping workshop you’ll learn how to evoke and influence the right customer emotions that generate improve customer loyalty and reduce your cost to operate. Get over your emotional hump now by going to to learn more. 


Jim Rembach:     Alright, here we go Fast Leader legion it’s time for the Hump Day Hoedown. Okay, Jim, the Hump Day Hoedown is a part of our show where you give us good insights fast. I’m going to ask you several questions and your job is to give us a robust yet rapid responses that are going to help us move onward and upward faster. Jim Knight, are you ready to hoedown?


Jim Knight:   I think so, let’s do it.  


Jim Rembach:   Alright. What do you think is holding you back from being an even better leader today?


Jim Knight:     Oh, my, gosh. Being on the Fast Leader podcast, does that count? I just needed this one little hump, probably having more access to senior executives more decision-makers.


Jim Rembach:   What is the best leadership advice do you have ever received?


Jim Knight:      Stay within your circle of influence. I think only focusing and spending time on the things you can control that’s a winner. 


Jim Rembach:   What is one of your secrets that you believe contributes to your success?


Jim Knight:      I have the cunning ability to stay ever present, I know it’s hard to do in this technology low attention span world but boy, I can be right there with you and everything else’s a blurry. 


Jim Rembach:   What do you feel is one of your best tools that helps you lead in business or life?


Jim Knight:   Time management, no doubt about it. I’m pretty good at getting stuff done and do it on time. 


Jim Rembach:      What would be one book that you’d recommend to our legion, it could be from any genre?


Jim Knight:   Well I’m cheating, I think my book, Culture that Rocks is one. A friend of mine he’s got a book out that I really love right now called, Rock and Roll with it, and it’s about overcoming the challenge of change. So how do you deal with the individual change? His name’s Brandt Man’s war he’s a friend of mine I’m digging his book right now. 


Jim Rembach:   Okay Fast Leader legion you can find links to that and other bonus information from today’s show by going to Knight. Okay, Jim this is my last Hump Day Hoedown question, Imagine you were given the opportunity to go back to the age of 25 and you’ve been given the opportunity to take the knowledge and skills that you have now back with you but you can’t take everything back you can only choose one. So, what skill or piece of knowledge would you take back with you and why?


Jim Knight:   Oooh, I think I would recommend to myself that I’m pretty resilient. I thought about those failures I just think if I could tell myself that you’re long and winding road is riddled with failures but you’re ultimately going to reach nirvana, I’d be in a good place at 25, if I heard that.


Jim Rembach:   Jim, it was an honor to spend time with you today. Can you please share with the Fast Leader legion how they can connect with you?


Jim Knight:   Yeah, thank you for asking me. You can certainly go to my website which is, Or if you’re interested in my book its you can get there either way. I’m on Twitter @knightspeaker you can find me pretty much anywhere but I’d start with those three. 


Jim Rembach:   Jim Knight, thank you for sharing your knowledge and wisdom the Fast Leader legion honors you and thanks you for helping us get over the hump. Woot! Woot!


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