Jim Craig, the goalie from the 1980 US Olympic “Miracle on Ice” hockey team, was the keynote speaker last week at the 2018 PDMA Annual Conference in Chicago. His speech was inspiring on multiple levels.

Jim shared several stories from his childhood, his development as a hockey player, and his Olympic experience with humor and integrity. He set high goals for himself at an early age, and he was a true competitor with a lot of heart.

One of Jim’s key points was that we should dream big, and if our dreams don’t scare us, they aren’t big enough. He felt that people should lay out their goals and plans with their dreams in mind.

Sure, that’s easy for an Olympic champion to say, but Jim and his teammates would not have beaten the Soviet team in 1980 if they didn’t have big dreams, set Olympic gold as their goal, prepare for that moment, and play at the highest level during that historic game.

With regards to team building, Jim felt that the 1980 Olympic hockey team was successful because they worked hard, their coach (Herb Brooks) had a great plan, and the team members all had the same dream and goal. Jim espoused the importance of teams having shared goals, if not shared dreams too. Over his years in the corporate world doing sales, sales management, marketing and consulting work, Jim felt that it was critical for teams to bond and join together with a common mission.

It was easy to see why Jim Craig has been such a popular motivational speaker. He has a great sense of humor, positive energy, good values, and a story that has inspired generations.

In person at a brief gathering following his presentation, Jim was open to all questions and he shared his insights with those who had the opportunity to spend some time with him. Meeting Jim was a great moment for me. Next time, memo to self and all, bring his replica jersey to have it autographed.