skip to Main Content

Jim Knight

Jim Knight

Service & Culture Expert

Topic Categories:

Fee Range: 10000-19999

This business culture catalyst demonstrates how an engaged, passionate and committed workforce can distinguish your organization and lead to rock star business success.

A Training & Development veteran for 30+ years, Jim Knight facilitates on a variety of interactive topics, including sessions around amping up organizational culture, world-class differentiated service, building rock star teams and leadership.

Jim cut his teeth in the training field through the Hospitality industry, starting out in the snack bar at Gatorland Zoo, as a restaurant staff-level employee for Olive Garden and then as a host & manager at Hard Rock Cafe. He eventually became the head of the School of Hard Rocks , running point on all global learning & development functions for Hard Rock International.

Although part of a small training group that supported all cafe, hotel & casino properties, Jim Knight’s role at Hard Rock involved many facets of organizational training, including: creating/managing all staff & management training materials & programs, facilitating its corporate university, overseeing management training locations, producing training videos, directing company e-Learning initiatives, facilitating leadership transitions and traveling to properties to deliver on-site classes & measure standards.

Jim has put his experience and creativity to work, which has consistently developed cutting-edge training concepts. During his time with the Hard Rock brand, his team won coveted video Telly Awards (“Guest Service” in 2000, “Menu Rollout” in 2007, “Harassment & Discrimination Prevention” in 2008), garnered Training Directors Forum’s 1998 prize for “Reengineering Training” and won Brandon Hall’s Gold Best in Class Award for their “Service Recovery” e-Learning course. Jim Knight was also recognized by Training Magazine as representing one of the Top 125 training companies in the world out of all industries & businesses. Jim has since been featured in Forbes Magazine, Inc. Magazine, Entrepreneur Magazine, Nation’s Restaurant News, Business News Daily and Fox Business News.

Jim has a music degree in Vocal Performance & Education and taught in the Florida public school system for 6 years, before catching the “hospitality bug”. He is a lifetime member of CHART (an Association of Hospitality Trainers), previously sat on the Certification Governing Board of the National Restaurant Association and started a local networking group (The Training Summit: CHART’s 1st Regional Training Forum) with over 100 active members in Central Florida, to share best practices and discuss common issues with other industry professionals.

Jim is the Owner & CEO of Knight Speaker, which positions him to facilitate at any association or company event, in any industry, as a keynote or breakout speaker. He is also the best-selling author of Culture That Rocks: How to Revolutionize Your Company’s Culture , now in its 2nd edition, which was featured in Entrepreneur Magazine as one of the “5 Books That Will Help You Transform How You Do Business”.

Along with his business partner, Brant Menswar, Jim hosts a weekly leadership podcast called, Thoughts That Rock , which includes a rock star guest and presents 2 life-changing pieces of advice in 30 minutes. Finally, Jim and Brant offer a leadership training program called, Certified Rock Star , as an edu-taining, Rock ‘n Rollinspired experience for leaders looking to amp up their business in a variety of areas.

A portion of Jim Knight’s book sales, podcast revenue, speaking fees and training program proceeds goes to No Kid Hungry to eliminate childhood hunger in the U.S. and Cannonball Kids’ cancer, which funds innovative, accessible research for children fighting cancer with better treatments, quality of life and options for those told they have run out of options.

Leadership That Rocks: Top Leadership Initiatives that will Immediately Deliver Sustainable Results

This impactful session is effectively designed to provide leaders of any level, practical and tactical initiatives to implement to create an iconic business – internally and externally. Topics covered will include: Enhancing Employee Engagement, Producing a Virtuous Environment, Amping Up Communication, Creating an Army of Giants, Mentorship & Accountability as Pillars, Becoming Heart-Centered, Developing Emotional Bank Accounts and Philanthropy as Instrumental. This session will deliver rapid-fire best practices that any leader can immediately put into practice, starting them down the path to rock star success.

Culture That Rocks: How To Amp Up Or Revolutionize A Company's Culture

This high-energy session focuses on those individuals, departments or companies who are charged with creating, maintaining or revolutionizing an organizational culture. The session delves into every area of a company environment and then reveals realistic solutions for systemic change. Topics covered will include: Definition of Culture, Heritage vs. Culture, 3C Employees, Effective OnBoarding Processes, Enhancing Communication, Developing Rock Stars, Employee Engagement and Philanthropy. Attendees will also learn how comic books, Star Trek and the spirit of Rock ‘n Roll can completely alter a company’s culture. Regardless of the company’s cultural history or status, this session will inspire those in attendance to take up the challenge of enhancing their organizational environment.

Service That Rocks: How to Create a Differentiated Experience to Deliver World-Class Results

This high-energy session pertains to any company involved in providing a product or service. Since every company has competitors, the focus of this interactive and visual session is how to differentiate your organization from the rest to become the business & employer-of-choice. Out of everything else, only team member behaviors will determine whether your customers will fall madly in love with you or not. Topics covered will include: Effectively Reading the Customer, Creating a Personalized Experience, Avoiding Acceptable Mediocrity, Becoming Guest/Customer Obsessed, Creating Raving Fans, Eliminating 4-Letter Words, Building Mental Shelf Space, Writing Yourself into the Client’s Story, Increasing Value Proposition and how ice cream, rock concerts and West Side Story can blow peoples’ minds.

Hiring & Retaining Rock Stars: How to Build an Iconic Team

This session is effectively designed to highlight best practices to create and maintain a strong internal employee culture. Knowing that today’s Millennials & the future “digital natives” of Gen-Z make up the talent pool for most industries, there are some key strategies that can be used to tap into and develop that workforce. Jim will discuss ways to create, maintain or revive a desired employee environment, regardless of the current state of the state. Topics covered will include: The Employee Life Cycle, Identifying 3C Employees, Where to Find Top Talent, Designing Collateral (Print, Job Aides, Video, Technology, Social Media), The Power of Storytelling, Creating an Army of Giants, Innovative Ways to Get Team Members to Stay, Mentorship & Development, and Philanthropy as Instrumental.

Performance That Rocks: Managing Your Brand Ambassadors

This session is focused on employee and manager “performance management”. During this holistic class, Jim will share philosophical approaches to managing & measuring performance, but also provide specific tools that have delivered proven & effective results. The time allotted gives attendees unprecedented exposure to industry-recognized Training & Development concepts created by and discovered from Jim’s time working in Hospitality. Proven ideas will be shared in almost every training area, including: New Hire Orientations, Print Materials, Video Production, eLearning Initiatives, Social Media, Management Training Programs, Performance Appraisals, Development Plans, Mentorship Initiatives, Succession Planning, Instructor-led Training, Communication and Leadership.

Virtual programs available
New Webinar Topic

LEADERSHIP THAT ROCKS: Keeping the Brand at Eleven in the New Reality

Please contact us to see testimonials.
Related Speakers

Want to bring Jim Knight to your next event?  Please tell us a little about your event, and we will get back to you shortly!

  • *Required
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Back To Top