Speaking Topics

James has been a featured keynote for events held by some of the World’s largest corporations. His insights gleaned from decades of brand management—and continued presence as an active CEO—have helped make him one of the most sought-after keynote speakers in the world today.

James also features a unique Bespoke Training program, completely customized to meet your unique needs. Whatever your needs are, James can help!

The Art Of Branding

The KEY elements for building a great brand
Each individual is a brand. Just like your favorite shampoo, or soft drink, you as a brand evokes images and impressions in those around you. Are you building the brand equity you want or deserve? Lifting from having successfully led some of the world’s largest and most respected brands, James lifts the 7 key principles of branding that can be, and should be, applied to YOU. In short, how you can quickly become your own personal Brand Manager! It’s a 2 hour journey into the world of branding, using real life examples from around the world of brands you know and love!

Leadership Lessons From Champions

How we can learn from the Greatest Sports Champions and Apply to Leadership in all Walks of Life
In this extremely popular, standing ovation talk, James lifts from real-life coaching examples of world-class athletes, the 5 traits that separate “winners” from “champions” (someone who wins time after time, year after year). The content is highly applicable for instant reapplication by individuals and teams, and is guaranteed to leave an audience salivating to go out and exceed their targets!

Swimmers Vs. Water-Walkers

What separate the good from the GREAT employees?
This short 2 hour training is based on a “famous” note James wrote while at P&G, that is used to this day in many global training sessions, on what is the difference between a “good” employee (one who can swim) and those rare, exceptional employees (a water walker). It is a pragmatic and easily relatable session that inspires people to become water walkers and gives them straightforward expectations on how to get there.

Life Equilivrium: Effective Work And Life Balance

Having a balance in life is not a luxury but a basic right!
This program is 2.5 hour training that Jim has delivered worldwide and is one of the core trainings for work-life balance in P&G, GE and other multinationals. Sixteen proven strategies leveraging Jim’s personal experiences that leave the audience inspired and deeply touched. Most participants will agree they were able to make immediate changes and see improvements within the following days!

Becoming A Worldclass Organizational Manager: Seminar

The A - Z of how to build organization that wins, and wins consistently.
This is a 1.5 day session that aims to train young or beginning to intermediate managers the six components of building an organization, from recruiting through to retention. Each element has group or individual exercises to bring the learning to life for each participant. This program was the backbone for all of P&G Western Europe in the early 2000’s, and was designed and written by James. He has given this training to over 20,000 participants to date.

Why Diversity Is Important

Diversity is far more than a fad or politically correct. It's a business strategy necessary to survive and thrive in a global world
A 90 minute talk on what tangible benefits diversity can bring to any organization, and what are the key barriers. Highly provocative, this is a replica of James’ Keynote speech delivered at the World Diversity Forum in 2003 (Prague). This presentation was later was delivered to senior management at the World Bank and McDonald’s Corporation.

Winning In Emerging Markets

Emerging markets are the backbone of future growth opportunities. Do you know how to win in these high risk, high reward nations?
This is a 2 hour presentation on what it takes to win in emerging markets, a key focal point for many companies today. Delivered by arguably one of the worlds most experienced and successful emerging market leaders, James again provides outstanding insights and proven strategies to win in these economies.

Driving An Innovation Culture

Innovation sits in all of us. How do we wake up the innovation spark in our teams?
Innovation is the role of everyone in the company, not just a “Chief Innovation Officer”. Innovation is the buzzword in today’s business climate and many organizations struggle to get sufficient innovation. Jim was a master at driving innovation, being recognized as one of P&G’s most “out of the box” thinkers and leading many of his organizations to becoming fountains of innovation for the company worldwide. This reputation continued within Coca Cola and British American Tobacco, where the Philippines organization was lauded globally for its innovative ideas that are reapplied across other markets. Today, FHH is considered one of the most innovative and successful consumer paper companies in the world. Over the course of 2.5 hours, Jim takes the audience through real life examples and the factors required to step changed innovation. Included are group exercises to define a clear action plan so the innovation can commence immediately!

The Power Of Leadership

Leadership is the foundation of winning. What makes up leadership, and how do we foster greater leadership in each person on the team?
The Power of Leadership is a 90 minute lecture on the behaviours of great leaders, based on Jim’s diverse background as a coach, athlete, and business executive from continent to continent. Wonderfully down to earth and simple to follow, this program has consistently scored near perfect “5” on a 5 point rating scale!

Bespoke Training

Every organization has unique needs and focus areas, and we are here to tailor to meet your every needs!
James often gives custom training to organizations based upon his vast experiences and equity as a superb leader, businessman, and man of character and depth. Some examples include talks on business ethics, what it takes to be successful without losing yourself, women’s related issues, and many more.

Executive Wellness Bootcamp

A healthy employee is a better employee. Does your team know how to stay healthy?
Fewer topics in the corporate world today get more HR attention than wellness. The linkages of healthier employees to increased productivity, greater longevity, and reduced sick leave—among other benefits—are well-documented. But many programs are poorly designed, taught by unprofessional fitness “experts” or are unrealistic given the corporate audience. Corporate Wellness Bootcamp is a unique program designed and taught by a CEO, for executives. James Michael Lafferty is a physiologist and Olympic Coach as well as a successful CEO. This one-day seminar covers the key components of wellness, from diet to exercise (in under 30 minutes per day!) as well as stress management (co-taught by James’ wife Carol Lafferty HBSc Biochemistry/Neuroscience at University of Toronto; Certified Yoga instructor (RYT200); certified in Stress Management & Meditation (University of Cincinnati) and Certified in Nutrition & Healthy Living at Cornell University) has been offered to rave reviews across North America, Europe, Asia and Africa!

Separating The Good From Great In Sales

Every business leader knows not all sales people are created equal. How can one get every sales person to top level performance?
Did you know that not a single university in the world offers a sales degree? They offer marketing, finance, operations and many other functional degrees, but not sales! Because great salespeople have intangibles that go beyond the classroom! James has been in sales throughout his career, from being a leading sales rep for P&G in San Antonio, Texas, through continuing to sell and manage leading customers like Carrefour, Wal-Mart, Tesco during his General Management career. He has seen it all and has identified a series of factors that separate the good from the great. It’s a highly engaging session that leaves sales teams pumped up and ready to charge out the door! Because everyone wants to be great!

Transforming Your Organization To be Customer-Centric

The customer is always right! But not all organizations embrace this principle.
Being customer-centric is the way to survive and win in the global marketplace. It starts with an attitude and culture of putting customers FIRST. Putting their needs FIRST. In this half-day seminar, participants are guided through the steps required to getting to a culture and team that puts the customer at the heart of everything they do. This course has been delivered to outstanding reviews to both leading corporations as well as public seminars.

A Principle Is Not A Principle Until It Cost You Something - The Case For Ethics In Business

Think Enron. Arthur Anderson. Worldcom. A single ethical lapse can undo decades of goodwill.
This is a popular training James has given to companies, groups of new hires, and graduating students. In this training, James explores the means in which having a backbone of strong principles and ethics leads to winning in business. He weaves in his amazing stories of bribery attempts, press stories, life and death situations, and other defining moments to keep the audience not only riveted to their seats but refreshing their own commitment to impeccable values and principles!

The 7 Habits Of Highly Effective Distributors

A distributor is not a distributor! What separates the very best?
Many companies use distributors as a means to expand their business geographically. However as these companies know, not all distributors are created equal! Having a strong distributor, or raising the standards of an existing distributor, can be the single-largest competitive advantage for a company in a specific market. James has over 25 years of real, hands-on experience with distributors across more than 30 countries, and has distilled his learnings into a punchy talk on the 7 factors that make the best distributors the best! This is an ideal talk for teams which manage distributors and distributor management themselves.

The Strategy Of Execution

Execution is everything. Everything.
Smart leaders know this truth—“The only strategy the customer sees is execution”. Good strategy fails when organizations don’t deliver the right execution. In this talk, James leverages his practical experience as a business leader for over 30 years, on the key principles of how to translate great strategy to even greater execution. As always, James uses his superb storytelling skills and real-life examples to bring this topic to life and make it an unforgettable training for the participants!

Making The Leap From Winners To Champions

Think "winners" and "champions" are interchangeable terms? Think again! One of James' most popular sessions.
Winners win once or occasionally. Champions are different, they win year after year. Taking a page from the learnings of the greatest dynasties in sports, James delivers a terrific session on what business leaders can learn from the greatest sports champions on what makes a champion. One of James’ most popular talks, this talk uses dynamic sports imagery and video to supplement James’ personal experiences in leading businesses and Olympic athletes in an unforgettable and inspiring session.

Making Successful Career Changes

Not all career changes end well. How to ensure the next career move you make step changes your prospects and satisfaction!
James has accomplished a rare trifecta—he has successfully built a career and achieved breakthrough results in three of the leading consumer goods companies in the world—Procter and Gamble, Coca-Cola, and BAT. In a talk that was designed for organizations in the midst of spin-off/divestiture, James shares his personal journey moving from one company to the next, and what the underlying learnings and attitudes which are required for making the successful “leap” to the next stage.