Jim Leighton

Jim Leighton is the President of Perdue Foods, the third largest poultry company in the United States. With over thirty-five years of experience in the consumer packaged goods food and beverage industry, Jim held senior management and executive positions with ConAgra Foods, The Hain-Celestial Group, Celestial Seasonings and Nabisco. Jim was founder and CEO of National Health Management Inc. and a graduate of University of Iowa. He holds a Master’s degree in Business Administration and has taught Leadership and Organizational Behavior as a Senior Faculty Member at Keller Graduate School of Business. Jim serves on the Board of Directors at Smart Balance Inc., multiple trade association boards and Atlantic General Hospital Corporation and Foundation Boards. He lives with his wife, Fritzi, in Berlin, Maryland. For more information, visit www.jimleighton.com.


Q1.  Could you tell us a little about yourself?  

People who know me well describe me as someone who enriches the lives of people by helping teams and organizations become all that they can be.  I am 57 years old. My wife Fritzi and I have been married for 30 years.  We have two wonderful, successful, happy children named Lauren and Jimmy.  Both have found their "FIT" in life.  Lauren teaches advanced placement Psychology at the high school level as she pursues her masters and PhD in education and psychology.  Our son Jimmy recently graduated with honors from the University of Wisconsin Madison and is pursuing a career in law to help those in need. I have had the opportunity to hold a number of leadership and executive positions leading over 100,000 people over the past 35 years. I have also founded and sold my own company and have served on a number of private, public and not-for-profit boards.  One of my passions is learning everything I can about what makes certain people and organizations (teams) successful, healthy and happy while others fall short.  I feel compelled to share my research, readings, experiences and teachings with people who can benefit from my learning.

Q2.  Describe your book "Getting FIT – Unleashing the Power of Fully Integrated Teams" in thirty words or less.

Getting FIT stands for Fully Integrated Teams and is an operating philosophy that helps people and organizations achieve and sustain their highest potential by examining their needs, skills and passions. 

Q3.  What was the hardest part of writing your book?  

Getting organized and hashing out the early concepts was the hardest part. I formed my own Fully Integrated team to ensure the process was successful (meet them at Jimleighton.com).

Q4. What books have had the greatest influence on you!

Numerous authors have changed my perspective on leadership including Jim Collins, Seth Godin, Daniel Pink, Malcolm Gladwell, Mathew Kelly, Sir Ken Robinson and Viktor Frankl. That is just a start. I have read hundreds of books on leadership, organizational behavior, how the mind works, happiness, success and business.  

Q5. Briefly share with us what you do to market your book. 

Gaining word-of-mouth momentum via social media is helping to generate excitement about Getting FIT.  I also use Andrea Larson at Social Suite who does a great job providing me opportunities to share the concepts in the book with outlets like BookBuzzr and many others.

Q6.  How do you spend your time when not writing?

Being around people energizes me and I enjoy being a father, mentor, friend, and a COO. I also enjoy being active in the outdoors, and spending time with my wife Fritzi.

Q7.  What are you working on next?

I am continuing to create POMO (aka: Positive Momentum) for the FIT movement and will write many more books that help people and organizations thrive. Leadership theory fascinates me and I hope to take the best of what I’ve learned through experience and research and share it with others.

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