James Redden

Gnarled veteran of UK Special Forces, brain injury survivor, and speaker who explores the limitless possibilities of applying lessons learned from his experiences to building cohesive, effective teams that deliver the results businesses expect and demand.

James is a public speaker and coach based in Oxfordshire. In recent years he’s had the pleasure of speaking to numerous companies, organisations and schools.


James has given two presentations to Microsoft and our partners. His stories encapsulate what it means to both lead and be led; he has a unique perspective on leadership and motivation which shows in James’s passion for exploration and technology and the way he uses both to focus on mental health issues shines through in his talks.

Michael Vermeersch, Microsoft Digital Inclusion Lead.

The presentation James gave to our partners was a thought-provoking series of stories that took the audience on a journey into the dark heart of mental health issues.

Zohar Marer, Lindengate

Thanks for the presentation. I appreciate that this was pulled together at extremely short notice but it definitely had the desired impact in terms of focussing the team on how we should be looking at new opportunities.

Ian Burgess, Carlson Wagonlit

James presents ideas taken from his time in the British Army and adapts them to the modern workplace. His primary focus is on using military training and techniques to create effective, functional teams that produce results regardless of the team dynamic. He leverages lessons learned during his time skiing over 2,000 miles in the Arctic and extremely cold weather conditions and demonstrates how they apply to the less extreme workplace. The content of his talks includes leadership from the extremes, working alone in inhospitable locations and preparation for working in hostile environments.

In addition, he explains the impact of a near-fatal brain injury – memory loss, ADHD-like symptoms, and the constant battle with apathy – and demonstrates how simple tools and techniques can be used to enhance everyone’s focus and output.

His experience has relevance for a range of leadership areas:

  • Developing strategic thinking and planning
  • Building and developing effective teams
  • Motivational skills
  • Overcoming difficulties and building resilience
  • Developing a high-performance culture through objective setting and monitoring performance
  • Developing an innovation culture

Presentation Titles

Who Trusts Wins

Special Mission units of the British Armed Forces comprise various characters, each with their own particular demands and needs. Given this statement, it would be fair to conclude these teams are, at best, ineffective, but they work. And they work effectively, to a degree most people fail to comprehend. In this talk, James outlines the process of selecting soldiers for this arduous, highly dangerous process and demonstrates how candidates are forged into teams that deliver results.

Me, My Brain, And I

Before the doctor had a chance to explain the MRI image he’d pulled from its protective sleeve, James knew the large white shadow in the centre of the image was not meant to be there. For the next few minutes, he absorbed the gravity of the situation. The one phrase embossed in his memories is this, “You shouldn’t be alive.”  Although the excision of the tumour was a success, what he refers to as ‘the lump’ left a lasting legacy – a man with poor memory, easily distracted, and fighting a constant battle against apathy. In the years following surgery, James has turned himself into a human guinea pig and taught himself various techniques and tools to aid in overcoming the effects of the huge hydrocephalus created by the tumour. This talk provides a convenient, easy-to-use toolkit that can be employed to counterbalance memory issues and distractions that have become such a common part of everyday life.

Life After and Below 40

An honest account of the experiences of travelling through some of the coldest, most inhospitable. locations on the planet. James talks about the essential element of any expedition: communication. He’ll also tell you what can happen when events and weather conspire to serve up an unhealthy helping of almost certain death.

Presentation Schedule

James’s presentations last between 20 minutes and 1 hour. Each one can be modified based on your needs and factors such as award ceremonies, Q&A sessions, socialising, and other arrangements can be woven into the schedule

Prior to all engagements, James will arrange a meeting to clarify your requirements for the event and confirm the content with you.