for Creative People.
Here’s What I Do
I’m a strategist and performance coach, working with creative people and performers, particularly those who operate in the public eye, and those who operate under extreme creative pressure.
Among other things, people call me when they need:
to plan a new chapter or make a big decision,
to manage an intense project,
to prepare a big pitch or performance,
to lead creative teams,
to develop a fearless mindset,
to stay calm under fire.
My clients include creative leaders, start-up entrepreneurs, and élite performers. They work in all creative industries, with a particular focus on film & media, music, advertising, and the performing arts. What they share is the need to perform at their fearless best, to be simultaneously calm and hyper-competent, and a context in which expectations are high and margins for error are low.
I work behind the scenes, clients receive the accolades. In the output, my fingerprints are invisible. This makes the work bolder. It’s not for everyone, but I’m happy to talk about whether it’s right for you.
Who is Lucian James (to promise such things)?
I’ve been a lone-wolf strategist for 25 years. The roles have changed but the work has always remained the same. In an era of relentless pressure, it’s always about helping clients to focus their plan, to focus their mindset, and to focus their action.
And increasingly it’s about how to avoid getting burned out in the process. To deal with 21st Century pressure, the mind needs a quality of relaxed hyper-competence. I can give you that.
The first half of my career was about working with creative brands - LVMH, MTV, Sony, others. This second half of my career is focused exclusively on working one-on-one with private clients.
I have a BA and MA in Modern Languages and Linguistics from Oxford University.
I’m based mostly in London and San Francisco, but I work globally, and remotely.
When I’m not working with clients, I hide out with the Yamabushi in Japan, I run marathons, and I read far too much Michel Foucault.
Memberships The British Psychological Society, The International Academy of Digital Arts & Sciences, The Society for the Study of Western Esotericism. Particular Areas of Competence NLP, CBT, Zen, Sports Psychology.
A Few Stories to Give You a Sense of Things
Some identifying details have been scrambled for anonymity.
The CEO & The Legacy This creative leader in mid-life was emerging from 20 years of adrenaline-fuelled work. He wanted to take stock, and create legacy. We worked to find the common thread of all he had done to position the next chapter.
The Fashion Designer & His Gremlins I spent time helping to deliver a well-known fashion designer from his creative demons to ensure they didn’t interfere so destructively in his life and work.
The Swansong & The Aftermath A particularly rewarding project was to prepare an actor for the final performance of her career, and to work through the life adjustment that followed.
The Agent on the Edge An international entertainment executive needed my help to strip down an over-burdened life to the essentials so she could live more simply and well.
The Start-Up with Stage Fright The CEO of a San Francisco start-up called for help with a fundraising pitch. Performance anxiety and insomnia were threatening to collapse everything. We rehearsed the pitch so minutely that even if he’d tried to make a mistake, his muscle memory wouldn’t have let him. And he landed the funding.