5 Steps to Topgrade Your Company

5 Steps to Topgrade Your Company

If Topgrading can help companies like GE and Honeywell be the best, then it would make sense to model and implement into your organization. 

Topgrading, a recruiting methodology developed by Brad and Geoff Smart in the U.S., has found great success with many blue chip companies for the past 30 years. The process systematizes how to hire and retain employees that are “A Players,” rather than accepting B and C Players, which are often classed as mishires and then later, after spending much energy, time, and money, are fired.  When you want to hire sales professionals, Topgrading really brings the best sales professionals to the forefront. 

9 Finger Guitarists & 1 Handed Pitchers

9 Finger Guitarists & 1 Handed Pitchers

Let’s embrace our hippie mind for a bit: put on some new age music, the space music, the music of the spheres or maybe even some Rolling Stones. If you’re in Colorado, you may light up. For the rest of us, we will be content to center into our own being.

Write a Letter

Write a Letter

In this time of email and texting, we forget the power and gravitas of the humble, hand-written letter. It used to take time to send and receive a mail. For that reason, a bit more effort was involved in the crafting of letter. Letters, the ancestor to that speedier youth email, still had a light, conversational tone. Some letters would be drafted and then rewritten, but more often than not, a letter was written out and then mailed. The delete key was unavailable. What you wrote took you down the page. The causal speaking through words to a specific reader — an audience — gave writing a singular focus. 

Childhood Room

Childhood Room

This section ask you to remember your childhood room. The reason to you go back and write about this is it is one of the first places of your memory. Your room was your first place. Like in a movie or a novel, the setting is important and plays a part in the developing drama. It was important that War and Peace was in set in Russia or The Tale of Two Cities in London and Paris or Luke’s training with Yoda in The Empire Strikes Back was on Dagobah. 

Exercise

Exercise

Our present time, even with all its shortcomings, is mindboggling outstanding: more people on the planet can live better, healthier, and longer than any other time in history. The vehicle you have to move you around this quality life is your body and you must care for it to maintain a long, productive life. If your body goes, it becomes increasingly more difficult to think, create, and dive into new endeavors that enhance your own life and the people around you. For that reason, I consider this section one of the most important.  

Simple Greetings

Simple Greetings

When my son graduated from high school, the teachers asked the students to write “thank you” cards to their parents or guardians. When my wife and I received ours in the mail, we were touched. Only four sentences in length, it was appreciative and warm.

Be Quiet!

Be Quiet!

Quietly, spend some quality time with yourself. If you can, spend a whole day alone, in quiet. Henry David Thoreau went out into the woods to live deliberately and find quiet. That is difficult to do in this day and age where most of us work and are guided around by our mobile phones and email.

No News is Good News

No News is Good News

Imagine two people in a silent room. Both of them are down, depressed. Then one tells a joke and laughter starts. You can feel the energy in a room change and lighten. The feeling of the room changes and the energy is contagious. We’ve all been in a room where someone comes in and the energy of the room brightens. Of course, there are times when the energy in the room is zapped by a certain person entering too. 

Break Your Watch

Break Your Watch

Many people are enslaved by time. They go about their day glancing at their watch or smart phone. I know that I do! We have a buzz on our smart watch alerting us to run to the next phone call, get to the next appointment.  We live by our calendars and seek to hit ever meeting. There is nothing wrong with such a habit, but it is good to remember that it is a habit. For years you may have had the habit of wearing a watch without thinking about it. You just slipped it on after university, or maybe in high school, so that you could reach your classes on time and then forgot to remove it—even when going on vacation. 

Choices

Choices

Most of us are pretty good at putting together a plan. Often, come New Years, we scribble down a resolution or two. Even if we don’t write it down, we may have the plan mapped out in our mind. You might decide this year you’ll read a book each month or maybe not snack after 9:00 p.m. Or perhaps you’ve decided to sign up for an online writing course. Maybe it’s to sign up for a certification so you can earn that promotion at work.

Razor's Edge of Oblivion

Razor's Edge of Oblivion

The Sapri-Whorf hypothesis, developed by linguists in the mid 20th century, says that your thought influences your decisions and actions. Of course, like all theories, there is plenty of debate about how much words influences reality, but in effect, they do change how we live our lives.

The Fun Factor

The Fun Factor

Having fun is subjective. Some people find painting model airplanes fun. Others like to play with pictures on their computer. Some write exceptional blogs. Others can bounce a soccer ball on their feet hundreds of times. I know people who can bake and others that draw comics. One guy I know can play banjo. For me, I love to run hundreds of kilometers a month.

Enthusiasm, Yang & Yin, and a Choice

Enthusiasm, Yang & Yin, and a Choice

“Make every day a day of joy.

Dance, play, day and night…

Cherish the child who grasps your hand.

Let your wife rejoice in your bosom

For this is the fate of man.”

-The Epic of Gilgamesh

I’m sitting at my desk and drinking coffee. Its bitter, but I sip it with intention to enjoy the taste, notice the flavor, and make the act special.

Doing What You Love

Doing What You Love

In all of human exploration, with Voyager moving out past Pluto into the Kuiper belt and beyond, with telescopes penetrating the furthest galaxies within the universe, more and more stars are being discovered. Each star is a sun. Around those suns are other worlds, with some of these planets like our humble blue Earth. If we imagine these fantastic planets with other people, maybe some of them like our Earth, with over 7 billion people, their won histories that stretch back thousands of years with countless other people, we can begin to think of how many possibilities there are in the universe.

The Commonplace Book

The Commonplace Book

A Commonplace Book originated from categorizing and taking down notes from what one reads, capturing quotes, images, and ideas. In contrast to a journal which is chronological, a Commonplace Book is categorical. John Locke wrote a book on how to keep a Commonplace Book, and writers like John Milton and Virginia Woolf organized their thoughts into such notebooks. Harvard has photographed Commonplaces dating back from the 16th century and in a variety of languages. Wikipedia describes Commonplace books, or commonplaces as,

Try More Than One Position

Try More Than One Position

If you’re reading this, than my guess you love reading and see the value of the written word. However, it’s easy to get stuck in a rut, the missionary position, and not experiment and dabble into other positions. It’s worth taking the time to feel out some other subjects when you read. I’m not talking about just a bit of casual play, but going out and doing the who bibliophile kara sutra.

Be an Astronaut

Be an Astronaut

Following from yesterday’s post, let’s continue our space theme. There is something exciting, inspirational, and imaginative about space travel. The song from T-Bone Burnett, “Humans From Earth” always sparked my imagination, as did Ray Bradbury’s, “The Martian Chronicles.” And there is still talk if David Bowie was from this world or not. I remember the spark in my son’s eye when asking him what he wanted to be when he grew up and he answered, “A spaceman.” 

Intent: the Key to Experience

Intent: the Key to Experience

I’m sitting at my desk and drinking coffee. Its bitter, but I sip it with intention to enjoy the taste, notice the flavor, and make act special. And the ability to just feel joy is an active choice. To taste my morning coffee, enjoy opening a new book, greeting my wife in the morning with a kiss, having dinner with my sons, all these acts I try to come to with excitement and enthusiasm. Some days it is easier than others but the sheer act of intention works to make an action important. Intent with enthusiasm opens joy for our lives. The word “enthusiasm” comes from the Greek, enthous, which means “possessed by a god, inspired.” To come to an activity, inspired, makes the world a wonderful place.

Read Biographies

Read Biographies

We’re human. We have a history. And as Emerson said, “all history is biography.”As Dr. William Boast and Benjamin Martin write in Masters of Change that to excel in this fast moving world, “Start with the ‘who to’ rather than the ‘how to.’” It is more creative and generative to develop and improving character instead of following a set of rules or steps for success. Rules and steps work for machines and mechanical closed systems, but for creative, living, and dynamic systems that are non-predictive in nature, the improvement of character is a better learning paradigm. Since we can’t experience everything in our short lives, biography holds a vital key to rapid development and improvement of character.

Ask "what if..."

Ask "what if..."

Just by asking, “What if?” you push limits, challenge beliefs, and create possibilities.What if your hair was brown? What if you ate only fish? What if houses had feelings? What if there were no computers? What if dolphins walked? What if humans were the only intelligent beings in the universe?