Discover the significance of intentional, empathetic leadership in embracing neurodiversity, from challenging hiring practices to fostering collective decision-making. Champion a journey towards greater inclusion, collaboration, and success in the modern workforce through practical strategies and a commitment to continuous learning.

Ed Thompson is a visionary entrepreneur and advocate for neurodiversity in the workplace. As the CEO and founder of Uptimize, he has pioneered a groundbreaking corporate training platform designed to revolutionize how organizations approach talent acquisition and retention. Uptimize stands out for its innovative strategies in attracting, hiring, and nurturing individuals who think differently.

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SDL Media Team


  1. What are some critical components of neurodiversity in the workplace?
  2. When discussing neurodiversity, what are the strategies for surfacing individual preferences?
  3. What is the importance of intentionality in hiring practices?
  4. Why neurodiversity should be considered in interactions with customers and partners?
  5. How do we approach collective decision-making in the workplace?
  6. What are the tools or methods for promoting neuro inclusion within organizations?
  7. Why are humility and openness valuable in leadership and decision-making processes?

The case for neuro-inclusion is most urgent because we know that [the neuro-challenged] have been marginalized and unintentionally excluded.”

Ed Thompson

Founder & CEO, Uptimize


[05:13] Understanding Neurodiversity and the Case for Inclusion

[12:29] Catalyzing Change in Organizational Thinking Towards Neurodiversity

[15:26] Extending Neuro Inclusion to Customers and Partners

[17:59] Insights from ‘A Hidden Force’ and Practical Steps for Neuro Inclusion

[20:48] Subtle Strategies for Understanding Team Preferences

[23:58] Embracing Neurodiversity for Innovation and Growth

[26:41] Signature Segment: Ed‘s LATTOYG Tactics of Choices: Leading with Intellectual Horsepower

[28:28] A Journey Towards Greater Inclusion and Innovation

[31:37]  Signature Segment: Ed’s entry into the LATTOYG Playbook: Leading with Openness and Humility


Ed Thompson serves as the CEO and founder of Uptimize, an innovative platform for corporate training tailored to assist organizations in recruiting, engaging, and retaining individuals with diverse thinking styles. Under Ed’s leadership, Uptimize has made significant strides in fostering neurodiversity within prominent global enterprises such as Salesforce, JPMorgan Chase, Deloitte, and IBM. Through robust programs tailored to each organization’s needs, Uptimize has demonstrated its ability to create inclusive work environments that harness the unique strengths of diverse minds.

Furthermore, Ed has emerged as a prominent advocate of neurodiversity within professional environments, and he has recently authored a book titled “A Hidden Force – Unleashing the Power of Neurodiversity in the Workplace.”



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This podcast episode is sponsored by Shockingly Different Leadership (SDL), the leader in on-demand People, Talent Development & Organizational Effectiveness professional services that up-level leader capability and optimize workforces to do their best work.

SDL is the go-to firm companies trust when needing to:

  • supplement their in-house HR teams with contract or interim HR experts
  • implement leadership development programs that demonstrate an immediate ROI and impact on the business

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Episode 76 | How Embracing Neurodiversity Transforms Leadership with Ed Thompson

 Ed Thompson  00:03

And neurodiversity simply means as it sounds, human brains are diverse, there’s no one normal, typical, the same brain, everybody’s brain is different. Everybody’s brain is wired differently. That means we all experience the world differently. Because of that


Voiceover  00:03

Welcome to the “Lead at the Top of Your Game” podcast, where we equip you to more effectively lead your seat at any employer, business, or industry in which you choose to play. Each week, we help you sharpen your leadership acumen by cracking open the playbooks of dynamic leaders who are doing big things in their professional endeavors. And now, your host, leadership tactics, and organizational development expert, Karan Ferrell-Rhodes.


Karan Rhodes  00:37

Hello, everyone, welcome back to the podcast. And thanks for joining another episode designed to help you better lead at the top of your game. As you know, for season three, each month, we’re featuring leaders who have fascinating roles in a particular profession or industry. And today’s episode is part of our special series featuring leaders who focus on an aspect of professional development. And now enjoy the ship. Hey, they’re superstars. This is Karan and welcome to another episode of the elite at the top of your game podcast. I am so excited to feature on today’s episode, an area of focus, which is critical, in my opinion anyway, to the excess success of leaders of all levels, neuro inclusion, this might be a term you’re not quite as familiar with. But believe you me, you really need to understand this and know this area, and to get curious so that you can upload all your skills. And to help us lead this rich discussion. I am honored to have on today’s show, Ed Thompson, who is the founder and CEO of Uptimize and hopefully I said that right, Ed. Uptimize and Uptimize is a leading neural inclusion training company whose mission is to help organizations embrace and leverage every type of thinker. He and his company have been featured by outlets, including LinkedIn, the BBC, people management magazine,, and the Financial Times amongst a few. So welcome to the podcast. Edd.


Ed Thompson  02:14

Thank you for having me.


Karan Rhodes  02:15

Oh, we’re so honored to have you. And we had a little bit of a chit chit chat before this episode. And then you know how I’m so eager to get into the nitty gritty. But before we do so, we always love to learn just a little bit about our guests. So just as far as much as you feel comfortable, would you mind giving us a sneak peek into your personal life and passions?


Ed Thompson  02:36

Yeah, a little background for me from the UK, from London now based in Denver, Colorado. So we do have people who are looking for a US based service provider, get in touch with us hear my accent and say, Where are you based Again?


Karan Rhodes  02:52

 Right…I bet!


Ed Thompson  02:52

Confusing. Of course, I’m passionate about this topic. I’m passionate about business in general. I’m a prolific reader. I’m also the son of two historians, and studied history at college. So that’s a passion of mine. And I’ve always been a sports fan as well. And I think when you dig deeper, under some of those interest areas, whether it’s business, whether it’s history, and I’m interested in military history, whether it’s sports, I think my interest is people really and how people operate at their best. And what’s interesting about military or sports is you’ve got this, either real or artificial pressure, which is then of course, a question of how do people react under that pressure as leaders as collaborators, and I think that’s why I find those so fascinating. I think there’s lots of lessons that you know, we in business can learn from, from those fields. Actually, with some of the work we’ve been doing around neuro inclusion, I’m hoping it’s gonna go the other way. And there’s actually some stuff that we’ve learned in business around how do we all think and how do we collaborate that ultimately can be taken into some of those other fields.


Karan Rhodes  04:05

Wow. Okay. I’m just gonna admit it right now. And I think we’re our sister and brother from other mothers. I think we both love my honest answers, now, I absolutely am fascinated about people and what makes them tick. It sounds like you are as well. I am a sports fanatic as well, which is kind of not rare. But I think that’s what won my husband over. A girl that really loves sports. And also people who want to make a difference in the world of work you and I are so it sounds exciting and so happy that we were able to connect and feature you. Well, let’s get down into it. And so why don’t you first start out by sharing with our listeners, what neuro inclusion really is, and how that differs from other areas in the D IB space.


Ed Thompson  04:54

Yeah, I think it’s good to start with some of the fundamentals. If people get confused. They hear some of these terms. assumes they’re either new terms, and they have no frame of reference, or they’re old terms. And we can have frames of references that can be distorted by stereotypes and so on. So I think it’s most helpful to start with what is neurodiversity? And neurodiversity simply means as it sounds, human brains are diverse, there’s no one normal, typical, the same brain, everybody’s brain is different. Everybody’s brain is wired differently. That means we all experience the world differently. Because of that, brain wiring. And in the workplace, it means we process information differently. This is why we all have different preferences, different strengths, when it comes to how we work, how we communicate, how we problem solve, and so on. And just a different profile in terms of our kind of core strengths and core growth areas. If you ask, if you’re a leader, and you’re sort of wondering about this, you ask your team, how they all like to communicate best, or how they’d like to receive instructions from you guarantee you’re gonna get a load of different answers, in a sense, that’s neurodiversity in action, so we start there now, appreciation of some of these differences within that human spectrum, have only really come over the last 100, 150 years. And it’s come from the medical identification of certain neuro types, as they’re now known. Or listeners will be familiar with some of these labeled autistic, dyslexic, ADHD, or, and so on. These are people with particular clusters of traits within that bigger spectrum, who were identified initially by the medical profession as having a particular difference from the broader norm. Although again, nobody’s the same, right? Over time, those have really become increasingly identity labels, as opposed to simply medical labels with people understanding, look, I am autistic. That’s simply how my brain works. And I have something in common with other people who identify in that way. And that’s where we get this term neurodivergent and neuro-divergence, and it’s estimated that around maybe 20% of the population might fall into that bucket. Now, it’s confusing and muddy, because again, I started look, nobody’s brain is the same. And it’s very much debated as to what constitutes neuro divergence, and what doesn’t, I had a traumatic brain injury. Some of our subject matter experts at Uptimize, our company would say, Oh, well, Ed, that makes you neurodivergent. Some would say, No, it doesn’t. So it’s a complicated picture. But what’s important is, well, first of all, again, we all think differently. So that means a lot for how we manage how we hire, and so on. But no doubt. People who are neurodivergent, within some of those demographics, I mentioned, have found themselves the worst off because of businesses and societies that don’t think about neurodiversity. And don’t think about how to cater for all these different brains and catering for all these different brains is what we call neuro inclusion. What’s happened is nobody’s been taught about neuro diversity. So nobody’s thinking about neuro inclusion in their daily interactions and Who suffers most from that. It’s people with some of these less common traits and preferences, for example, autistic people, dyslexic people, and so on. Suffering from norms in workplaces that just don’t suit them, whether it’s an over reliance on interviews, or it’s open plan offices and all of the sensory sensory input from that, or whether it’s just cultural ignorance. It’s simply people who hear autistic and think, Well, you can’t possibly be female and autistic, because that’s not my image of it. But of course, that’s, that’s not true.


Karan Rhodes  09:07

Right. You absolutely can. Mmm hmm.


Ed Thompson  09:09

dOf course. So neurodiversity is really a topic as a whole that I think organizations need to embrace. And it has the potential to transform our workforces. And our collaboration if we start thinking about the fact that we all have these preferences and needs and neurodivergent people, of course, fit into that broader whole. The Case for Neuro inclusion, I think is most urgent, because again, we know that some people like autistic people, dyslexic people, and so on, have been marginalized, unintentionally excluded at work, and if we’re an organization that wants to make promises around fairness, equity being a place where everybody can be themselves and so on. I would argue we cannot do that if we don’t consider that demographic.


Karan Rhodes  10:01

No, absolutely. We have to because it, it raises, it could potentially for those who are not as astute on this or conscious of it, there could be a dark side with microaggressions occurring in the workplace because of that lack of neuro inclusion, correct?


Ed Thompson  10:20

Yeah, absolutely. I think it’s interesting. So the companies we work with, typically are very, very committed to their people, very committed to di often they win awards. They state how important their people are to them, of course, typically their most expensive asset. But they really, I think, understand the importance of people in the 21st century economy and the link between people, psychological safety, collaboration, and so on, and innovation and the importance of innovation in a world where everything’s changing so fast. So they get all of those things. And often, those are the biggest priorities. You look at the annual report, what is the CEO talking about, he’s talking about all these or she’s talking about all of these HR issues. But neurodiversity in your inclusion is just a bit of a blind spot. And it’s a blind spot, again, because nobody’s been taught about this.


Karan Rhodes  11:19

So how do you get that corrected, though, and because the people that you’re working with, and the people, the companies and individuals that you’re working with, you’re preaching to the choir, too, because they appreciate right, this name, but yeah, this is Karan, some of the wind guests, there’s probably 90% of companies out there that is not even on their radar. So who can champion this? You can’t be you know, one company show? I’m sure there are others that are a few others out there like you, but it’s not in our normal? I haven’t found it in the normal, strategic conversations at your C suite levels, and what have you. So how can we open the eyes of the key decision makers to help them think about it and prioritize it as part of their people strategies?


Ed Thompson  12:10

Well, it is changing. And of course, it always helps when you have examples of organizations that have taken the leap and are leading and are seeing the results of it. So we could say yes, organizations are as a whole behind on this. But look, if I list some of the organizations, we’ve worked with IBM, Salesforce, Accenture, Microsoft, JP, Morgan, Deloitte, you know, there’s an increasing number of top organizations that get this and are actually taking steps to address it. And I have a friend at Salesforce, who I’ve developed, who’s in their neurodiversity resource group, who famously said to me, as I interviewed him for the book, he said, I could never go and work somewhere that wasn’t doing this because, you know, why would I want to go somewhere that didn’t appreciate the fact that we all think differently, and people like me. So I think we’re actually past the point where, you know, a few a few people are just kind of kicking around the idea it’s happening. So if you’re a leader, you’re now is the time to take a lead on on this topic, what we see is it is always a partnership, we’ve never worked with an organization that wasn’t doing this for the first time. So to some extent, somebody in the organization has begun to shine a torch on this blind spot themselves. And that’s why they would reach out to us now, sometimes that’s a neurodivergent person themselves, who has had certain experiences in the organization where, you know, they want to change that for others. Sometimes it’s networks, its resource groups, disability groups, neurodiversity groups, which have emerged over the last few years. But sometimes it’s just somebody who’s learns about this, read about it, who says, Look, here are all the things we’re trying to achieve. We’re trying to attract the best talent, we’re trying to be a place where everybody wants to work. We’re trying to be super innovative. We’ve just committed 4 billion to innovation r&d. What are we doing about the fact that you know, our people are ultimately going to drive that innovation? And the one tool we all bring to work every day is our brain? Shouldn’t we be thinking about neurodiversity in the way that Google and whoever else is? And I think that’s how it can get started.


Karan Rhodes  14:32

I love that. Absolutely. And you’re so spot on that some of the, I guess logo companies that are taking it seriously definitely help are being case studies and leading the way to others thinking about it as well. And how does neuro inclusion are extend to outside of your say your job or your business say to your customers or vendors. How important is it to understand with an extend that same grace and understanding to them? I guess that’s the question I’m trying to ask.


Ed Thompson  15:07

That is a great question. Because of course, we all have different stakeholders we engage with, particularly senior leaders. Again, I would go back to the fact that neurodiversity is simply a human reality. So what I would encourage you to be aware of your listeners is that that means that every interaction at work is taking place between people who experience the world and process information differently. And to be very conscious of you being part of that your way is not the best way, it’s not necessarily that the normal or the proper way, your way is simply your preferred way. Everybody else has theirs as well. So if you’re a salesperson, you’re a leader, you’re a recruiter, you’re engaging with people with different brains all the time. I think there’s a fallacy sometimes with this topic that we think of. And we’ve been primed again by the medicalization of some of these terms to think in terms of normal, and then this kind of fringe demographic that, you know, maybe needs extra help. And actually, look, again, everybody has a different brain and neurodivergent people are in your candidate funnel, they’re in your team, whether or not they’re happy and comfortable to disclose that to you. So just being aware of that neurodiverse reality of everything you do. And then, you know, to your question, we can start actually seeing a positive impact of that in terms of being sensitive to preferences, how would people like to receive our instructions or our communication, if it’s a sales meeting, you know, making sure that everything’s very clear, and jargon free, and so on, you know, that we can just start making some tweaks to truly include everybody.


Karan Rhodes  16:59

I love that? Well, I know that you have written a book on the subject, and I want to give you an opportunity to share the name of your book and an overview of it. And if you could, we’d love to give at least one or two tools or tips to our audience. So if there is I know they haven’t had a chance to study it. But if you can share a little bit, first a little bit about your book and what’s contained there and, and then also maybe share one to two initial actions or tips or things that they can do to start to be more neuro inclusive. And that will probably drive everybody to go and buy your book. But I just wanted to just wet their whistle just a little bit, if you don’t mind.


Ed Thompson  17:40

Absolutely. So the book is called A Hidden Force; Unlocking the Potential of Neurodiversity at Work.


Karan Rhodes  17:47

Conratulations are writing that, by the way, thank you.


Ed Thompson  17:50

Thank you. It takes a while, as you know, an author yourself. It’s a slow process. But it is rewarding process, I was really compelled to write the book by the feedback and the reaction we see in organizations where this positive change around your inclusion starts to happen. And you see neurodivergent people often responding very emotionally, they’ve never been in an organization that cared about them before. It’s crazy to think but that’s the case. We also see. And again, I know your audiences is leaders, we see very powerful reaction from leaders, we had one who said this was the best thing they’ve seen in leadership in 20 years, we had another which I loved saying, acknowledging that he’d been a cynic. And he had thought what on earth he’s got to do with me, and then said, Actually, he was just listing off all the things he was doing slightly differently in terms of hiring, in terms of leading, and so on, that were that were making a difference to him. So I think it’s that idea that through this consciousness and this conscientiousness, we can actually build a different type of team. It’s a team where we can unlock the empathy and compassion, we all have somewhere bottled up, and just have that humility, to acknowledging again, our way isn’t the best way. And everyone putting everybody in a position to you know, to truly be successful. A lot of this stuff we talk about, we know it’s true, but we’re just not applying to the fact that we all have a different brain. I think it’s about time that that we did so answer your question, a couple of particular points to think about, I’ve alluded to this one. So I’m just going to kind of crystallize it. I think surfacing your own preferences is a great one and a great one for managers to with. So when you are working with an individual in your team, or you’re working with your whole team, just again, be conscious of what is your way and where’s that come from? And talking about, let’s say problem solving, you could say look, the way I like to problem solve is I’m a verbal thinker. I like to stand in front of a whiteboard. I like to spend two hours I’m very visual, but just Be conscious that not everybody else is going to share those preferences. You don’t need to disclose you don’t need other people to disclose to you just be conscious that somebody in your team might say, actually, that’s, I’m not. And here’s how I’d like to contribute. And let’s how do we capture everyone’s contribution in the best way. So that wouldbe why


Karan Rhodes  20:19

So you’re saying you shouldn’t ask your team members in maybe a one on one how they like to take in information or


Ed Thompson  20:27

I’m saying you should. The best way to do it is to lead with how you like to do it. And then that gets into by saying, look, here’s how I like to do it, you can get in the conversation, which is very gentle around, you know, are those things that are going to work for you or not, and have that humility, that your way isn’t necessarily going to be the right way? My point is, you can do all of that without needing anybody to have that stressful disclosure to you of saying, Look, by the way, actually, I’m autistic. And you know, the way that you communicate to me doesn’t work. That can be sometimes a last resort. Of course, if people feel comfortable doing that, then great. But what I like about surfacing preferences is you just create this space where you have more room for some of those differences to, to breathe. Yes, that one I want to share is the intentionality in hiring all the way through. Now, this is a big theme in hiring in general. But I think a lot of hiring is rush, lazy. I think it’s rapport driven. It’s, you know, how do I get another Steve? And it’s, you know, do I think that I could play golf with this person, and I’m being silly, but there’s too much of that. I think, if you really want to build the best team, you’ve got to start with, you know, what are the outcomes I want somebody to achieve here? And what are the specific skills and experiences I need that, oh, they need to be able to achieve that. And what’s nice about that is it helps us cut a lot of the stuff that we might throw in a job description, like excellent communication skills, when we don’t really need it for this role, write it and we don’t need it, there’s going to be very literal thing because you think, well, I’ve got everything here. But I don’t have that, or what kind of communication skills because I’m really good, written, but I’m not so good verbal. So what I like about the intentionality is it just allows us to really, really focus when we advertise a role. And then when we assess it as well. And so, you know, if your role is about having particular technical skills, but your assessment process is like 70% interview, then just be very conscious that what you’re testing in the interview is social competence in a pressure situation, is that one of the skills, you really need that, because if it’s not, and if you look, if I if you’re interviewing a TV presenter, maybe that is the skill you need. But I think we skew to work towards some of those soft skills, a lot of the time when they’re not always the skills we need, and we can filter people out where you know, that’s not their strength,


Karan Rhodes  23:09

Or I’m just gonna keep it honest with you. A lot of people just cut and paste from a previous job description, and it was in there. And they’re like, oh, yeah, yeah, communication skills are great, and they will exit out. But to your point, they haven’t challenged it to say, Are these truly the essential and critical functions of the job? Are they really required in order to excel and having that, you know, critical lens to it? I love that point that you’re making.


Ed Thompson  23:40

There’s an interesting theme in business at the moment that our work has uncovered, I think, which is, given the pace of change and the plummeting lifespan of companies, we have phases as organizations. Now, of course, the the true startup phase is very creative. It’s, you know, what are we going to be and who can we sell to right? And then there’s a phase of process building, because we can’t actually deliver anything at scale until we just build out those processes. A lot of organizations, a lot of managers I think, are very good in that middle bracket. And that’s what they see their task being. But the challenge there is, you know, we can build teams, where everybody to some extent, is it all the same in terms of their experiences, their perspectives, and so on. And at some point, we’re going to need that second curve. And at some point, we’re going to need that creativity. Beyond that just process building and execution, whether it’s incremental, you know, how do we make this process better, or whether it’s, what’s the next big thing for the organization? I think the danger is if we just skew only to the safety of let’s just have you know, square pegs and square holes and so on. We are going to miss some of that you human diversity of thought that can actually make sure we’re at we’re really truly on the right path to not being disrupted, perhaps being the disruptors, ourselves and these communities that we work with famously highly creative neurodivergent people, and you’re gonna go to look at some of the top business icons of our time to see that creativity at work. And I think that’s something that every organization should be looking to embrace and leverage.


Karan Rhodes  25:29

Well, now it makes sense to me. And because, you know, we’d love to ask our guests, which of the leadership tactics I wrote about in my book, I’m really resonated with you. And you are so kind enough to share leading with intellectual horsepower, it kind of jumped out for you. And for my newer audience members, leading with intellectual horsepower, if you remember, is all about, you know, using your areas of expertise to what we call peek around corners, and look for data and trends and opportunities that others may have missed, just by doubling down and kind of looking in your areas, your niche areas of where you excel. And so that made sense now, a little bit at a way, I think you might have chosen that one. But I’d love you to give voice to why leaders should always make sure they incorporate leading with intellectual horsepower.


Ed Thompson  26:22

Well, I think it’s how we define leading, isn’t it? I mean, we think of leading as being leading a team, and that’s great, but you know, what direction are we going, we can’t take a team anywhere if we actually don’t have a direction to go. Again, as I said, we’ve ever worked with an organization that wasn’t doing this for the first time we have been, obviously, coming on your show is something I continue to do, evangelizing the topic, sharing the successes of organizations who’ve done this, it’s something we really believe in. So I think, to some extent, this is just, it’s been a necessary part of our operations and our marketing. And so but I do think it’s important, I think, I know in the startup world, there’s the Steve Jobs, philosophy, which is your nobody knows what they want. And there’s the Steve Blank philosophy, which is you go and talk to customers, and you understand what they want. And they’ll tell you. And the reality, of course, is somewhere in the middle. But I do think it’s powerful. If you can do what we do, which is pointing out to organizations, look, we understand your aspirations. And here’s a way to achieve those quicker and better than you are without an enormous you don’t need to invest $4 billion in r&d to make the most out of the human capital, you’re already paying a lot of money to


Karan Rhodes  27:45

To do that already. Yeah. Now, and I’m just curious, I know you do a lot of consulting organizations in this area, at a very high level, if someone engaged with you, what type of offerings do you do to kind of upskill their workforce are their leaders, I don’t know who you target. But I’d love to hear the audience to hear a little bit more about, you know, what you offer there?


Ed Thompson  28:08

Absolutely. We target everybody. Because, again, every team, every organization is neurodiverse. Everybody, I think needs to at least know the basics of this to be able to operate within that context. And of course, today, we’re all operating in these contexts, and maybe the affection to it. And that’s where things go wrong. And that’s where you see, you know, very successful neurodivergent entrepreneurs, who clearly would have added a lot of value to a business as an employee saying, look at you know, nobody would include me. So I’ve gone off to do my own thing. What we try to achieve, again, is this vision for organizations where it’s just a slightly different type of workforce. And we really upgrade the way that we will think about each other and the way that we collaborate. And as a result, we have greater inclusion, but also greater psychological safety, collaboration, ultimately, productivity, innovation, performance, and so on. So we have a number of tools that are really means to that end, digital training elearning certifications that are embedded a lot of the organization’s I’ve mentioned, we also run blended training, consulting, as well, we’ll look in some cases at how organizations recruit, for example. Yeah, and make some tweaks there. But really, it’s a journey, I think that is for organizations is to be willing to go on that journey. The best organizations in this field and Salesforce is one have been on this journey for a few years. And I don’t think they would say they’ve done everything perfectly, but because of what they’ve done over time. They’re now I think, at a great advantage, where they’ve just really shown their workforce, how much they care about this, and they’re continuing to make efforts to embed this consciousness Sit near inclusion into everything they do. And I think seeing the benefits.


Karan Rhodes  30:04

Taking the first step is the first thing to do. Right, but at least they recognize it. They’re taking baby steps along the way. And to your point, I don’t think any of us always take the right steps. But if we’re intentional, genuine, empathetic, as you have mentioned, I think the workforce is better for it. And they appreciate it. They they know, when you’re trying to do better, right.


Ed Thompson  30:27

I think there’s a humility to that as well, which is great, you know, let’s we don’t need to see this as a as a tick box exercise. And it can’t be a tick box exercise. It’s about saying, this is something that the world has woken up to, that organizations are waking up to, and that we as an organization should be taking seriously, and just communicating that to your teams, and inviting people to share their own experiences to be part of that journey, as well. And I think you don’t have to project yourselves as being experts, you simply have to, as you said, Exactly. Just get the ball rolling and see where it takes you.


Karan Rhodes  31:06

See where it takes you. All right. Well, Adam, my final question for you, before we let you close out is just curious. What does it take for you to lead at the top of your game?


Ed Thompson  31:18

I think it’s I love the Ray Dalio collective decision making principles. And I think that’s something that we really tried to apply at, Uptimize that. We believe ideas can come from anywhere. Yeah, so we try to find a balance, where if we’re talking about products, or we’re talking about HR, whatever, then of course, people in those functions have a weighted believability to use his phrase that they know what they’re talking about, and therefore, you know, that is respected. But we really allow everybody to contribute across the board. And often we find the best ideas come from people who, you know, that isn’t their particular focus in their day job. But somebody in a different function can say, hey, what about this, and your that can suddenly spark things. So I think that’s really important. And I try to practice that when I work with our team or our subject matter experts. I’m never have approached this. And even though I now wrote a book about it, but I’ve never approached it to think you know, that eight ways is the right way. I’ve always been open to what is the right way, and who says it’s the right way, and a humility that I might be wrong, and being very willing to be challenged. I think that’s what sounds too.


Karan Rhodes  32:44

But you’re starting the conversation, but at least putting it out there, right of what you’re thinking, see, and then you are open to hear others perspectives, right?


Ed Thompson  32:53

Yeah. And I think you get buy in because of that I’m not I don’t think it’s dissonant with what I said earlier that you want to lead and I think, as a leader, you should have a core vision and a core set of beliefs. And I think, of course, you’re gonna evolve that, but to some extent, that’s going to be your set, Guiding Light. But I think there’s a huge amount of room for learning as to really refining that and also as to how you achieve it. And I think you get people to buy into being part of that journey. If you let everybody make that contribution.


Karan Rhodes  33:31

I can totally give you a virtual high five on that. I totally agree. Well, we’re gonna have all your information in the show notes. And but I’d love to let our guests give a voice behind where to find them. So give me just a few seconds to share how people can contact you and reach out to you.


Ed Thompson  33:48

Absolutely. So please feel free to visit us u p t i m i z I’m always happy to give my email out as well as anyone is interested in this in any sense. Feel free to get in touch And then the book again, A Hidden Force that’s available at Amazon and all other retailers.


Karan Rhodes  34:11

Awesome. Well, thank you so much. And for the gift is there your time today I was feverishly taking notes, and I’m sure many of the audience listeners were as well.


Ed Thompson  34:21

Pleasure. Thanks for having me.


Karan Rhodes  34:24

And thank you listeners for tuning in to another episode of the elite at the top of your game podcast. Please, please, please make sure to like and subscribe to our podcasts and just share with one friend so that we can extend our reach and help others just like you to lead at the top of your game. See you next week. And that’s our show for today. Thank you for listening to the lead at the top of your game podcast, where we help you lead your seat at any employer, business, or industry in which you choose to play. You can check out the show notes, additional episodes, and bonus resources, and also submit guest recommendations on our website at You can follow me on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn by searching for the name Karan Rhodes with Karan being spelled K a r a n. And if you like the show, the greatest gift you can give would be to subscribe and leave a rating on your podcast platform of choice. This podcast has been a production of Shockingly Different Leadership, a global consultancy which helps organizations execute their people, talent development, and organizational effectiveness initiatives on an on-demand, project, or contract basis. Huge thanks to our production and editing team for a job well done. Goodbye for now.

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