Hallowell (2011) explains, “What I mean by peak performance—and what most of us seek in our lives and what managers wish to help their people achieve—is consistent excellence with improvement over time at a specific task or set of tasks.” He further asserts, “Those three factors—excellence, consistency, and ongoing improvement—define peak performance for my purposes.” Managers should always be on the lookout for employees who just don’t “fit in” with the organization’s culture. “You can tell a person is not in the right role if he feels no enthusiasm for what he’s doing, if his mind never lights up, if he never gets excited about his job, if he chronically complains. And, the author continues, “This doesn’t mean he’s a dull person or that the line of work he has chosen is intrinsically dull, just that he’s not assigned to the right task.”
Being assigned the right tasks and then being responsible for those tasks relates to the “division of labor” concept coined by Adam Smith (1776). “The goal is for employees to spend as much time as possible at the intersection of three spheres: what they like to do, what they are most skilled at doing, and what adds value to the project or organization.” For peak performance or enhancing productivity levels, many would argue that specific tasks should be assigned to specific individuals with specific skills. Strategic leaders are known for being able to quickly match skills to tasks.
HR managers need to understand the importance of employees having fun while at work. Many organizations are highly task oriented and forget the importance of being relationship oriented. “One way you can tell if your employees are in alignment with the Cycle of Excellence is to see if they are having fun.” For example, some modern managers see the value of having fun at work or even taking time off from work to just relax and reflect. For example, Bill Gates is famous “for taking seven days off, twice a year, in a secluded cabin where he reads, drinks diet Orange Crush, and thinks.”
The author provides the following recommendation for managers, “Consider having a goofy day of some sort now and then. It must conform to the basic rules and values of your organization’s culture, of course. But make it fun.” By having a goofy day at work or dressing up for certain holidays, employees are able to have some fun, which also relieves stress.
“Effective management limits bad stress as much as possible, while promoting good stress in the form of surmountable challenges.” Effective managers also understand the importance of recognizing employees for their daily contributions. The author continues, “Recognition is so powerful because it answers a fundamental human need, the need to feel valued for what we do. Managers are in a unique position to offer—or withhold—such recognition, and with it, the feeling of being valued.”
According to Hallowell (2011), there are five steps to igniting peak performance in an organization. He calls the steps the Cycle of Excellence:
Step 1—Select: Putting people into the right jobs so that their brains light up.
Step 2—Connect: Overcoming the potent forces that disconnect people in the workplace both from each other and from the mission of the organization, and restoring the force of positive connection, which is the most powerful fuel for peak performance.
Step 3—Play: Play, or imaginative engagement, catalyzes advanced work, and managers can help people tap into this phenomenally productive yet undervalued activity of the mind.
Step 4—Grapple and grow: Managers can create conditions where people want to work hard, and employees making progress at a task that is challenging and important turns ordinary performers into superstars and increases commitment.
Step 5—Shine: Doing well—shining—feels good, so giving recognition and noticing when a person shines is critical, and a culture that helps people shine inevitably becomes a culture of self-perpetuating excellence.
The five steps of the Cycle of Excellence provide a novel approach to maximizing peak performance.
Reference: Hallowell, E.M. (2011). Shine: Using Brain Science to Get the Best from Your People. Boston, MA: Harvard Business Review.
Drawing on the material in the background readings and doing additional research, prepare a magazine article —
Analyzing the five steps of the Cycle of Excellence and discuss the added value of using the Cycle of Excellence.
Critique Hallowell’s Cycle of Excellence and use it as a beginning step to create your own cycle of excellence. Bring in real-world employer examples (by employer name).
Discuss how the cycle of excellence you have developed is the optimum approach for managing human capital.
The magazine article you are writing should be similar to an article you might find in TD: Talent Development (magazine of the Association for Talent Development) or in HRMagazine (magazine for the Society for Human Resource Management, SHRM). Both are found in the Trident Online library.
Bring in at least three other sources to build your article. Cite sources within your paragraphs and include a References list at the end of your article. (Note: Even though practitioner magazine articles at times do not cite sources or have a reference section—for our academic purposes they are needed. See the Student Guide to Writing a High-Quality Academic Paper, for additional information.
The magazine article you prepare should be double spaced and 1100-1200 words (about 250 words per page using 12-point type size (Times New Roman), and one-inch margins.
Include a cover page.
Dante Alighieri played a critical role in the literature world through his poem Divine Comedy that was written in the 14th century. The poem contains Inferno, Purgatorio, and Paradiso. The Inferno is a description of the nine circles of torment that are found on the earth. It depicts the realms of the people that have gone against the spiritual values and who, instead, have chosen bestial appetite, violence, or fraud and malice. The nine circles of hell are limbo, lust, gluttony, greed and wrath. Others are heresy, violence, fraud, and treachery. The purpose of this paper is to examine the Dante’s Inferno in the perspective of its portrayal of God’s image and the justification of hell.
In this epic poem, God is portrayed as a super being guilty of multiple weaknesses including being egotistic, unjust, and hypocritical. Dante, in this poem, depicts God as being more human than divine by challenging God’s omnipotence. Additionally, the manner in which Dante describes Hell is in full contradiction to the morals of God as written in the Bible. When god arranges Hell to flatter Himself, He commits egotism, a sin that is common among human beings (Cheney, 2016). The weakness is depicted in Limbo and on the Gate of Hell where, for instance, God sends those who do not worship Him to Hell. This implies that failure to worship Him is a sin.
God is also depicted as lacking justice in His actions thus removing the godly image. The injustice is portrayed by the manner in which the sodomites and opportunists are treated. The opportunists are subjected to banner chasing in their lives after death followed by being stung by insects and maggots. They are known to having done neither good nor bad during their lifetimes and, therefore, justice could have demanded that they be granted a neutral punishment having lived a neutral life. The sodomites are also punished unfairly by God when Brunetto Lattini is condemned to hell despite being a good leader (Babor, T. F., McGovern, T., & Robaina, K. (2017). While he commited sodomy, God chooses to ignore all the other good deeds that Brunetto did.
Finally, God is also portrayed as being hypocritical in His actions, a sin that further diminishes His godliness and makes Him more human. A case in point is when God condemns the sin of egotism and goes ahead to commit it repeatedly. Proverbs 29:23 states that “arrogance will bring your downfall, but if you are humble, you will be respected.” When Slattery condemns Dante’s human state as being weak, doubtful, and limited, he is proving God’s hypocrisy because He is also human (Verdicchio, 2015). The actions of God in Hell as portrayed by Dante are inconsistent with the Biblical literature. Both Dante and God are prone to making mistakes, something common among human beings thus making God more human.
To wrap it up, Dante portrays God is more human since He commits the same sins that humans commit: egotism, hypocrisy, and injustice. Hell is justified as being a destination for victims of the mistakes committed by God. The Hell is presented as being a totally different place as compared to what is written about it in the Bible. As a result, reading through the text gives an image of God who is prone to the very mistakes common to humans thus ripping Him off His lofty status of divine and, instead, making Him a mere human. Whether or not Dante did it intentionally is subject to debate but one thing is clear in the poem: the misconstrued notion of God is revealed to future generations.
Babor, T. F., McGovern, T., & Robaina, K. (2017). Dante’s inferno: Seven deadly sins in scientific publishing and how to avoid them. Addiction Science: A Guide for the Perplexed, 267.
Cheney, L. D. G. (2016). Illustrations for Dante’s Inferno: A Comparative Study of Sandro Botticelli, Giovanni Stradano, and Federico Zuccaro. Cultural and Religious Studies, 4(8), 487.
Verdicchio, M. (2015). Irony and Desire in Dante’s” Inferno” 27. Italica, 285-297.