Bill Crawford, Ph.D.

In addition to holding a doctorate in Counseling Psychology from the University of Houston, Dr. Crawford is a licensed psychologist, author of seven books, organizational consultant and speaker. Over the last 26 years he has created over 3300 presentations for such organizations as Sprint, Shell, The American Medical Association, PBS, and many other organizations and professional associations both nationally and internationally. He has a unique perspective on achieving success and he shares this philosophy with such humor and energy he is constantly referred to as the "Steve Martin" of psychologists. In addition, his two PBS specials have been seen by over 15 million people and he has been quoted as an expert in such diverse publications as The New York Times, Entrepreneur, Working Mother, The Chicago Tribune, Investor's Business Daily, The Dallas Morning News, and Cosmopolitan just to name a few.

To view Dr. Crawford's national press, please click on any publication below.

Profile of Dr. Crawford's System for Success
"Life from the Top of the Mind™"

Developed by Dr. Crawford from over thirty years of experience as a psychologist, organizational consultant, and executive coach, "Life from the Top of the Mind™" is both a philosophy for success, as well as a practical, step-by-step, comprehensive system for bringing one's best to life.

Whether presented as a keynote, breakout session, training, or in a one-on-one coaching format, this comprehensive system is designed for individuals and organizations who are looking for a fresh, practical, and content-rich perspective that is free of psychobabble, and based upon hard science versus just soft skills.

  • This three part system is based upon new research which demonstrates that the reason we become stressed, frustrated, anxious, confused, and less than effective in general, has to do with how our brain processes information. For example, we now know that when we encounter a problematic individual or situation, the lower 20% of the brain is engaged, which results in the release of stress-related chemicals (such as cortisol). These chemicals trigger certain stress-related emotions and behaviors which, because they are less than effective, reengage the brainstem, trap us in this reactive part of the brain, and create a cycle of stress and frustration.
  • To address this problem, Part One of the "Top of the Mind System" shows individuals and organizations how to change the chemical makeup of the body and shift to the upper 80% of the brain where we can access the clarity, confidence, creativity, and skills necessary for success.
  • Part Two demonstrates how to stay in this more clear, confident, and creative part of the brain and bring our interpersonal skills, problem-solving skills, and best thinking to all aspects of life (both personal and professional).
  • Part Three of this unique system addresses the challenge of dealing with others who are themselves trapped in the lower part of the brain (difficult/resistant people), by engaging them in such a way that they shift from the "resistant brain" to the "receptive brain," and thus become more open to what we are wanting them to hear.

While the "Top of the Mind" System does introduce new information on stress, this philosophy goes way beyond traditional "stress management" to enhance all aspects of success. Below are a few examples of how the system brings this new information to such critical areas as general productivity, leadership effectiveness, teamwork, sales results, feedback skills for supervisors, presentation skills, time management, and even golf!

General Productivity

While everyone knows that stress, anxiety, and frustration can limit one's productivity (and even negatively effect one's health resulting in sick days and higher medical costs) most people are tired of traditional "stress management" programs, mostly because the solutions offered by such courses seem either simplistic (get more rest and exercise) or passive (take a deep breath and calm down), or both.

  • The "Life from the Top of the Mind" system offers participants a new perspective on stress, not as the problem, but as information being sent to the wrong part of the brain.
  • Then, as mentioned, gives them a concrete, step-by-step system for regaining control by engaging the upper 80% of the brain and changing the chemical makeup of the body.
  • Participants like this approach because of its scientific nature, and because it gives them a new way to understand emotions and behavior, as well as specifics on what they can do to regain control without having to change the world around them.


The challenge for leaders is that their job requires them to not only deal with high level problems with serious implications, they are also expected to be able to predict the future while consistently bringing out the best in others. This requires them to be a combination of visionary, effective problem-solver, and psychologist. Unfortunately, these expectations can also result in the type of pressure that engages the lower 20% of the brain, and creates a special brand of stress, frustration, and anxiety.

  • This is where the "Top of the Mind" system is extremely effective, because the abilities to plan for the future and come up with creative solutions both reside in the upper 80% of the brain.
  • Plus, in order to bring out the best in people (as well as convince those "resistant others" to support your ideas) one must be able to interact with them in such a way that they shift from the lower, resistant brain to the upper, receptive brain so that they understand and act upon your directives.


Everyone knows that teams at their best can be an excellent source of innovation and productivity. At their worst, however, they can be a cauldron for competition, back-biting, rebellion, and what can easily become the super bowl of the blame game. What many people don't know, however, is that both the best and the worst of these traits emmanate from specific parts of the brain. That is, teams, like individuals can become trapped in the reactive knee jerk, strike out, or withdraw part of the brain as well. Unfortunately, when this happens, it can be even harder to correct because each team member is reinforcing the problem.

  • The Top of the Mind System addresses this by first helping the team members understand what is happening neurologically so that they stop blaming the organization (or each other) and begin to purposefully define who they are as a team.
  • The system then lays out a five-step process that is "neocortex" in nature, and includes the examination of beliefs, moving past issues that they can't change, and taking 100% responsibility for the qualities and behaviors they collectively bring to life.


One of the more challenging aspects of a career in sales is dealing with those who are resistant to your message. Whether this resistance comes in the form of haggling over price, or just plain refusal to take your call, the stress and frustration that results can compromise even the most resilient of professionals. "Sales from the Top of the Mind" goes beyond traditional sales techniques, and shows participants what is REALLY causing this resistance, and how to use the latest brain research to address it. In fact, an article in Time magazine describes "neuroeconomics” as the next frontier in terms of motivating others to buy your products or services. ("Getting Inside Your Head: How Big Business Hopes to Decode the Brain's Secrets.")

Other issues discussed include:

  • Learning what is happening in the brain of a resistant client, and how we may (without realizing it) be making the problem worse.
  • How to ensure that we are coming from the most intelligent, capable part of our brain so that we have access to our best interpersonal and problem-solving skills.
  • How to motivate a resistant client to shift from the"resistant brain" to the more rational "receptive brain" so that they can hear our information as valuable.

Feedback Skills for Supervisors

One of the most important tasks of being a successful supervisor is the ability to give others feedback on their performance. The problem, of course, is that many people take any negative evaluation very personally, and react by either defending themselves or attacking the evaluatory process and/or the supervisor. the Top of the Mind System is designed to give those in the position of giving feedback an understanding of why this is so common, and skills for not only avoiding becoming embroiled in an adversarial discussion, but ways to help the supervisee see the value of the feedback and the supervisor.

Other issues discussed include:

  • Understanding the nature of a supervisee's resistance to evaluations, and how to deal with this problem from the beginning.
  • Understanding the supervisor's resistance to evaluations as well, and how to avoid reacting in a defensive manner.
  • Learning a model that engages the supervisee in the process of evaluating the evaluation so that the result is valuable information versus criticism.
  • Learning how to use this valuable information to formulate a plan for improvement so that there is less resistance to future evaluations.

Presentation Skills

In addition to the basics (how to use powerpoint effectively, how to organize your material, deal with the anxiety of public speaking, handle the hecklers, etc.) the Top of the Mind System shows participants how to ensure that they are coming from the most intelligent, creative part of their brains while preparing for and delivering presentations.

Other issues discussed include:

  • Understanding the difference between "presenting information" and tapping into the audience's desire to hear and learn.
  • Learning the five mistakes most presenters make, and how to avoid them.
  • Understanding how to create a presentation that taps in to all learning styles.
  • Learning how to change a difficult audience member from an adversary to an ally.

Time Management

In today's busy world, if there is one thing that almost everyone complains about, it is not having enough time to do all the things they want and/or are expected of them. To address this problem, many classes and methods have been developed that show participants how to manage their time by dividing their days into smaller and smaller segments. Unfortunately, few if any of these programs address the underlying feelings of being overwhelmed and frustrated that get in the way of our using our time effectively, nor the role that purpose and creativity play in the solution. The Top of the Mind System deals with this problem by showing participants how to not only change the way they feel about time management, but also how to access the most organized, productive part of their mind, and bring a new sense of clarity, confidence, and creativity to the process.

Other issues discussed include:

  • Gaining a new understanding of the feelings that get in the way of using our time effectively.
  • Learning how to use the "planning" part of their brain (versus the part that worries about what's to come) to prepare for the future.
  • Bringing a greater sense of purpose to what they do and when so that they are not just "checking things off their list" as a way of life.
  • Learning how to shift from the reactive to the proactive part of their brain, and make decisions that allow them to make the best use of the time they have.


We all know that golf is an exacting sport that can be somewhat frustrating at times. Unfortunately, the tension and loss of focus produced by this response is exactly opposite of what we need in order to play our best golf, and the slices, hooks, lost balls, penalty strokes, blown putts, repeated bunker shots that result only make matters worse.

In "Golf from the Top of the Mind," Dr. Crawford goes beyond traditional "relaxation and/or sports psychology" techniques. In fact, he shows participants how to address this problem by actually changing the chemical makeup of their body and shifting to the "Top of their Mind," or the most intelligent and capable parts of their brain. This allows them to regain control of their thoughts and emotions so that they can bring their best to their game.

  • Corporate and Event Planners - If you are wanting to add something special to your next corporate golf outing and/or tournament, consider having Dr. Crawford present his "Golf from the Top of the Mind" keynote either before the event, or at the awards luncheon or dinner.  Not only will you be adding value to the experience, this educational, yet entertaining presentation has the potential to increase attendance by drawing in those who might not come just for the golf.
  • Individuals - You don't have to be a large organization to experience "Golf from the Top of the Mind."  Dr. Crawford can come right to your home or club, and give you and any number of your friends a presentation that can be individualized to address your specific goals.  From that point, it would be easy to go to the range and/or the course, and apply the information to your game.

Bottom Line

These are just a few examples of how this all- encompassing system can be applied to a variety of life's challenges. For descriptions of specific presentations on these and other topics, please visit our Presentation Page. And, if you have a specific theme for an event or a certain training need that isn't listed here, feel free to contact Dr. Crawford to learn how he can customize his presentations, consulting, and coaching to help you bring a "Top of the Mind" perspective to life.

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