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Ideas for people pursuing an empowered life,




Enemies Of Trust

In the jungle, species go to extraordinary lengths to establish trust among members. While the organizational structures of some species - like cities of ants or termites - seem to function like a single "super organism, animals who live in smaller clans or families units practice all kinds of bonding techniques.

The "Portuguese man of war" is a good example of a "super-organism" managed with an "all for one and one for all" philosophy. A deadly menace in the warm waters of the tropics, this jellyfish is not a single creature but rather a complex colony of individuals. The "manager" is the sort of gas-filled balloon at the center and it's attached to tentacle-like animals called zooids that can be 20 meters long. Zooids capture prey and direct it to management-central where it's broken down and - by a sort of osmosis - is equitably distributed to the whole colony as nutrients. It's easy to see that trust will exist if you're fed from within along with an entire community that evolved from a single fertilized egg,

Spending their lives in an underground tunnel kingdom, mole rats have a social organization that's unparalleled except by insects. A single queen will rule a tribe of 100 or more and while she'll have two or three mates, others will not reproduce. They have the potential to, but the queen secretes chemical signals that tell each of them how to adjust and adapt to fill a required role. Smaller rats collect food while the larger ones dig tunnels and defend the tribe against snakes... or mole rats from other clans. In this dark world, you'll need the queen's scent signal to be recognized as a member who can be trusted; and if you don't have it, you must be an enemy.

Higher order animals - like monkeys and apes - spend hours grooming each other to assure that they have the correct identifying scents. More than keeping free of fleas and other pests, the cleaning rituals are a way of trading pheromones, the chemical identifying odors that are the basis of every relationship. When two monkeys bond through mutual grooming, they are forming a mutual-aid alliance wherein each is being trusted to come to the other's aid against all-comers.

The idea of trust is so important to a quality of social life that I'm always amazed when human leaders think it'll happen automatically. Many squander the little trust their collaborators might give them; they'll consider team-building activities after work relationships have broken down and something drastic has to be considered.

How do people erode the trust others might give them? Experts agree that company managers do it all the time, in many ways. Principle errors include:

* Inconsistent messages

* Inconsistent standards

* Misplaced benevolence

* False feedback

* Failure to trust others

* Pretending that an obvious flaw does not even exist

* Treating rumors as if they occur in a vacuum

* Consistent corporate under performance

I'll further discuss the idea of trust in the next issue of The Jungle Times, where I'll tell you about research that reveals 8 strategic truths about human beings in organizations. Every leader must consider them if he or she expects team-members to trust them, their policies and their direction. Stay tuned.



I saw an amazing video in which mothers are shown talking to their babies. Proving that the tone of the mom's voice is more important than what is actually said, the film showed a mother making her baby laugh even as she told it some cruel and awful things, as long as she used a gentle, cooing voice. Moms who said nice things but in a harsh, loud voice startled their baby and made it cry.

We'd be a lot more persuasive if we understood that people respond to their "consumer territory" and if we used its recommended vocal tone. Take a look at how "Vocal thinking" works by clicking here.



A lot of people get nervous when they start thinking about a trek into the jungle. So how to you prepare for an outstanding eco-adventure? Click here for a simple check list.



Canada day on July 1st and Independence Day on July 4th seem to be the official kickoff dates to summertime fun and the Bar-B-Cue season. I do love to grill food outdoors… it's a throwback to more our more primitive campfire beginnings.

You can enhance your whole grilling experience with a few clicks. http://www.barbecuenews.com/ has all the grilling world news - including where and when the next grill-off will be held. Click on http://bbq.about.com/mbody.htm to find more recipes that you'll ever need and choose what kind of grill to buy (or anything you'll need) at http://www.bizrate.com/buy/products.xpml?cat_id=13010601&mkt_id=11078622&url_id=79073&rf=ggl.

An important consideration though - even the greatest Bar-B-Q just wouldn't be the same without cold suds... so find out all about beer by clicking right here: http://www.allaboutbeer.com/aabmhome.html.

Have a happy and a safe summer.



I have learned this at least by my experiment: that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours. Henry David Thoreau

The harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. Thomas Paine

A desire to be in charge of our own lives, a need for control, is born in each of us. It is essential to our mental health, and our success, that we take control of our choices. Robert F. Bennett

I either want less corruption, or more chance to participate in it. Ashleigh Brilliant

The only limit to our realization of tomorrow will be our doubts of today. Franklin D. Roosevelt

I count him braver who overcomes his desires than him who conquers his enemies; for the hardest victory is over self. Aristotle



There once was a silly little monkey who lived happily by the edge of a great swamp. A huge crocodile lived on a small island in the middle of that same swamp and day after day, the crocodile watched the monkey and thought about what a tasty meal he would make.

One day, stomach grumbling, the crocodile swam over to the monkey and said: "Little monkey, you look thirsty. I'd like to invite you to my home for some tea."

"What a lovely idea!" replied the monkey. "Thanks for the invitation. I'd love to sip tea with you but I can't swim."

"Don't worry about that," said the crocodile, "you can ride safely on my back."

Excited and pleased, the silly monkey jumped on the crocodile's back and off they went. After a few minutes, the crocodile felt guilty about his deception and decided to confess his crime before devouring the hapless monkey. "At least I'll be able to eat my monkey lunch with a clear conscience!" he thought.

"Little monkey, I must tell you that as soon as we reach my island, I'm going to have you for lunch. I think I'll start with your tastiest part first - I'll eat your monkey brain!"

Terrified by what he was told, the monkey thought quickly and then responded with genuine regret: "My brain? Oh, poor Crocodile, why didn't you tell me? I left home without it! It's back on the shore sitting up that great tree. To tell you the truth, that is why I'm here. I don't even like tea. Don't you know that I accepted your offer because I had no brain. You're out of luck and it's all my fault."

"Then you have even less luck than me brainless one, because instead I'll start my meal with your monkey heart!" said the angry crocodile.

"But you have a great brain that's big enough for both of us," the monkey replied, "and if you want, you can use it to have me repair my mistake. Using your giant brain, we can go back and then I'll just run up the tree and get my brain for you. Why should you lose out because I made a brainless decision?"

Thinking of the tasty brain and convinced he had the silliest monkey in the world on his back, the crocodile agreed and swam back to land. As soon as they reached the shore, the monkey jumped off the crocodile's back and ran up the tree to safety. Once out of harm's way, he yelled down at the croc: "As soon as I locate my brain I'll start making smart choices. Why don't you use your giant brain to figure out what my first one will be, you reptilian moron."

The crocodile was furious because he realized that he'd been tricked into letting his stomach rule his mind. Then he grudgingly admired the monkey's quick-witted strategy and swam away with his stomach still grumbling.


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