Leaving aside a critique of the personal morals and psychological health of a certain U.S. presidential candidate, this timely question remains: What the horsefeathers is going on in American life?
I’d suggest this: After cavorting in one of the universe’s “pastures at the end of the rainbow” for the first several years of the new millennium, the 21st Century has decided to flex its extraordinary muscles of change. Resultantly, it’s threatening to kick over the traces in multiple public and private arenas, all at the same time.
In some ways, this is encouraging, both for America and much of the rest of the world. It indicates that American influence is pretty much as hale, hearty and far-reaching as ever in places where it matters. Practical economics. Military dominion. Birthing and rapid propagation of new ideas and new technologies. Not to mention, the continuing absorption into our daily lives and commerce of relative newcomers to our shores. (More than a few of these folks are making their way up the American socioeconomic ladder with surprising nimbleness.)
I know it still looks like the Chewbacca Mom is dominating many major mirrors. But we should get used to it. This condition is likely to spread in this idol-breaking new era to numerous localities, cultures and socioeconomic systems in our world. So it’s probably best that these all-hell-breaks-loose times have developed so demonstrably first in America.
This nation still has the best overall track record for absorbing cultural, social and marketplace chaos and playing the good aspects of the turmoil forward. Despite a lot of rough patches, unfairness and pain, the American experiment has generally been best in history at putting responsive new systems and movements in place and successfully enrolling the largest number of its citizens in what emerges.
Can we do it again? Well, that’s the question.
As we contemplate the answer, here are some things to consider about America’s current turbulence, especially in our politics:
The epic gaps in continuity created by monumental change usually bring suffering to sizable segments of society.
Most of these unfortunates have never enjoyed much of a launch pad to begin with. But the toll often includes a goodly number of folks who didn’t realize how vulnerable they were until their worlds collapsed. What is happening now is no different.
As is always the case with turbulent changes, a core circumstance to monitor is what is happening with people’s worldviews—with their beliefs.
Humans convinced that they are being ignored, manhandled or dishonored tend to look backwards belief-wise. They grow nostalgic. They want “good times” and “old tribes” to return, believing this will make most of their troubles disappear. (At Brain Technologies, we’ve often referred to users of this worldview as “Carps.” As you’ll see in a moment, there is profound illustrative value behind our naming of this and other worldviews in this way.)
Humans strongly resistant to being shamed tend to reinforce their beliefs by turning to their symbols, tools and MOs of ruthlessness and bullying. They talk tough. And they look for opportunities to cow others, especially the weak and less powerful. (Unrefined Sharks.)
Humans not in the above categories usually fall into three additional categories of belief that are considerably removed from the ones just mentioned. First, there are those who see personal advantage in other people’s fears, unhappiness, confusion and powerlessness and seek to benefit by manipulating them. (Self-interested Sharks.) Second, there are those who go merrily and blithely on their way, rejoicing “at all the diversity and freedom of choice” and largely ignoring the need for society to do something different. (Pseudo-Enlightened Carps.) Third, there are those who can lead effectively in complex times but tend to do so selectively. They prefer to act with other competent persons only in situations with a strong chance of delivering value. (Dolphins.)
In the current U.S. presidential campaign, one candidate has boldly, brazenly and with remarkable success gathered supporters either who feel their beliefs and well-being are under grave threat (Carps) or who identify strongly with tough talk and ruthless solutions (Unrefined Sharks). He’s played relentlessly to both groups’ fears and brain biases.
The other major candidate has sought to juggle her appeal to category one (Carps), to the first of the advanced categories (Self-interested Sharks) and to the second advanced category (Pseudo-Enlightened Carps). This splintered “focus” explains much of the criticism from potential voters, her opponent and the media over trust and consistency issues.
No major political figure from the third advanced category of beliefs (Dolphins) has been visible in the 2016 campaign.
The unavailability of a political leader whose beliefs are capable of handling the most momentous changes (thus far) of the 21st Century is a major reason why our American presidential campaign has been so ugly and unfulfilling.
Is the absence of one or more such thinkers dangerous? Most likely, it is.
Is there still time in the near future for such leaders to emerge? Let’s hope so.
For certain, it’s brain-change time for the planet. In the USA, Nov. 8 will be a good time to fashion healthier, more mature beliefs to govern public and private behavior. You can start by choosing the presidential candidate less likely to damage our options.
(Email comments or questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.)
From A Reader Who Wishes to Remain Anonymous:
You write, “The other major candidate has sought to juggle her appeal to category one (Carps), to the first of the advanced categories (Self-interested Sharks) and to the second advanced category (Pseudo-Enlightened Carps). This splintered ‘focus’ explains much of the criticism from potential voters, her opponent and the media over trust and consistency issues.”
I respectfully suggest that Hillary IS a Dolphin and that your assessment that no Dolphin is running in the election is wrong.
I submit that the very fact that she is talking in so many different languages to multiple world views is a very good sign that she has crossed the great handover to second tier thinking and that she is operating as a Dolphin. . . . I think that both Clintons are Dolphins and that they will surround themselves with highly competent Dolphins in the new administration. I am very excited!!
Reply: I admire any politician who seeks to communicate with multiple worldviews, including Hillary. But if a dolphin worldview is in the house (or the water!), I expect to see ample evidence that the person under the microscope has resolved the issues of the worldview(s) being addressed for herself or himself. If this were the reality for Hillary, I’d expect her to be much more strategic and effective with her message “juggling.” As for Bill, brilliant shark-thinker that he is, he’ll be forever seeking to atone for his stupidity and sexual shortcomings. What a different election this would have been if he had behaved differently.
Assuming she wins (and we must hope she does), is Hillary astute enough to surround herself with dolphinthinkers? In my opinion, that’s a bit too much to hope for. First, there’s a real shortage of Dolphins who will want to deal with the “miasma of dysfunction” in Washington, D.C. Second, if there were, I still doubt that she would be able to appreciate their MOs and insights sufficiently to feel comfortable around them to make good use of their service. At least, this is the view from Florida. You may be able to see things with greater clarity from your non-U.S. location! Thanks for writing and for your assessment!
P.S. Wish you could vote in this one!
From Michael Roth,email@example.com:
In the early hours this morning while deep into active brainwave consciousness, I turned over and a wonderful image materialized before my eyes. LEAP!psych WELCOMES NEW EYEBALLS. A magnificent construction of words, color and images came into view in the form of a simple email made from the thought projections of several of my favorite writers and people, Dudley and Sherry Lynch, whom I have the honor and privilege to call friends and mentors.
Thank you for being you for sharing your creativity and enthusiasm for nurturing a better world and offering resources to help make it so. I am writing to say that YOUR blog and article really made my day, and I thank you
Reply: Michael, thanks for letting us know that we helped the sun rise in spectacular Portland.
You can call me a Google Alert junkie. Every day of the week, a parade of these pre-screened Google tip-offs to information on the Web that might interest me floods into my email box.
How times have changed. In the 1970s, when wife Sherry and I loosed our entrepreneurial ambitions on the unsuspecting journalism profession, we had a much different routine. You might call it the Weekly News Tip Trawl. Every Tuesday morning, I’d head downtown to the biggest newsstand in Dallas, Texas, and buy the Sunday edition of every daily newspaper from our part of Texas that this establishment stocked. It amounted to two round-trips-to-my-car armfuls. (Texas being a large place with sometimes iffy bus schedules, it was Tuesday each week before the newsstand received all its Sunday papers.)
Back in our office (located in the garage of our house in Garland, Texas), I’d vet the papers for story ideas that might interest certain national media. I know that sounds crude by today’s information-gathering practices, but it was light years’ ahead of anything else that national news outlets like Business Week and Newsweek currently had in North Texas. Soon, these folks started called us, wanting to know what we knew before we could tell them. It was obvious to Sherry and me that we were operating a fairly wide-ranging “news bureau” with our card table, IBM Selectric, two filing cabinets and one phone. We did this for several years. We closed our news bureau only when it occurred to us that there were other things in life we wanted to do.
Nearly five decades later, it turns out that sorting through all those Google Alerts each week is one of those other things. The weekly task has turned into one of my favorite activities. I never know when my Google Alerts are going to turn up a quaint new perspective on human behavior or promising idea about human thinking skills. I cull the discoveries and commentaries that interest me most, and create what Sherry and I call “brain tweets” and put them on Twitter. I’ve built an audience of almost 1,200 followers using my @brainleaper handle. And, as close observers of this page already know, I also reproduce my brain tweets in the column at right.
But this practice only allows me to call attention to a few of my weekly gems. I thought you might like to see some of what I’m leaving out. Below are seven items that might well easily have been used as one of this week’s brain tweets but didn’t make the cut. As you can see, it is sometimes devilishly difficult to decide between the front-runners and the also-rans.
Your brain is a whiz-bang at hatching ideas and a real doofus at storing them. So dream it up, write it down. More tips on ideating here.
“Early to bed, rested on rising, it’s a habit for kids that’s worth prizing.” The benefits of adequate (brain) sleep just go on and on. More here.
She’s a woman. An executive coach, no less. She says PMS consequences for female leadership are as regular as, well, their period. Some tips.
Designer says dysletics excel at lateral, visual and three-dimensional thinking. Read about him and his London exhibit, just concluded.
The guv’mint gumshoes are listening more to creative types, writers, futurists. Why? Stephen King & others predicted 9/11 as early as 1982.
When Dr. Karen Pape heard her former cerebral palsy patient was playing competitive kids’ soccer, her reaction was, “The hell he is!”
MIT’s renowned brain researcher Ed Boyden says it’s important to remember failure. Then reboot things when the time is right. How to do it
Email any comments or questions to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Almost a year ago, we posted most of the contents of the blog item you are now viewing and reading on LEAP!psych in this same space. I hope you’ll indulge me one more time by reading through it again. And, if you haven’t already done so, I’d count myself privileged if you should decide to sample our Yo!Dolphin! Worldview Survey, about which more is said below.
Here’s the reality: To now, developments in how we humans “do lives and do societies” can be said to have arrived in four great waves. Agriculture. Industry. Information. And the latest: Productivity and Change.
No. 4, the Wave of Productivity and Change, was to involve converging technologies such as bioengineering, nanotechnology, macro-robotics, machine cognition, exotic energy and new materials science, along with astonishing gains in information processing and sharing. And it has, plus much more.
Merged with new ways of organizing and using human capital, this powerful combination was expected to create new knowledge, products and sources of energy. And it has. And make people’s lives better, fuller, sooner—everywhere on this remarkable blue planet. . . . THAT, it hasn’t.
• So what happened? Wave 4 has largely been thwarted by short-sighted vision and poor decision-making . . . and co-opted by simple greed, worldwide.
The technologies of Wave 4 —technologies that could decentralize and liberate—have been thrust aside in favor of those of a global economic and wealth-controlling oligarchy. In other words, the same old, same old, except it is on a far vaster scale and moving at warp speed.
• This isn’t going to endure in the long run. Our air and waters are being polluted beyond sustainability. People are hungry, and food sources are stressed. Other species are disappearing. The Great Wave of Life that underlies all the other waves is being direly challenged. It’s no exaggeration to say that life on Earth hangs in the balance.
Brain Technologies’ authors narrated much of the above in their best-selling book, Strategy of the Dolphin®. Dudley expanded on the topic in The Mother of All Minds. Then he expanded on what can happen in dolphin-thinking waters with LEAP! How to Think Like a Dolphin & Do the Next Right, Best Thing Come Hell or High Water.
• Our best hope: a learning-capable, changeable brain. Under the right circumstances, our brain is wired to change itself when it senses new needs and challenges. The best clue that this is happening is how a brain views the world: its worldviews, primary and secondary.
This is why BTC has reintroduced its Yo!Dolphin! Worldview Survey™, featuring the crucial new Deep See-Change Dolphin Worldview.
The Yo!Dolphin! thinking skills technology tracks five major worldviews: Carp, Shark, First Dolphin, Prime Dolphin and Deep See-Change Dolphin. Like a GPS-locator, it will tell you exactly where your thinking, acting, believing and valuing skills are anchored in today’s turbulent Deep See ocean of needs, challenges and possibilities.
• The critical answers to the kinds of worldviews that dominate in your own thinking environment are identified instantaneously when you take a few moments to respond to our highly professional online self-analysis questionnaire. What you can learn about yourself in one of the most unusual, most personal, most detailed and most instructive “personality profiles” of our generation is only an instant away.
Awaken and thrill to the true power of the story that your worldview equips you to tell, explore, personalize and take inspiration from.
Appreciate how uniquely you “slot into” the bigger picture of a humanity that may be a treasure unmatched in all the universe.
Revel in the richness of your possibilities even as you benefit from a penetrating new understanding of self limits and possible points of vulnerability.
Go forth prepared to utilize your thinking skills with a quality, precision and effectiveness frankly available to very few of the people you’ll ever be called on to influence, instruct, guide, match wits with or seriously challenge.
No feature of your full, comprehensive Yo!Dolphin report is more unusual than its ability to help you understand if you are ready to help protect the Great Wave of Life. And if you are, what the most productive and constructive steps are that you can take are. And if you aren’t, how you can improve your readiness.
• It all starts with how you see the world. And there’s no clearer, cleaner, more action-inspiring way to do that than to ask BTC’s Yo!Dolphin! Worldview Survey what it sees and what it has to suggest about the way you think, value, choose and behave.
For more information, go here.
To take the questionnaire and initiation one of the most unique self-discovery processes of your life, go here.
In those early years following the 1981 release of our original BrainMap, it was more a novelty than a commercial success. Back then, the idea of piggybacking a thinking skills model on the back of actual brain research findings was a hot topic. So “hot,” in fact, that it had the national news media flocking to our modest offices, then located in Richardson, Texas.
Well, “flocking” may be a bit grandiose. But one of the top science editors for Newsweek showed up for a long chat about what our new brain-based model might suggest about how humans behave. In the end, Newsweek never mentioned The BrainMap, but The Washington Post certainly did. On August 26, 1986, the “Style” section of the Post ran a half-page article about our brain-studies-based learning tool called “What’s Your Quadrant?” You can read it here (although the paper’s large depiction of the BrainMap’s basic quadrant diagram isn’t reproduced.)
The Post article had all kinds of repercussions. Before long, I was back in D.C. as the guest of the local CBS station, speaking about brain usage and aging on one of its late-night talk shows. (The guest that followed me was actor Donald Sutherland; the handsome dude was walking onto the set as I was exiting, and I got to shake his hand and say, “Howdy, nice to meet you.”) Next, it was an invitation (all expenses paid) to a major business management event in Nantes, France. But probably, my speaking appearances for years at sectional sessions of the annual meeting of The American Society for Training and Development did more to popularize The BrainMap than my occasional headliner appearances.
But in any event, The BrainMap took off. We soon had numerous distributors, and not only in the U.S. There was soon a Dutch language BrainMap and a German one and a French one. In the early 2000s, we issued an online version of The BrainMap, and this further expanded the worldwide user base for the tool.
As most visitors to this website probably know, Brain Technologies didn’t stop with The BrainMap. We went on to create and publish a number of other self-development and/or teambuilding models and tools and facilitation guides and (often book-length) explanations. But the lodestar of our self-assessment lineup remains The BrainMap. This is why, In its honor—and to assist potential new users and hopefully reignite the excitement of old users—we have created a new BrainMap-only website.
It is up on the Net here. We hope you’ll drop by. If you haven’t already taken The BrainMap, we invite you to. If you have, you can revisit your results and view all the many dimensions of your thinking skills and potentials that your BrainMap document is as ready as ever to explain to you. If you are simply curious about our concept and about the “product” package that has endured as one of the most respected assessment and learning tools of practical post-modern psychology, well, our new website is the place to start.
By the way, as a metaphor for the brain, we have chosen the violin (that’s our new website’s home page illustration above). The violin has four strings, you know. And our BrainMap has four quadrants. This made it natural for us to suggest, “You already play the world’s most exquisite instrument. What’s next? Become a virtuoso at it. Take The BrainMap online. Now!”
NO TIME BEING LOST BY OUR MONTREAL ASSOCIATES. (Although with All
the Travel, There is a Risk of Their Losing their Luggage!)
Our “high-concept, high-touch” friends at Groupe Metafor International are involved in an all-dolphins-on-deck promotional push that straddles the Atlantic Ocean. Here are activities that Michèle Carrier and Charles Boulos are offering for Canada, France and Mexico (they are fluent in Spanish, too):
A 3-day intensive public seminar, “La Stratégie du Dauphin™,” in Montreal June 8-10 and in Paris June 22-24.
A 5-day public seminar, “L’Élan du Dauphin ! ™”, in Côte d’Azur, in southern France, June 13-17. Our GMI colleagues say this is a “new formula being tested in a more relaxed environment” than their usual big-city Paris seminar locations.
Discussions are underway with long-time colleagues in Mexico to gauge their interest in co-sponsoring a 5-day in-depth public seminar, “La Estrategia del Delfin en el Caribe,” in Cancún and a 3-day seminar, “La Estrategia del Delfin,” in Mexico City. Response from former associates in both locations was immediate and favorable, they report. Hopefully, dates and details will be available soon.
Michèle Carrier and Charles Boulos
Another major GMI outreach is underway to promote in-house seminars in the Telecom, Cloud, IT, ITT, Software and other high-tech industries by the consulting, speaking and coaching professionals who are members of the Metafor Transnational Network. All shared an interest in helping clients achieve sustained productivity and profitability using BTC’s English and French language assessment and thinking skills development tools and models.
I know that Michèle and Charles have spent countless hours planning this ambitious outreach. They are being counseled by their own management coach to connect with prospective clients by the phone, FaceTime and Skype instead of e-mail. “We are moved by the response of our clients,” says Michèle.
More info on their website. E-mails are email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org.
We sometimes say at BTC that if you don’t give the universe a reason to notice you, it usually doesn’t. No chance of that happening for Montreal’s imaginative GMIers!
THANKS TO OUR NEW SWISS COLLEAGUE, LITHUANIA, HERE WE COME!
(Or As Our mCircle Tool Says, ‘Take This Dilemma and Shove It!’)
Our guidance-for-handling-dilemmas tool, The mCircle Instrument®, has intrigued one of our newest BTC distributors. Swiss-based communication consultant and management coach Amy Carroll is preparing to introduce our dilemma-handling guidance tool, The mCircle Instrument, into her Lithuanian training events.
She is promoting an open program, “High Performing Teams & Individuals,” in the Lithuania capital of Vilnius in June.
Circle Instrument will also provide a major focus in November, when Amy conducts a three-day intensive course on “Executive Presence” at the Baltic Management Institute, near Vilnius. This is the fifth year she has facilitated this course.
“It involves approximately 50 leaders and senior leaders from a variety of multinational companies with offices in and near Vilnius, Lithuania. They are mostly Lithuania with an occasional Belarusian or Russian student. They tend to be extremely open, eager and clever and are an absolute delight to work with.
“The course focuses on power, status, conflict style, influence, presentation and communication challenges. I will be replacing the Thomas Kilmann Conflict Mode with The mCircle to make a richer connection to the consequences of our choices and a sales pitch for the breakthrough approach to lead to more transformational communication.”
Amy’s company, Carroll Communication Coaching Sàrl, is headquartered in Vevey, Switzerland. She specializes in leadership, communication and effectiveness training for multinational clients. Her book, The Ego Tango, illustrates “the 7 Partner mindset techniques” and uses real-life stories, to suggest how readers can get “more of what you want, more often with less hassle!”
Her website is here. Her e-mail is email@example.com.
Is it possible that the next new language for The mCircle Instrument is Lithuanian? With a go-getter like Amy on the case, we can be excused for thinking so!
WE DON’T THINK ASSETREPORT® IS DESTINED FOR THE XBOX ONE, But Isn’t What Carlos Salum Is Doing With Our BTC Tool Interesting!
Our intrepid distributor in Charlotte, NC, Carlos Salum, has stepped outside the box once again and put our most complex BTC assessment tool, AssetReport®, to work in an unusual way.
He was approached for help by the parents of a 13-year-old middle schooler. The child has been taking such an unregimented approach to lesson-preparation, homework submission and other learning activities that his grades were suffering.
Based on his experience teaching peak performance skills to adults, Carlos could have been expected to introduce his young charge to MindMaps and Concept Fans, as well as the “fish” structure for making Presentations (Focus, Audience, Approach, Hook, 1-2-3 points and details and Closing) and to Edward de Bono’s Six Hats concept and others that would teach him how to “chunk” information, especially in subjects he doesn’t like (social studies, for example).
And this is what Carlos eventually did. But first, he asked me about having the youngster work through BTC’s AssetReport questionnaire. I told him taking the assessment inquiry wouldn’t be a problem for his unusual client. But he was going to need to use drawings and charts to convey a lot of the information and not the AR’s standard intrepretations, which are mostly prose.
“This young man is very bright, so he understood his AR position and the implications. But neither he nor his mother are ‘readers,’ so I’m using bullet points and drawing a lot these days and mapping everything in one-page mindmaps or visual summaries.
“And the parents are the kind of bright procrastinators who explore many options, take time to learn, find pros and cons, and only then act on the material. Their son sometimes forgets to submit his homework because of his style, so I’m showing him how to use simple project management approaches. I also have to text him every week to check on his progress, otherwise he’ll stick to his routines.”
Quite a change from the days when Carlos was contributing to the careers of world-class tennis players such as Gabriela Sabatini (U.S. Open champion, 1990) and Sergi Bruguera (French Open champion, 1993-94) as well as collaborating in the training of the Argentine and Italian Davis Cup Teams, among many others.
But not a departure from the reminder he has at the top of his newly redesigned website: “A peak performer is a flexible, versatile, creative and situational thinker who gets results.” Email for Carlos is firstname.lastname@example.org.
And I can’t resist adding, while again saluting Carlos’ virtuoso skills as a thinking skills coach, “Game, set, match, AssetReport!”
CLAUDIA LINDBY IS TAKING IT ONE BRAIN AT A TIME IN DENMARK—and Here Comes Another Thirty of Those Three-Pounders to Be Mapped
This just in from Claudia Lindby, our go-to person in Forandringsleder (that’s Danish for “Change Leadership”):
“On 16 June, we are starting up the 3rd High Performance Leadership network in Denmark.
“Approximately thirty leaders will attend the first meeting and, as we did the first two times we started such a network, we will start by focusing on personal leadership, mindset and using The BrainMap®. So, close to one hundred leaders have been introduced to the thinking and have done their BrainMaps over the past year or so.
“I have also coached some of them 1:1 in understanding the BrainMap better and thinking about how to develop their position.”
Check out Claudia’s website
for an introduction to her extensive career. This is her email address: email@example.com. (Claudia’ C.V. is so extensive that Google refuses to translate it. Score one for Forandringsleder!)
At Brain Technologies, we are so, so proud of our imaginative colleagues—pioneers in the new thinking skills era, one and all!
[If you have comments, write me at firstname.lastname@example.org.]
That’s the plan! Michael Roth’s plan. This Portland, Oregon-based distributor for Brain Technologies is working diligently to take his love and appreciation for the “dolphin strategy” models, tools and techniques to the next level. When he’s done, his goal is have “a dynamic new resource for community organizing” in place to improve the success rate of people seeking to empower societal change.
Michael Roth walking across Spain last fall
In the past year, the owner of NW Resources
has immersed himself in the newest BTC products, including our latest book
, LEAP! How to Think Like a Dolphin & Do the Next Right, Smart Thing Come Hell or High Water
, and our 59 Minute Team Building™ facilitation guide
. At the same time, he was serving as administrative officer for a small foundation. This led him to reflect on (1) an increasing number of individuals wanting to be community change-makers, (2) the reality that many of their efforts and organizations are not successful and (3) his conclusion that his knowledge of the “dolphin strategy” and his experience in working with non-profit organizations (NPOs) could be combined in highly effective new ways.
Target audiences and intended content. His target audiences are these: “activists” of all ages in environmental causes, aging in place communities, neighborhood associations, P.T.A.s, church groups, emergency preparedness endeavors, service clubs, political actions, community centers, co-ops and traditional groups with declining memberships.
His intent is to offer them strategies and training in successful techniques for catalytic leadership, team building, volunteer recruitment-retention-acknowledgement, organizational development, change management, social media, creative fund raising and other essentials for generating and maintaining momentum.
Central to his plans are his website, which he is redesigning. He hopes to generate 200 subscribers within six months and at least 500 connections and downloads within a year. He plans to use it to provide such features, resources and interactive learning opportunities as these:
A 52-week course in community organizing built around modules that he is now writing. Participants will be asked to pay a fee of $97 for a year’s supply of once-a-week walkthroughs of activities critical for putting an enduring and productive community-based organization in place.
A blog, regular articles, a store with webinars and products for sale with member discounts and ways to instantly connect with affiliates with expertise in a variety of fields related to the user’s particular passion, issue and need. “Special links to one-on-one coaching, creative problem solving and leading edge innovation expertise would be a few clicks away and affordable with on-line payment or often free,” Roth explains.
Free quarterly webinars offering a preview and sampling of offerings, products and resources.
A special webinar offering based on BTC’s 59 Minute Team Building approach. “I’m thinking about two-hour once-a-month sessions for four months or similar format, one that might be flexible to participant response, and the first 100 subscribers to the community organizing modules would qualify for a discount webinar ticket,” he says.
59 Minutes of Team Climbing Per Week
Michael has been heavily involved the past ten years working with municipal bond projects that have financed more than $4.7 billion in civic support and improvements. At the same time, he has been involved in producing books, grant proposals, newsletters, brochures and multimedia presentations. More lately, he has represented entertainment acts, especially musicians and magicians. In high school and college, he earned his living as a percussionist and keyboard player. Then came several years as a carpenter and builder.
“My goal is to have the redesigned website working in early June, with the first dozen modules ready, and to produce a free webinar in mid-June to give a preview and sampling of offerings, products and resources,” he says. “I am currently in production, writing a mélange of modules, articles and tips. I’ve been highly encouraged by the positive response I’ve gotten from potential affiliates.”
You can reach Michael at email@example.com or by phone at 503-493-8316.
(I plan to feature current or upcoming adventurous activities of other BTC distributors in upcoming editions of LEAP!psych.)
[If you have comments, write me at firstname.lastname@example.org.]
The title you see for this LEAP!psych item is the one I used for an article that appeared in the January, 2016 (Vol. 3, No. 1), edition of Assumption University of Thailand (Bangkok) business school’s ODI Journal.
I used the much appreciated invitation by the journal’s editors to talk about how new ways of tracking changes in human thinking perceptual, belief-forming and decision-making skills began to emerge in the 1950s.
In the abstract I wrote to accompany the article, I noted that Dr. Paul Kordis and I took a look at those changes in the late 1980s and concluded that the work of the late Clare W. Graves, a pioneering American evolutionary psychologist, towered above the field.
Dr. Graves’ model of a stair-step path to mental, emotional and spiritual maturity that is closely tied to how a person’s brain develops became a major basis for our best-selling book, Strategy of the Dolphin: Scoring a Win in a Chaotic World. (See cover at right. The book is now available as an ebook.) What has not been widely understood is how—or why—we created our model of the carp, shark, pseudo-enlightened carp and dolphin mindsets or belief/value systems. That’s what this article helps to explain.
Here are a few highlights from the article:
Metaphors are shortcuts, quick ways to get people’s imaginations and understandings across bridges that—as a cartoon I saw depicted it—“can only be accessed from the other side.” I invented my metaphor of the dolphin for just this reason. To help my fellow and sister participants on the planet grasp something important and do it in a hurry. That “something” is the idea that human thinking and consciousness are in play, and evolving—along with their technologies—rapidly. That people and organizations failing to notice this, and act on it—who failed to do something different—could be seriously at risk.
At its most basic, [the dolphin mindset] is a consequence of your brain having wired itself in a new way so that it is less, much less, of a Rube Goldberg when it comes to representing the “outside” world to itself and deciding what it means. And that’s a justifiable way of characterizing all our perceptions and interactions with “reality” in the outer world: Rube Goldberg-type outcomes cobbled together by a process that one learned observer, confining himself merely to the process that we call sight, has called “the end product of chopping, coding, long-distance transmission, neural guesswork and editable cut and paste.”
Users of the dolphin mindset have either taken
THIS IS ONE OF A NUMBER OF SEQUELS I'VE WRITTEN TO THAT FIRST DOLPHIN BOOK
a goodly amount of guesswork out of deciding what is happening in the outer world or else have an advantage in being able to ascertain what kind of guessing is going on and how much faith to put in what the brain concludes. What difference does this make? Well, think of attempting to climb a ladder in total, continuous darkness and then having the advantage of at least occasional illumination.
How does your brain manage to find itself rewired so that it is entitled to call itself a dolphin’s brain? That topic is worthy of several chapters—or books!—in itself. [That's the cover to one of those books at left. You can read more about all of them here.] But for now, perhaps the most succinct answer I can give is that the brain of a dolphin-in-training achieves the payoff we are describing because somewhere along the way it succeeded in putting itself squarely in the widest available path of advancing life.
Users of the dolphin mindset are by no means totally shielded from bad consequences, or even poor judgment. But where the dolphin swims, the odds of an outcome that is positive or at least little threat to the user of the dolphin mindset substantially exceed the odds for participants whose dolphin “headware” has not been activated.
The mindset of the dolphin first announced itself to a few astute observers in the 1950s. Over the decades, it began to qualify as a paradigm. The dolphin’s openness to new perspectives and the interrelatedness of things has, in a very short time, begun to revamp our understanding of our world and ourselves on a breathtaking scale. But even in the 21st Century, it is still unfamiliar to most individuals, no matter how high their I.Q., how well pedigreed or educated or how savvy and ambitious.
[For the moment] you are probably best advised to be cautious with whom you speak about what it is like to be in your very own shiny, efficient, options-filled cockpit of new personal controls, decision-making skills and people-analyzing proficiencies. But you are well within your rights and the evidence that there is something fresh and exciting afoot in the human experience.
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There’s a new sheriff in town, and he’s the leading character of a new kind of book for me—a work of fiction, and a murder mystery at that. Major ebook sellers, including Amazon.com, began taking pre-orders for my 89,000-word detective-thriller this week. The book’s official release date is April 29.
COVER FOR MY NEW EBOOK DETECTIVE THRILLER
The novel’s lead character, Sheriff Luke McWhorter, is America’s only sheriff with a Yale divinity school degree. He knows guns, he knows church, he knows book learning and he knows the local folks’ habits and history. One horrendous week in autumn, he needs all these skills and more. Four religion professors at Flagler, Texas’ three small church colleges are murdered. If Abbot County’s erudite head lawman can’t put an end to the killing and chaos being triggered by one of America’s richest men, Armenian cyber-revolutionaries and Flagler’s own homegrown provocateurs, the whole town may be in jeopardy.
BELIEFS CAN BE MURDER has received highly positive reviews from advance readers:
—Jay Brandon, whose legal thriller, Fade the Heat, was short-listed by the Mystery Writers of America’s Edgar Award for best novel, calls the book “an outstanding mystery debut.”
—Joe Holley, writer of The Houston Chronicle’s weekly “Native Texan” column and author of The Purse Bearer: A Novel of Love, Lust and Texas Politics, says the work is the product of a “clever and quirky” author who has pulled off a “unlikely” plot “with panache.”
—Stephanie Jaye Evans, author of the Sugar Land Mystery Series, says, “Caper fans will find much to enjoy in Lynch’s rousing debut mystery.”
—Victor L. Hunter, co-author of The New York Times-reviewed novel, Living Dogs and Dead Lions, calls the author “a superb writer” [who in this book] deftly guides you through apocalyptic terrorism, academic over-reach, religion as entertainment, the chances of fate, the sustenance of friendship and the hunger for love, all out in the sunbaked badlands of West Texas.”
—Robert M. Randolph, Chaplain to the Institute, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), says the author of BELIEFS CAN BE MURDER “has done the almost impossible. He has turned the Raiders of the Lost Ark into a Sunday School lesson. Those who remember Sunday School will be forever grateful and those who have a few hours to spend escaping the mundane will find that those hours fly by in the company of McWhorter. There is a film there!”
Thank you very much, lady and gentlemen. I appreciate the supportive words.
I created a new imprint, Red Sea Mysteries (logo at right), to publish BELIEFS CAN BE MURDER so I could closely supervise how the book is packaged and marketed. I’m thinking that the accolades being received by the book’s cover design (at left above) have already vindicated my decision to be a “hands on” publisher of the work as well as its author. (While I contributed ideas, I didn’t create that cover design. A talented young illustrator in Oregon, Heidi Sutherlin, did that.)
BELIEFS CAN BE MURDER can be pre-ordered now for $3.99 from most major ebook sellers (although not from Nook until April 29). In addition to Amazon.com, I’ve set up pages that feature this book and others of my authorship on Goodreads, Smashwords and LibraryThing so far. And I’ve created a website for our new Red Bulldog Mysteries imprint here.
I’m hoping all visitors to those sites will 1) Buy the BELIEFS CAN BE MURDER ebook 2) Read it soon. 3) Praise the work to the rafters on Amazon.com and the other above-mentioned sites and anywhere else they can think of. In today’s frenetic book-seller world, we poor story-telling stiffs can never have too many friends helping us spread the word about our latest work.
Choosing which human brain to install in the Oval Office for the next four years is a daunting and demanding task. Some would even say it is scary.
For sure, it is a serious enough task that we should take a look at what we know about how our brains consistently deal with this messy, unpredictable soap opera we call life.
I have a personality testing tool that I developed years ago to help individuals and organizations do just that. What I’ve done below is use my BrainMap® assessment model to take a look at seven of the presidential candidates who have received substantial media attention. Here are some of their thinking characteristics that interest me:
The most advanced thinking capabilities. The winner is Bernie Sanders. It’s because he depends so heavily on his prefrontal lobs, both right and left. He speaks frequently of the interconnectedness of things, and that’s why. Many younger voters (under 40) sense that he’s the candidate most likely to be attracted to the new, the novel and the complex (even if he’s 74). This jives with their hunch that the world ahead is going to be vastly different from the world we’re leaving behind. Can Sanders win it all? Probably not. But he may be a bellwether for the kind of minds that will seek the presidency in the 2020s. We can expect to see more brains like his in the next few presidential election campaigns.
The nicest brains in the crowd. Those belonging to Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio. Both gents prefer operating from their right-brain hemisphere. This renders them loyal to traditions, values and groups from their past (Floridians from the right side of the tracks for Bush; Floridians from the other side of the Straits for Rubio). Both think you should trust their brains because they’re basically good guys, even when they have mean things to say. Why isn’t either of them doing better with the voters? Rubio may be beginning to make strides in the toughness area. But because of how their brains work, it is always going to be stretch for them to find their “ugly groove” and say there.
A lamb’s brain waiting to be sacrificed. Dr. Carson’s. This talented brain surgeon depends heavily on his upper left-brain hemisphere. We can be thankful for that. This is where we want our brain surgeons, airline pilots, actuarial experts and the like to spend most of their thinking moments. But when you are running for the presidency, there is a price to be paid for too much specialized thinking. Eventually your supply of theories and techniques runs dry on the political hustings, then you have to strike out on your own. What does a brain surgeon do when he shouts “Code Blue” and nobody comes? As we’ve seen with the good doctor, plummet in the polls.
The two most interesting and most dangerous brains. Ted Cruz gets slotted here because he knows exactly what he wants (“forever and ever, amen!”) and Donald Trump because he wants exactly what he knows (until he comes across something else). Both these candidates are in thrall to the bottom quadrants of their brains. Cruz favors the right side, Trump, the left side. No matter. With these brain areas calling the shots, it assures both men of copious supplies of psychological energy. Cruz devotes his brain electricity to delivering his “truths,” whatever the cost; Trump devotes his to searching for truths he can sell to someone, hopefully on the margin. Putting either one of these guys in the Oval Office is going to mean that this campaign never ends.
The brain you don’t want to go at head-on. Ms. Clinton’s. This isn’t the Hillary Clinton of yore (’92, ’96, ‘00, ‘04, ‘08), only more so. Hillary’s brain is a role model for what can be done when you effectively marry the front and back areas of the left brain hemisphere. You get someone capable of learning quickly, then exhibiting a Cobra’s patience for explaining something like Benghazi or the emails for the umpteenth time. The upside: this is a brain unlikely to go off the rails. The down side: you get someone who has wanted to be in charge for so long she’s incapable of envisioning a world where she wouldn’t be.
So which of these brains can we expect your brain to favor when it comes time to vote for our next President?
We thinking skills researchers know it will most likely be the one whose brain seems to behave closest to the way you think your brain behaves.
The run-up to the U.S. presidential election is one of the soap opera’s great “look in the mirror” moments, and that’s the rub. If things don’t work out, we have no one but ourselves to blame.
If you’d like to read this commentary in The Gainesville Sun, go here. If you have comments, please forward comments to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll post them.
I had originally intended this blog item to be about “the future of the brain.” That phrase has such a smart, in-the-know, forward-thinking ring to it. I thought I’d google a few smart, in-the-know, forward-thinking terms and see what the cognoscenti of the AI, transhuman, futurist and other intellectually inclined “crystal ball” movements are saying on the topic. Then I’d wrap it all up tidily for the half-dozen or so of my readers interested in this kind of gazing-at-the-navel-of-a-neuron-style discussion. But a hour or so into my internet spelunking, my vision of where I was headed disappeared down the rabbit hole.
Here’s what I realized when I emerged on the other side: There is nothing much scientifically that you can say about the future of the brain once you get more than, say, five minutes out. This is why everyone who bothers to pontificate about the topic quickly ends up sounding like they are talking about religion, not about good science, or even likely science at all. There’s simply too much we still don’t know about how the brain works and how it changes. Plus there’s this: The possibilities that could be ahead for “the brain” are enormous, much too gauzy for our limited 2016 speculating.
If, however, you insist on speculating on the future of the brain anyway, I can recommend someone entertaining enough to listen to. That would be Professor Nick Bostrom, founding director of the Future of Humanity Institute at Oxford University and author of Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies.
Bostrom protects himself from sounding like a theologian by viewing the whole topic as “a riddle wrapped in an enigma.” That’s to say, he views everything you can say about the brain’s future with extreme pessimism, and that, of course, makes him a philosopher. And truly good philosophers, of which Bostrom is one, are the most fun for the rest of us when they deign to speak in reasonably non-technical terms, which Bostrom usually does.
Looking at the brain in a far, far future in Superintelligence, he can envision such things as a massive cognitive cyber-soup, composed of trillions of digital minds operating connectedly. That could lead, he speculates, to brains as big as planets, with billion-year life spans. But he’s not expecting such brains, if they appear, to necessarily produce a blueprint for utopia. For context, he offers this analogy:
”What if the great apes had asked whether they should evolve into Homo sapiens—pros and cons—and they had listed, on the pro side, ‘Oh, we could have a lot of bananas if we became human’? Well, we can have unlimited bananas now, but there is more to the human condition than that.”
What, then, can I report after my afternoon’s inquiry into where we are on our understanding of the brain and where it might take us? Five observations:
1) The brain remains the best example so far of the methods with which the universe is developing itself. To use neuroscientist Anthony Zador’s term, the standard building block is a makeshift “bag of tricks.”
2) Most of the folks speculating on the future of the brain foresee a radical amplification of human abilities ahead (one of these is the extraordinarily readable Israeli historian, Yuval Noah Harari).
3) Some observers think AI (artificial intelligence) will quickly outstrip our Homo sapiens brain’s capabilities, beginning as soon as the year 2045.
4) When we get careless, those of us who have sought to use “brain studies” in HRD, OD, creativity enhancement and the like are forever sounding like metaphysicists or—heaven forfend!—religion’s homespun, Bible-thumping eschatologists.
5) Making any statement about the brain, including its future, should be done with fear and trembling. We just don’t know very much about how all this works—and we may never know very much.
Vaclav Smil, the Czech-Canadian scientist and policy analyst, has reminded us just how difficult it is for this brain of ours to draw a good bead on what’s already happened to us technologically, much less what may happen. For certain, very few of us would suggest that the 1880s were the most inventive time in history.
Yet Smil writes, “The 1880s were miraculous: They gave us such disparate contributions as antiperspirants, inexpensive lights, reliable elevators, and the theory of electromagnetism—although most people lost in their ephemeral tweets and in Facebook gossip are not even remotely aware of the true scope of this quotidian debt.”
So far, how does history suggest we best proceed with the study of the brain and all else?
Pick a tiny corner of the universe. Explore it to the best of your ability. See if you can spot connections. If you can, try them. If you can’t, don’t assume they aren’t there.
Please forward comments to me at email@example.com and I’ll post them.