Friday, 22 July 2011

Newsletter Issue 204, July 2011

Sam Young Newsletter

Issue 204, July 2011
Hi guys,
How well developed are you, morally? Check out Courage & Leadership below.
We take a brief look at taste buds in Its all in the Best Possible Taste
Don't forget, if you want to be taken off my mailing list, click here to send me a reply e-mail and I will remove your name.

Courage & Leadership

A friend of mine, Kenn Butler, wrote recently in his newsletter that "New Zealanders do not, by & large, like having unpalatable facts placed in front of them" (Butler, 2011).
He went on to say that he felt our debate in this country is trending more towards personal attacks than answering arguments. We are becoming more emotive than rational when shaping our arguments.
Kenn said "generally I have found [people] tend to take a cue from their leader creating a situation where one becomes the subject of nasty attacks, not to mention the odd politically motivated whispering campaign. To doggedly stick to one[']s message & not respond to such attacks in kind involves a strand of moral courage which can be recognised".
Lawrence Kohlberg (1976) felt that there were three stages of moralisation. We start at level one as children at an ego-centric place, where we balance punishment and reward, and where we look for the payback to ourselves. Children and some adults are in this space. If we look at the type of emotive argument employed by the media, we can see clearly that our society is becoming more and more targeted towards level one.
We reach Kohlberg's level two when we conform to what others expect of us - conformity to "good boy-nice girl", where one earns approval by being "nice". This stage is also characterised by a "law and order" orientation, by doing our duty. Kohlberg felt that most adults were at this point.
Kohlberg's level three is where we impartially apply 'universal' standards of behaviour to resolve moral conflicts, where we balance self-interest with a concern for others and for the common good. Less than 20% of adults are at this stage. You need a very internal locus of control to be in this area, and may break laws that are unjust - such as Emily Pankhurst, Nelson Mandela, Mahatma Ghandi, Mother Theresa and Martin Luther King. This is the moral stage where people display uncommon courage by whistleblowing, acts of selflessness, or philanthropy when they have nothing to give.
However, it is not only having a strong personal sense of 'rightness'; it is also having the courage to stand up for that rightness. That's true leadership.
These are the leaders who have the courage to think for themselves, and encourage their followers to do the same, and to expand their understanding of moral issues. While I have mentioned some great ones, those leaders with level three morals are also the simple folk who unthinkingly enter a burning building to rescue a child; who gives their lunch to another because they are hungry; or who champions someone because they are being unjustly treated.
By the same token, people whose moral development have reached level three are usually better able to put aside personal attacks, because the issues they champion is not about them personally; it is about a higher, broader and deeper level of justice.
Perhaps if we considered the reaction to media attacks, we might gain more insight into the calibre of the person being attacked, and how well developed they are.
  • Butler, Kenn (2011). Week # 226: Certain things don't change. NZ: Author. Retrieved 14 June 2011 from
  • Kohlberg, Lawrence (1976). Moral Stages and Moralization: The Cognitive-Developmental Approach. In T. Lickona (Ed.), Moral development and behavior: Theory, research, and social issues (pp.31-53). USA: Holt, Rinehart & Winston

Its all in the Best Possible Taste

I have just realised that I love bitter foods. This, needless to say, has taken me some time to work out, considering how far I am through my life!
The reason I made this magical discovery was because I burnt some pumpkin soup, and went trawling on the internet to discover a counter-agent for overly smoky flavouring. I found several hints (cinnamon & cumin; sweet chilli sauce; peanut butter; cream (obviously to thin the flavour).
During the course of my research, I got to thinking about what things I enjoyed the taste of, and in reading about those, discovered that they all had one thing in common; they were bitter tastes. Ah, the explosion of dark chocolate... the bite of a good coffee... the tang of olives... the fresh zing of mesclun. That got me thinking about what represented the other taste groups (largely because my husband does not enjoy those things that I love). So I went on a bit of quest to find the tastes representative of each group, and compiled a wee list to share with you: 
  1. Bitter: dark chocolate (yum!), wood smoke, quinine, coffee, cocoa, South American mate, beer, bitters, olives, brassicas, natural cucumber, celery, sharp salad greens, bitter marmalade, citrus peel, lemon.
  2. Salt: seafood, barley, chive seeds, duck, ham & pork, crisps (oo, check out those Proper crisps!)
  3. Sour: crab apple, tart grapes, lychees, loquat, citrus fruits (mandarin, tangerine, grapefruit, kumquat) mangoes, some peaches, pineapples, and plums, star fruit, vinegar, liquorice
  4. Sweet: honey, sugar, brown sugar, malt, most fruit & berries (including watermelon, cherries, dates figs, guavas, raspberries, strawberries), seeds, barley, beetroot, button mushrooms, corn, commercial cucumber, eggplant, soy, Chinese cabbage, carrot, beans, coconut, cinnamon, peanuts, chicken, eggs, freshwater fish, beef, milk
  5. Umami: savoury, meaty taste in cheese, soy sauce, sodium glutamate, fermented and aged foods, seaweed, bacon, parmesan cheese, tomatoes, grains and beans
I now realise that my husband loves sweet & salt, while my favourite taste group is bitter, and my second favourite is umami. Aren't we humans fascinating in our diversity?

Body Language Tip

How well do you read the body language of others, or understand your own?
Do you remember times when you felt so in tune with someone else that you have felt totally and completely at one with them? If someone had been watching your body language at the time, you are more than likely to have had "limbic synchrony" with that person.
Body language is something that behavioural change therapist Carol Kinsey Goman knows all about. As a regular contributor to Forbes Magazine online, she has recently published an article on the art and science of mirroring as a leadership tool.

TLAs for SMEs

Here are this newsletter's TLAs (Three Letter Acronyms) for you:
  • TLD, Top-Level Domain. This is the last segment of the domain name. The TLD is the letters immediately following the final dot in an Internet address.

Please feel free to email me with any TLAs that you want to get the bottom (meaning!) of.

Tips, Short+Hot Keys
In this newsletter, we look at all you can do with Alt, Shift, Ctrl and Y:
  • Access, Excel, Frontpage, IE, Outlook, PowerPoint, Publisher, Windows Explorer, Word "Redo last action" Ctrl & Y
  • Outlook "Copy item" Ctrl & Shift & Y
  • Outlook "Show Go to Folder dialog box" Ctrl & Y
  • Publisher "Hide or show special characters" Ctrl & Shift & Y
  • Word "Repeat Find" Alt & Ctrl & Y

Hot Linx
For the workplace just now considering reducing the management process, check out
Those of you who are considering making a career change should also think about how you email your applications to prospective employers. Career FAQs have a great "how to" at
For employers, check out the results of Manpower's 2011 global talent shortage survey at
For a bit of a laugh and a quick read about the rise of cockney rhyming slang, read what the Oxford English Dictionary have to say at

                                Catch you again soon!! E-mail your suggestions to me here

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