Category: Communication

How To Catch a Wild Pig: A Parable on Society

Recently, a colleague of mine sent me this piece called, “Catching the Wild Pig”.  Initially, I expected the gruesome kind of wild boar-hunting that I grew up with on Maui, and that my Valley Isle brethren and close friends still carry out up in Poli Poli Springs. But of course, this is simply a parable. Anyway, it was the first I heard about it and here it is:

A chemistry professor at a large college had some exchange students in the class. One day while the class was in the lab the Professor noticed one young man (exchange student) who kept rubbing his back, and stretching as if his back hurt. The professor asked the young man what was the matter. The student told him he had a bullet lodged in his back. He had been shot while fighting communists in his native country who were trying to overthrow his country’s government and install a new communist government.

In the midst of his story he looked at the professor and asked a strange question. He asked, ‘Do you know how to catch wild pigs?’ The professor thought it was a joke and asked for the punch line. The young man said this was no joke. ‘You catch wild pigs by finding a suitable place in the woods and putting corn on the ground. The pigs find it and begin to come every day to eat the free corn. When they are used to coming every day, you put a fence down one side of the place where they are used to coming. When they get used to the fence, they begin to eat the corn again and you put up another side of the fence. They get used to that and start to eat again.

You continue until you have all four sides of the fence up with a gate in the last side. The pigs, who are used to the free corn, start to come through the gate to eat; you slam the gate on them and catch the whole herd. Suddenly the wild pigs have lost their freedom. They run around and around inside the fence, but they are caught.

Soon they go back to eating the free corn. They are so used to it that they have forgotten how to forage in the woods for themselves, so they accept their captivity.

The young man then told the professor that is exactly what he sees happening to America. The government keeps pushing us toward socialism and keeps spreading the free corn out in the form of programs such as supplemental income, tax credit for unearned income, tobacco subsidies, dairy subsidies, payments not to plant crops (CRP), welfare, medicine, drugs, etc. While we continually lose our freedoms — just a little at a time.


While I found this fable interesting and captivating, we’re in a rather interesting dilemma here in the Hawaiian islands when it comes to wild pigs. I understand the whole notion of the “trapped” wild pigs and the problems that presents, but in places like Haleakala National Park on Maui, we are also experiencing what happens when you let the pigs go nuts and just run wild. I suppose the trouble we have in our political system is that we keep vacillating between taming the wild boar and letting them run wild. As with all in life, balance is critical, I think. What do you think?

No Goose Left Behind…

The following post comes from an ongoing training/consulting project we have with a large client organization here in Hawaii. We are in the midst of developing the custom-designed training curriculum, which began with a strategic planning and leadership training session. The Story of The Geese is a part of our “teamwork” module. It provides a perfect example of the importance of teamwork and how it can have such a profound effect on a team.

The Story of The Geese

This fall when you see geese heading south for the winter flying along in the “V” formation, you might consider what science has discovered as to why they fly that way.


As each bird flaps its wings, it creates an “uplift” for the bird immediately following it. By flying in a “V” formation, the whole flock adds at least 71 % greater flying range than if each bird flew on its own.


Whenever a goose falls out of formation, it suddenly feels the drag and resistance of trying to go through it alone. It quickly gets back into the formation to take advantage of the “lifting” power of the bird in front of it.


If we have as much common sense as a goose, we will stay in formation and share information with those who are headed the way we want to go. We should be willing to accept their help and give our help to others. It is harder to do something alone than together!


When the lead goose gets tired, it rotates back into the formation. Another goose takes over and flies to the point position.


It is sensible to take turns to do the hard and demanding tasks. It pays to share leadership. As with geese, people are interdependent on each other’s skills, capabilities, and unique arrangements of gifts, talents, or resources.


The geese flying in formation honk from behind to encourage those up front to keep up their speed.


People who are part of a team and share a common direction as well as a sense of community can get where they are going more quickly and easily because they are traveling on the thrust of one another and lift each other up along the way.

The Importance of Encouragement

We need to make sure our honking is encouraging – Words of support and inspiration help energize those on the front line, helping them to keep pace in spite of the day-to-day pressures and fatigue. In groups and teams where there is encouragement, production is much greater. ‘Individual empowerment results from quality honking’.


When a goose gets sick, wounded, or shot down, two other geese will drop out of formation with that goose and follow it down to lend help and protection. They stay with the fallen goose until it dies or is able to fly again. Then, they launch out on their own, or with another formation to catch up with their flock.

The Importance of Empathy and Understanding

Albert Schweitzer tells the story of a flock of wild geese that had settled to rest on a pond. One of the flock had been captured by a gardener, who had clipped its wings before releasing it. When the geese started to resume their flight, this one tried frantically, but vainly, to lift itself into the air. The others, observing his struggles, flew about in obvious efforts to encourage him; but it was no use.

Thereupon, the entire flock settled back on the pond and waited, even though the urge to go on was strong within them. For several days they waited until the damaged feathers had grown sufficiently to permit the goose to fly. Meanwhile, the unethical gardener, having been converted by the ethical geese, gladly watched them as they finally rose together and all resumed their long flight. For this reason, I aptly named this article: “No Goose Left Behind”.

Finally, if we have the sense of a goose, we will stand by our team members in the good, as well as, the challenging times. So, the next time you see a formation of geese, remember…it is a REWARD, a CHALLENGE and a PRIVILEGE to be a CONTRIBUTING MEMBER of a TEAM.


LW1In her presentation last Friday, Dr. Linda Andrade Wheeler shared methods with the members of the Pearlridge Rotary Club by which they could better gear up for meeting the varied volume of changes that occur in their personal and professional lives. She emphasized that the uniqueness of each individual is his or her competitive edge and paramount to achieving “personal excellence”.

As she put it, “You are better at being yourself than anyone else”. Her primary message was really to convey the notion that how well people use their personal power, determines in large part their level of personal excellence, the quality of their relationships and eventually their lifestyle.

Two books from her repertoire were referenced in her talk and are available at

1. Ain’t Life an Artichoke: It Takes a Lot of Peeling to Get to the Heart…The Best Part This book is about personal excellence–the process of self-discovery and a journey to your heart, which you must take alone to find your uniqueness. The process can be uplifting and bring a brand new perspective to your life.

2. The Power of Resiliency Bouncing Back in a Changing World “Resiliency”—is about being happy in spite of change—or maybe as the result of it. It’s about growing through life’s changes and bouncing back in spite of adverse situations.

For more information on Dr. Wheeler’s seminars and books, please check out

The Five “Wheeler Points”…by Elmer Wheeler

Click Here to view a short video by Elmer Wheeler. The YouTube video of Elmer Wheeler is of him presenting his 5 'Wheeler' points on how to increase your sales and profits. What an era this was and a classic it your success!

First of all, in the spirit of disclosure and to be clear, Elmer Wheeler and I are unrelated, irrespective of our last names. Nevertheless, his ideas are as applicable today as when he wrote them more than 70 years ago.

“Sell the Steak, not the Sizzle!”

You won’t find this long-lost marketing classic at your neighborhood bookstore, they’re out of print and rare to find–anywhere! But you certainly CAN find it here! See below for a sneak peek at the first chapter of this book. Order by clicking here: “Tested Sentences that Sell”

In his book, “Tested Sentences that Sell”, Wheeler summarizes the findings from his “Wheeler Word Laboratory”–measuring the effectiveness of certain words and using them strategically to boost sales results. Among the most notable is Wheelerpoint#1, “Sell the Steak, not the Sizzle!”–the biggest selling point in your entire sales proposition.

In the video below, Wheeler summarizes his 5 Wheeler Points.

Also, after checking out this old training video, click ElmerWheeler.Book and attached you will find a snippet of Tested Sentences that Sell–the first chapter from his book for your review in pdf format. If you feel like I did, that this book should be a part of your library, then click here to get it now! “Tested Sentences that Sell”

Here’s to your success!

M. Garrett Wheeler

Do You Have an iPhone? Here’s an App that Puts Your Business in Your Pocket…

If you have an iPhone, this post applies to you. As a Mac user since my family started The Human Connection in 1987 (precursor to Successories of Hawaii), I have migrated from productivity tool, to productivity tool starting with FileMaker, to Entourage and now, hopefully for the long-haul, Daylite®.  If you’ve been searching for the best productivity tools to help you keep track of your calendar, projects and daily to-do’s, I have a strong suggestion. While there’s a lot of app’s out there for the iPhone, I’ve found something that actually works well for me. As I have mentioned in a previous post on this blog, I am working on setting up the Getting Things Done®(GTD) system on my iPhone. To accomplish this, I am using the new Daylite® software. Daylite is a business productivity manager designed to help you manage your business and your team. With features such as project collaboration, shared calendars, task delegation, and sales tracking, Daylite helps you move your business forward.

Coupled with Daylite, Daylite Touch is a business productivity manager for the iPhone and iPod touch, designed as a companion to Daylite on the Mac. Winner of a 2009 Macworld Best of Show award, Daylite Touch helps you manage your business and your team, keeping everyone on the same page and helping you stay on track and deliver on time. I’ve been using it for a little while now and it has really helped me stay on top of things. Keeping track of all your tasks will help you avoid disorganization, stay motivated and be more productive.

BTW: I will not get any credit whatsoever for referring you; it’s simply to share it with you in the hope of helping. Check it out for yourself and let me know what you think. Here’s to your success!

Resiliency and Getting Things Done®

In a recent seminar based on her book, The Power of Resiliency®, Dr. Linda Andrade Wheeler shared with her audience that, “it seems to me that in this age of instability, people are searching for something that is unshakable.  They are drowning in information, but starving for knowledge and meaning.  People want some foundation on which they can build a brighter future–a more predictable and dependable existence. I believe that foundation is their personal power — their attitudes, knowledge, and skills in controlling their lives in positive ways.  When people feel in control of their lives they tend to feel better about themselves and others.”


Hearing Dr. Wheeler’s statement made me recall back to when we first began Successories of Hawaii in 1994. At the time, there was an explosion of methods for “time management”, “task management”, or “personal productivity enhancement” that were designed to teach knowledge workers efficient routines for dealing with this overload of ever-changing demands (e.g. Covey, etc). Most of the recommendations concerned concrete tools and techniques, such as using personal organizers, sharing calendars, etc. But it seems that people were seeking more than just physical tools and priority setting. Continue reading

What is “Stressed” Spelled Backwards?

y91351Stress. Say no more; we all have it in one form or another and there’s no escaping it, right? I know, it really doesn’t matter what your profession, where you live or how much money you earn. You simply can’t eliminate it altogether due to the real-life demands we all face in our personal and professional lives. But, like all else in life, how we choose to deal with it is the magic variable. As the famous Successories saying goes, “Attitude is Everything!” It’s up to each one of us to manage our stress effectively. Here’s something that helps me.

The other day I found myself listening to a podcast featuring one of my all-time favorite sales trainers, Zig Ziglar. It was Zig who taught me to tune into and attend what he calls, “Auto University”. The clever term comes from the learning that can take place while commuting in your car. Ziglar is such a huge proponent of listening to something that teaches us–instead of just taking in pointless radio commercials and Muzak–that he claims, “It’s the most important university in America.”

Continue reading