Chapter 2

The Landscape of the Concrete Jungle

This jungle is organic—and so is the writing.

We discussed a number of metaphors while writing this book about differentiation and speedy strategic implementation. However, we would always return to a characterization of most peoples’ workplace lives as living in a jungle. We knew we were on the right track when we looked up the word jungle in the dictionary, because these six meanings are what we found:

1. A wild land overgrown with dense vegetation, often nearly impenetrable, especially tropical vegetation or a tropical rain forest.
2. A wilderness of dense overgrowth; a piece of swampy, thickset forestland.
3. Any confused mass or agglomeration of objects; jumble.
4. Something that baffles or perplexes; maze.
5. A scene of violence and struggle for survival.
6. A place or situation of ruthless competition.

So we continued with the concrete jungle metaphor—a place with which too many of us are familiar, and where too many people remain trapped. This is not the friendly or interesting jungle that we see in Disney movies or on the Discovery Channel. Rather, it’s a rough, brutal kind of jungle where the low-hanging fruit has been consumed, leaving only the high-hanging, hard-to-reach fruit that demands both effort and intelligence to attain. Make no mistake, though: you can be successful in the concrete jungle, and that’s what this book will help you do. But before you can find your way around, you must learn its landscape in order ...

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