March 3, 2016


Unfortunately I have not been posting for several weeks now. Things have gotten ...hectic... and I just have not had the time to devote to the upkeep of this blog.

Until my situation changes, I will be on an indefinite hiatus. This may be a month, it may be a year. I thank everyone for their readership and for the suggestions on books and articles. I still have a lot to accomplish, but it will be a while before I can do so.


January 21, 2016

People Respond to Good Leadership! Period! by Shari Strong

Being a leader doesn't always mean being in a position of authority; it can mean naturally leading others - friends, family, coworkers, and sometimes even those in authoritative positions over you. So I'm always looking for ways and pointers to sharpen my skills, and LinkedIn provides many such resources. One good article, People Respond to Good Leadership! Period! (written by Shari Strong) immediately caught my attention. Below is a summary:

A true leader is highly ethical, honest, respected, and understands that leadership is about connecting with - not managing - people. People will willingly follow your lead if you have these qualities. But if you don't like people, don't put yourself in a position to lead.

Leaders worth admiring seem to have these qualities:
  1. They think big.
  2. They believe when no one else does; they have good intuition of when to "stick to it" and when to change direction.
  3. They involve others and delegate. They allow ownership and give recognition when due.
  4. They influence, not manipulate.
  5. When goals are met, they celebrate and then set a new vision.

January 13, 2016

"When I was five years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down 'happy'. They told me I didn't understand the assignment, and I told them they didn't understand life."

January 5, 2016

Common Body Language

Happy New Year!

I took December off, for two reasons: to enjoy the holiday season and because my online posts are catching up too quickly to my hand-written notebook. This was to be expected, as I have a huge backlog of books, articles, and quotes which I have not had the opportunity to fully add to my notebook - and it's going to get worse because I have to edit my second book: Frank's Notebook Volume 2!

The first post of the new year gives a few pointers on how to approach body language. While reading body language is more of an art than a science, this little list may be useful for helping to determine whether your friends or family are telling the truth about keeping their New Year's resolutions...
  1. Confident
    • Standing tall with shoulders back.
    • Solid eye contact, with "smiling" eyes.
    • Purposeful and deliberate gestures.
    • Slow, clear speech with a moderate or low tone.
  2. Defensive
    • Gestures close to body or arms crossed.
    • Minimal facial expressions.
    • Eyes maintain little contact, or are downcast.
  3. Disengaged
    • Head down.
    • Eyes glazed or focused elsewhere.
    • Figeting hands, or writing / doodling.
    • Slumped posture.
  4. Lying
    • Pupils are constricted end eyes maintain little to no contact, or move rapidly.
    • Hands or fingers in front of mouth when talking.
    • Voice changes in pitch / stammering / throat clearing.

November 24, 2015

Is Failure Good?

Here is a refreshing take on failure, from an article by James Altucher. I like his approach, it appears unconventional at first but makes perfect sense by the end.


Failure is the worst possible thing. There is nothing good about it, and there's nothing you can pretend to learn from it. However, failure has many cousins - better things to learn from:
  1. Curiosity. When Something happens and you don't understand why, ask questions. Keep asking until you find answers.
  2. Experiment. It is normal in a lab to experiment with many materials before coming up with the right one. Didn't work? Change something and try a new experiment.
  3. Persistence. The best way to get better (and more well-known) is to simply do it again.
  4. Forgiveness. "Failure" is a word used to label a past event. When you label a past event as a failure, it prevents you from moving beyond the past. Learn to forgive, and move back to the present.
  5. Study. A good student doesn't call it a failure when he gets a question wrong on a test. It's just a wrong answer. Understand and study and remember the correct answers.
  6. Hard Problems. The key to success is to solve hard problems. Failure is not a hard problem - it is a label. Failure is in the past, hard problems can be solved now.
  7. Don't Care. When you fail, are you truly just worried that others will think you a failure? Don't worry about what others think. Don't care. Good things will happen.

November 17, 2015

The Dunning-Kruger Effect

I haven't posted a good "definition" in a while now. Every now and again I run across some interesting idea or concept - usually something to help me recognize issues within myself and take corrective action. Today, I have a new definition to present:
Dunning-Kruger Effect
The less competent an individual is at a specific task, the more likely they are to inflate their self-appraised competence in relationship to that task.
I have noticed this in my own life, on occasion. Have you? Just because we think we are good at something does not necessarily mean we are. Watch the opening rounds of American Idol some time. You will see many would-be contestants trot out on stage as if they are God's gift to music, and yet they are absolutely atrocious performers. That's the Dunning-Kruger Effect in action!

November 10, 2015

"If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough."