Greetings from China

Blogging will be light for a while. I am traveling with my daughter in Asia. We are in Xi'an China currently.


Leadership Quotations

The task of leadership is not to put greatness into people, but to elicit it, for the greatness is there already.
--John Buchan

To lead people, walk beside them … As for the best leaders, the people do not notice their existence. The next best, the people honor and praise. The next, the people fear; and the next, the people hate … When the best leader’s work is done the people say, ‘We did it ourselves!

Do not follow where the path may lead.
Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.
--Harold R. McAlindon

If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.
--John Quincy Adams

Our chief want is someone who will inspire us to be what we know we could be.
--Ralph Waldo Emerson

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, concerned citizens can change world. Indeed it is the only thing that ever has.
--Margaret Mead

From this collection of Great Quotes on Leadership


Take Charge of Your Life

"Consciously following a path towards your goals instead of blindly drifting through life really is the secret to success..." So concludes this
post from Matt Inglot that explains how an entrepreneurial wake up call rescued him from a career of "writing boring code for stuffy monolithic corporations..." More of the post follows:

"I had a[n]...experience several years ago which completely derailed me from my current path, which at that point was simply going in the direction life took me in. Sure I was making “choices”, such as planning on going ahead with a degree that I deep down knew wouldn’t be right for me, and planning to somehow be happy working in a cubicle the rest of my life (despite having had a chance to briefly try it and strongly hating the idea of being in front of a computer all day doing someone else’s work).

After all programming was my talent, so why on earth would I want to be anything other than a programmer graduating with a computer science degree? I had goals too, or so I thought. Surely a Ferrari was a goal? I mean it wasn’t humanly affordable on the salary of a corporate computer drone, and I had no plan to attain it otherwise, but yes that was my “goal”. I completely didn’t understand that where I was letting myself drift in life had nothing to do with what I actually wanted. To make things worst this direction was highly encouraged through high grades in “smart people” courses and congratulations from others on making such a great and rewarding choice.

Luckily the entrepreneurial bone in me activated and... I was exposed... to a strange freedom that was offered nowhere else. I read some extremely positive literature from people that seemed...happy. This was a world that my programming books had never exposed me to. Never before had I seriously read about ideas like goals, personal development, financial planning, and the idea that becoming truly successfully was something other than luck or born talent...

It’s not that I disliked programming - I’m having an absolute blast putting my skills to use with my website development company - it’s that I enjoyed working on projects of my own devising and not some insigificant cog in an obese software application. I took a year and a half off instead of going straight into university during which I awakened consciously further and further.

In the end I chose to enter a business program and because I had the opportunity I chose to go the double degree route and end up with a computer science one as well. My end choice in degrees is not important however, what is important is that for the first time in my life I had honestly been able to step off the beaten path, consciously examine my surroundings, figure out where I actually wanted to go, and then go in the direction that would actually take me there.

It’s possible and relatively easy to get to where you want to be in life if you stop long enough to start moving in the right direction..."


Ten Score and Eleven Years Ago...

Our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. The Declaration of Independence was ratified on this date 211 years ago. For much more on this document, visit Declaration of Independence, from ushistory.org.

"This site provides a wealth of information about the signers of the Declaration, the history of the Declaration, and an online version of the Declaration for you to read.

"The site also provides links to other Declaration-related biographies and histories and a guestbook where you are invited to add comments and ideas. This site is a good resource for anyone curious about the Declaration and its history, or for the student who needs resources for his or her research paper.

"The original Declaration is now exhibited in the Rotunda for the Charters of Freedom in Washington, DC. It has faded badly, largely because of poor preservation techniques during the 19th century. The document measures 29-3/4 inches by 24-1/2 inches. See picture.

"What's on the Back?
"People who watched the popular movie "National Treasure" want to know. On the back, at the bottom, upside-down is simply written: "Original Declaration of Independence / dated 4th July 1776." Regarding the message on the back, according to the National Archives, "While no one knows for certain who wrote it, it is known that early in its life, the large parchment document was rolled up for storage. So, it is likely that the notation was added simply as a label." There are no hidden messages.

"You will find the following resources on this site:

The Declaration of IndependenceThe text and image of the Declaration.
The Signers of the Declaration of IndependenceThis section gives a profile of every delegate who signed the Declaration in 1776. You will find factual information such as birth-death dates, occupation, education, etc. Each signer also has a short story of their life. A good resource for students.
Related InformationThis section provides a listing of people (George III, Patrick Henry, etc.), Events and Things (Boston Massacre, a Tax Stamp, etc.), and Laws and Resolutions (Sugar Act, Quartering Act, etc.).
Thomas Jefferson's Account of the DeclarationRead the lengthy excerpt from Thomas Jefferson's autobiography that talks about the days leading up to the signing of the Declaration of Independence, the history of the document, and various other factors which involved the authoring of the Declaration.
The Declaration HouseHere is where Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration. The house has been reconstructed and is now part of Independence National Historical Park. The Independence Hall Association, host of these web pages, led the efforts to have the Graff House reconstructed in 1975, in time for the Bicentennial.
LinksThis excellent collection of links provides other online resources about the Declaration of Independence. Such sites include analyses of the style of language in the Declaration, the story of the drafting of the document, and the relationship the Declaration has to other historic documents.
TimelineA Chronology of Events, June 7, 1776 to January 18, 1777.


Legal Issues in Internet Contracting

"Online contracting raises novel legal issues that any business attempting to set up an online contracting site should consider. However, most legal hurdles can readily be overcome by appropriately structuring the web site, entering into an electronic trading agreement, or (in the rare case) performing one or more steps of the transaction off line.

"Clients frequently wonder what legal pitfalls they may encounter in setting up a web page for online contracting. In fact, contract law principles such as offer and acceptance, or the requirement of a signed writing, can generally be accommodated on the Internet.

"In some ways the Internet is the ideal environment for entering into contracts, as many companies are discovering. However, certain practical differences between online and offline contracting should be kept in mind.

Read more in this article from Thelen Reid & Priest, that includes the following subtopics:

Issues Regarding Formation
Requirement of Writing on Paper and Providing a Signature
Legal Requirement of a Writing and Signature
Digital Signature Legislation
Utah's Digital Signature Legislation
California's Digital Signature Legislation
Illinois' Digital Signature Legislation
Other States' Digital Signature Legislation
The Mailbox Rule
Determining the Terms of a Contract
Special Issues Regarding Handling Money Over the Internet

Tips to Become a Better Writer

"1. Read great writers...Pay close attention to style and mechanics in addition to content...
"2. Write a lot...
"3. Write down ideas, all the time...
"4. Create a writing ritual. Find a certain time of day when you can write without interruptions, and make it a routine...
"5. Just write...
"6. Eliminate distractions...
"7. Plan, then write. This may sound contradictory to the above “just write” tip, but it’s not really...
"8. Experiment...
"9. Revise...
"10. Be concise...
"11. Use powerful sentences. Aim for shorter sentences with strong verbs...
"12. Get feedback...
"13. Put yourself out there. At some point, you’ll need to let others read your writing. Not just the person who you’re allowing to read it, but the general public...
"14. Learn to be conversational...
"15. Start and end strong..."

Read more in this lifehack post.

Change Ahead of the Curve

"Many companies wait too long to attempt transformations, doing so only when the signs of trouble have become obvious. But that's almost inevitably too late. High performers, by contrast, change before they must, knowing that the best way to transform is from a position of strength."

Read more in this article from accenture