Below is a collection of Dr. McGlaughlin's most recent observations (500+). Most of these observations are made throughout the course of everyday life, captured by dictation, and added to FlintsNotes.com. You can read more about the observation capture process here. The content here changes 5 days a week, so be sure to check back often. Also, feel free to leave a comment in the comments section of each observation.

On the Different Meanings of “Yes”

For many years, my research has focused on why people say “yes.” But I think it is important to note the variance in the meanings of the word yes.  When someone…

On the Connection Between Honesty and Performance

What is the relationship between honesty and excellence? As I reflect on the question, it seems to me that the periodic surges in performance capacity that are…

On Leadership and the Danger of the Lie

Behind every leadership problem is the “lie.” There is always the lie that we have told ourselves and have bought into. We do not think of it as a lie, but it is…

On Why a Great Artist Must Hate as Much as He Loves

The artist or writer who tries to create art that everyone likes can never transcend. The writer writes because he must write, even if he cannot persuade a large…

On Beauty as the Antidote

The darkness kills us. Many great men have suffered for the sake of the darkness. As the French philosopher Camus has said, “Suicide is the problem.” The…

On Life as Best When the Best is Lived Over and Over Again

In the early years of life, time stretches forward in linear fashion. You look forward to what will come. You look forward to what you will become. In the latter…

On the Danger of Using Anecdotes

The leader often expresses himself by anecdote. In doing so, he is representing a false picture of who he is. This may win the admiration of his followers, but…

On Words as the Expression of an Illusion

I am fascinated by the subtleties of conversation. The more words, the less meaning. I have observed that conversation sets down a sort of outline, with each…

On Being Convinced in the Face of Uncertainty

What does it mean to say that I am convinced of something? What does it mean that anyone says that they are convinced? I suspect that the limitation of words…

On the Presence of Beauty

The presence of beauty does not guarantee the absence of ugliness. But the absence of beauty guarantees the pervasiveness of ugliness.   

On Leadership and the Priority of Wisdom Over Intelligence

Men often substitute intelligence for wisdom. This is a grave mistake. One may be born with intelligence (it is a gift), but wisdom must be purchased over time…

On Art Speaking More from the Background than the Foreground

I think there is a place in art for the background to say more than the foreground. Indeed this inverse approach bears experimentation. In some ways, Henry James…

On Achieving a False Equilibrium

As human beings we are by nature challenged with internal conflict. This conflict manifests itself in multiple forms, but perhaps the most essential is our…

On the Dilemma of Knowing What You Cannot Say

There is a dilemma in life that comes not from what you do not know, but from knowing that you cannot say what you do know – it defies articulation. How does one…

On Leadership and the 60/40 rule

Leaders need to understand the 60/40 rule as it applies to certain types of communication. In articulating his values, the leader also reinforces them…