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    Two barometers of the US economy are moving in different directions, sending mixed messages about the depth, breadth and speed of the recovery.

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    If you had to name a company that symbolizes exemplary customer experience, superb brand management and cutting edge products, Apple wouldn't be too far from the top of most people's lists. Which is why it's been so surprising to find the company squandering its reputation for all these things over a relatively minor flaw with the new iPhone.

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    If the economy goes down a second time, it will not likely recover easily or quickly. The unemployment rate will rise into the teens and conditions reminiscent of the Great Depression will prevail through much of the nation.

  • LeBron James

    Changing employers is part of the marketplace and while most of us won’t make media-frenzied transitions like James, we'll still have to do it at some point. Doing it well is just another test of professional acumen, and there are several reasons why the issue deserves our attention.

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    The answer to that question—and to the importance of the office as a whole—lies in the sense of community. Sure, it might be possible to communicate with whomever you need to within your company by phone and email, but doing so exclusively takes a toll on everyone involved.

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    The personal benefit is clear, of course, as you get to frolic in a pursuit that may have taken a backseat. But the professional benefit, while indirect, is equally valuable — your personal renewal will contribute to your effectiveness on the job. Energy, ability to focus, creativity, likeability — all of these intangible but critical qualities will improve.

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    If you're reading this blog, chances are you've been involved in developing a succession plan or planning one in the near future. However, this process of training and development at companies can get much more complicated when the departing executive is the company founder.

  • Two women compare the new iPhone 4 (right) and an iPhone 3 in front of Manhattan's 5th Avenue Apple Store.

    China's soaring labor costs, a stronger currency and rising housing prices threaten to increase the cost of making electronics. The New York Times reports.

  • Spain

    Moody’s Investors Service may cut Spain’s credit rating as much as two levels. The rating agency is currently reviewing Spain’s AAA foreign and local currency sovereign bond ratings. Spain continues to face fiscal challenges and falling growth expectations.

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    I feel a market uptick. As a former recruiter, I still am involved in recruiter networks, and my colleagues are busy. Most telling of all, companies are looking for recruiters, indicating a commitment to hiring on an ongoing basis.

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    The U.S. economy has had two crises that were followed by long periods of depressed economic activity, high unemployment, and instability lasting more than a decade...Conditions are emerging that could cause that to happen again, and without a radical change in policy, the nation is at risk of a terrible calamity.

  • President Barack Obama

    Friday, forecasters expect the Labor Department to report the economy shed about 110 thousand jobs in June and unemployment rose to 9.8 percent. Economists expect the private sector created about 110,000 jobs but government employment dropped twice that amount, as many temporary census jobs disappeared. Twelve months into recovery from such a deep recession, this is a terrible performance.

  • Bob Bradley head coach of USA embraces Ricardo Clark of the United States after he was substituted during the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa Round of Sixteen match between USA and Ghana at Royal Bafokeng Stadium on June 26, 2010 in Rustenburg, South Africa.

    The U.S. soccer team's run in the World Cup came to an agonizing conclusion against Ghana on Saturday, but unlike many of the major European nations competing, the team can at least head home with their heads held high. And none more so than coach Bob Bradley, who has offered myriad leadership lessons over the course of the two weeks the U.S. team was involved at the world's most-watched sporting event.

  • John Gotti

    While the days of the flamboyant “Dapper Don” are over, New York's  five major crime families—Bonanno, Colombo, Gambino, Genovese and Lucchese—are still functioning. And more importantly, they’re still making money.

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    Learning to embrace opposition and maneuvering it toward resolution is no easy task. Even in the most modern and youth-centric offices, traditional rules and authority often end up becoming reasons for dissent and fraction. But sometimes all it takes is a different take on the process or eventual conclusion of a project. As an executive, then, how do you handle conflicting ideas from team members?

  • Chinese Yuan

    Fed policy is much less relevant to U.S. growth and price stability than in the days of Paul Volcker, because China's yuan policy has substantially limited the importance of Fed interest rate decisions by severing the historic link between short interest rates-like the federal funds rate it targets-and long rates on mortgages, corporate bonds, and the securities banks use to finance lending on cars and credit cards.

  • Man with wings

    Change. It's a word not many people like to hear, either in their personal or their professional lives. Usually it means breaking from the usual, comfortable, established way of doing things and striking out for new territory, be it physical, mental, or emotional.

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    PepsiCo and ThinkSocial, a nonprofit initiative at the Paley Center for Media that advances use of social and mobile media for public purposes, hosted a unique event last week aimed at highlighting the growing buzz around corporate sustainability and using social media to leverage it. Marketing heads from global brands like GE, Timberland, Nokia and PepsiCo were on hand to not only discuss their CSR initiatives but also show how they are embracing their social media networks to leverage brand awareness.

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    You can’t expand your network if you always only focus on people you already know. You have to take a chance, like this person did, and reach out to people. Attend social events, go to conferences, take classes, participate in community activities, and then actually reach out to the people you meet.

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    What themes do you expect to emerge when you gather a bunch of leading businesspeople and experts on innovation and organizational change, and have them present their thoughts in a two-day conference in New York City?