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The 2012 economic forecast

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You innocently ask people you just met what they do, and sometimes the answer isn’t what you expected. I asked a woman I had met recently that question. The answer: dental hygienist. Then I asked her what’s the most interesting thing she learned in that career, and she cheerfully answered that if you floss your… Continue Reading The 2012 economic forecast

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‘Failing forward’ is often the best option

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In this new year of resolutions and new beginnings, make it your goal to fail more often. Who knows, it might actually be the best thing you can do. Research has shown that most people who succeed in business, and in life, have done so by making failure their friend. But in today’s world that… Continue Reading ‘Failing forward’ is often the best option

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Someone recently voiced concerns to Laddie about an employee who was not doing a good job and, in his opinion, was holding back other parts of the business. The employee was unwilling to implement new systems and his inability to do his own job correctly created more work for other employees, who were justifiably frustrated… Continue Reading Emotions interfere when making business decisions

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Needles, haystacks and the new work force

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So I’ve started teaching at a prominent university in Baltimore. I signed up mostly because I like to hear people call me “Professor DeVries,” but I also thought it might be fun to see what kids are all about these days. As usual, I was completely unprepared for what I would find there. The Internet… Continue Reading Needles, haystacks and the new work force

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Bad news recently hit about the Sears Holding Company. Or, perhaps it’s more accurate to say that more bad news was reported. After all, this is nothing new for the long-troubled retailer. It’s easy to forget that Sears once ranked as the nation’s largest retailer. Today, though, Sears serves as another example of how vulnerable… Continue Reading Lessons from a Sears’ century of success and troubles

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Who’ll turn on the lights?

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Colorado regulators have agreed to a compromise between environmentalists and energy companies. They will require energy companies and natural-gas explorers to disclose the chemicals they use in hydraulic fracturing starting in 2012. This compromise sets the tone for natural gas exploration around the nation. And this is good news for all of us. The mix… Continue Reading Who’ll turn on the lights?

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Leadership from 14,000 feet

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As a leader, you know having a compelling vision and actionable steps to fashion that vision is paramount to your organization’s success. Unfortunately, too many leaders and in turn those they lead look at vision as a statement that hangs on the wall. To make the vision meaningful, relevant and compelling, leaders need to back… Continue Reading Leadership from 14,000 feet

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The appointment was nearly over. The man had talked at length about his business but had also shared a lot about his personal life. He lived a lifestyle that many people would consider enviable, with a lovely family and stature in the community. The owner of a successful and respected company, he earned substantial personal… Continue Reading Year-end Part 3: Does your business enhance your life?

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Consider Tebow, Newton and Christmas this season

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As Christmas arrives, believers and non-believers alike participate in the time-honored, all-consuming orgy. Perhaps they believe that once a year their generosity and goodwill goes beyond the personal and spins the nation’s wheels of commerce: About 20 percent of annual retail spending occurs between Black Friday and Christmas. Perhaps we are fed up with bad… Continue Reading Consider Tebow, Newton and Christmas this season

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If you believe the latest doomsday cranks, the apocalypse arrives on December 21, 2012, a date marking the close of the ancient Mayan civilization’s “Long Count” calendar. Don’t ask me — or any reliable historian — how the Mayan calendar became a means for apocalyptic prophesies. It’s another combination of myth making, book selling, and… Continue Reading Business, the economy, the election and the apocalypse of 2012

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