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ARTICLES

LEGAL: Make the most of meetings by planning and following up

Meetings can motivate and inspire. Productive meetings draw the best ideas out of people. Bad meetings, however, suck the life out of attendees. While endless meetings are legendary in big companies, entrepreneurial businesses face simi lar challenges. Several times daily, somebody has the great idea to have a meeting. If you look at my calendar any Sunday night, you'll see only a handful of meetings scheduled for the next week. But look back at the week on Friday night, and...
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LEGAL: Leadership should not be a popularity contest

As we gear up for another presidential election, we once again see many of the candidates matching their leadership on issues to the public opinion polls. Some believe that is necessary to get elected to the nation's highest office (and John McCain's early show ing in the race might be proof of this). But it's no way to run a business. Leading a business is not a popularity contest. Many important decisions are very unpopular. The leader who tempers decisions...
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LEGAL: Don't be trapped by 'talent'-redefine it instead

To succeed at the highest level, businesses must redefine talent. Our wellmeaning quests for the best and brightest talent frequently lead us into painful traps. The Indiana Pacers have proven this point in dramatic fashion in recent years. Take the Ron Artest saga. Artest is an immensely talented athlete and clearly one of the top players in the NBA, but had highly publicized problems. No doubt his talent brought him many more chances than the 11th player on the roster...
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LEGAL: Embracing truth can make business decisions easy

Despite what we would like to believe, most people struggle to live in the truth. It's hard and can be intensely painful. At times, the truth confronts us with issues we would rather ignore-the employee who isn't working hard enough, for example, or the suppli er whose products have gone downhill. So to flee this harsh reality, we avoid the truth with other people. Tragically, we also avoid the truth with ourselves, at times to the point where we no...
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LEGAL: Know the difference between knowledge and wisdom

The role of knowledge in business is familiar to all of us. Wisdom, however, is more elusive and its usefulness less wellknown. Knowledge can best be defined as "acquired facts." Wisdom, however, is a way of seeing reality. To "the best knowledge of seller" is a familiar term in business transactions, referring to what the seller knows-sometimes after diligent inquiry. Then there's "knowledge of the law," something lawyers specialize in. Or knowledge of numbers, which is accountants' expertise. The list...
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