Centerpiece

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It’s often difficult for young and middle-age taxpayers to come up with a down payment on a house. However, if you or your kids have your hearts set on a “dream home,” think outside the box: Consider an IRA as a secondary source of funds. Although IRAs are intended for retirement savings, tapping into your account might make sense if it helps to close the deal.

When Captain Chesley Sullenberger made the decision to land his doomed plane in the Hudson River, he didn’t have time to calculate his odds of success. He made his decision based on “heuristics,” a rule that directs focus to areas that matter while blocking out nonessential information. Could it work in organizations?

It’s quite possibly the worst customer service experience we’ve ever heard of. You’re entitled to breathe a sigh of relief that your company didn’t make such an egregious misstep. But do heed the critical lessons this tale offers:
If you suspect you’re underpaid, the topic is worth broaching with your boss. But build your case first. Five guidelines: 1.  Check online salary calculators. 2.  Leave co-workers out of it. 3.  Realize need isn’t a credible reason for a raise. 4.  Quantify your worth. 5.  Seek creative solutions.
After 4,560 shows, Oprah Winfrey stepped down as a queen of daytime TV. Her last moments on television drew more than 18 million viewers, which leads one to reflect: How do you build a brand like Oprah?
If you’re in a supervisory position, don’t wait until it’s time for a formal performance review to dish out the positive words. Here are six guidelines for effective praising, from Bob Nelson, author of 1001 Ways to Reward Employees:
An employee at Capital Title of Texas refused her boss's request to dye her gray hair and was fired. As you can guess, she sued for age discrimination and is awaiting her day in court … probably in front of a gray-haired judge.

If I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard an executive complain about HR … Why the bad rap? Is it deserved? What’s more, how does HR change it? Here’s how: 1. Just say "no" to no. 2. Avoid foolish consistency. 3. Speak their language. 4. Don’t forget, you are management. 5. Become mission critical.

Key to engaging in the Twitter conversation is developing a healthy-size list of followers—people who sign up to see your posts in their Twitter stream. And one of the best ways to do that is to write such ­content-rich tweets that others retweet them. Tips for writing Twitter posts that others will retweet:
Now that Congress has finally approved a debt ceiling agreement, you can expect another issue to gridlock both chambers now: tax reform.
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