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Table of Contents | October 2004

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Balance is Bunk!
It`s the central myth of the modern workplace: With a few compromises, you can have it all. But it`s all wrong, and it`s making us crazy. Here`s how to have a life anyway. Keith H. Hammonds
Fast Take: How to Live an Unbalanced Life
Trying to balance work and life is a losing proposition. Here`s a smarter way to think about sanity for the long term.
Fast Take: Survival Tactics
Most high achievers don`t pretend to have balanced lives. But some are able to accommodate their workaholic ways.
The Gonzo Way of Branding
Billionaire Richard Branson has thrived by breaking the rules. Now he`s tackling his greatest challenge, setting his sights on the United States and a new airline. He`s testing himself and the limits of the Virgin brand. Alan Deutschman
Fast Take: Branding the Branson Way
Marketing methods from Virgin`s founder.
Fast Take: Business the Branson Way
Leadership lessons to live by.
2004 Customers First Awards
You`d think more companies would have gotten it by now. Unfortunately, organizations that put customers at the center of what they do are rare -- so rare that we`re celebrating them. Meet the best customer-focused outfits, and learn from them. Jena McGregor
Mutual Benefit
Let employees design their own headquarters? Here`s how a biotech company nurtures people with imaginative benefits, keeping them happy, loyal -- and productive. Fiona Haley
Fast Take: Suggestion Box
Genencor has sought its workers` input in these areas and in return has received remarkable loyalty and commitment.
The Man Behind the Curtain
Michael Sheehan is the go-to guy for ambitious politicians and nervous CEOs who want to become great communicators. So what are his secrets? Jennifer Reingold
Fast Take: Staying on Message
Michael Sheehan`s Tip Sheet.
Ford`s Escape Route
The new Escape Hybrid was the most complex project in Ford`s history -- and maybe its most important product since the Model T. To pull it off, the company had to act in some very un-Ford-like ways. Chuck Salter
Fast Take: Driving Lessons
Here are the unconventional strategies Ford used to get its unconventional hybrid on the road.
How to Sell a Hybrid
Hand-raisers, Mother Jones, and test drives.
Fast Talk: The Business of Politics
What skills do business leaders most rely on when they make a switch to public service? And what have these five businesspeople turned politicians learned? Michael A. Prospero
A Day in the Life of Work: King of the Ring
Think you put it on the line at work? Try sticking your head in a lion`s mouth and hoping he`s in a good mood. One plus, at least: Camels have worse breath. Ryan Underwood


Amateur Revolution
From astronomy to computing, networks of amateurs are displacing the pros and spawning some of the greatest innovations. Charles Leadbeater
Low-Carb Carnage.
CEO See-Ya! Anniversary Special!
How are five bosses faring a year after we said they should get the boot? Jennifer Reingold
Bar-Coding: Claude Fenstermaker
One of the UPC`s earliest implementers celebrates the pricing symbol`s 30th anniversary. Paul Lukas
Who`s got the stiffer upper lip when contemplating the pokey, Ken Lay or Martha Stewart? Jena McGregor
Conducting the Future
Innovation: Conductive plastics; Available: Now. Lucas Conley
Be a Publicity Glutton! (Film at 11)
Two brothers are building bulging bellies into a burgeoning brand. David Lidsky
We Have Met the Enemy...
Sometimes, to get your point across, you need to play the role of devil's advocate. The creator of the Society for Leadership of Change did more than that; he created an entire professional association of devil's advocates. Melissa Korn
Offshoring in Reverse
When many leaders think about offshoring, what comes to mind is Indian call centers, the loss of American jobs, and Indian workers replacing laid-off Americans. Meanwhile, more American executives are taking leadership posts in Indian -- and other overseas -- companies. Will it balance out? Shasha Dai
Fast Take: Long-Distance Leadership
What challenges do American leaders face while managing multicultural teams? Leaders bridging two continents share what they've learned about working across time zones and navigating different corporate -- and country -- culture.
In Search Of Dwarfs
Our Consultant Debunking Unit shows, with the help of the Seven Dwarfs, why three of the most popular management books are really just hi-ho-hum. Martin Kihn
60 Seconds with Mira Nair
The director of Vanity Fair and Monsoon Wedding looks at why stories resonate, the challenges of managing a large team, and the role of a leader. Alec Appelbaum
Listen Like a Rock Star
Custom-made, personalized ear phones make listening to music a life-altering experience. Melissa Korn
The Battery Bust
A laptop that runs forever on a single quick charge? Not anytime soon. Here are some tips for making the current crop of batteries keep going and going and going.... Alison Overholt
Tricks for Treats
The McKeesport Candy Co.`s tips for taking pixie sticks from bricks to clicks. Fiona Haley
The Check-Clearing Quagmire
Soon, it won`t take a week to clear a check. Alan Deutschman
Office Handbook
Chapter 29: Work-Life Balance. Ryan Underwood
The Corporate Shrink
Your type is... the type who uses personality tests in business. Dr. Kerry J. Sulkowicz


Winning the Relationship Game
Some ace relationship builders tell us why it`s vital to turn business acquaintances into trusted partners and friends -- and how to do it. David Lidsky
Don`t Analyze This
Take a deep breath. What you think you know about visualization is all wrong. Paul B. Brown
All the Right Moves
Headhunter Peter Crist on when and how to make your next move. And, yes, Churchill. Danielle Sacks
Beyond Multitasking
As it continues to be important to do more with less, business people don't just need to multitask -- they need to multiproject. Here's what you need to know to better manage multiple projects -- with multiple requirements, deadlines, and stakeholders. Shasha Dai
Peek in the Mirror
The Center for Creative Leadership guides you through the looking glass. Fiona Haley
Readers' Choice
Claiming Your Place at the Fire isn't about s'mores and ghost stories. It's about defining and shaping the second half of your life.
It`s Not About the Coach
The best leaders are the ones least noticed. Marshall Goldsmith
Only the Brave Surrender
Don`t be ashamed of what you don`t know. Shoshana Zuboff

More Great Stuff

Lessons From Our Customer Champions
This month`s letter from the editor. John A. Byrne
Between The Lines
The stories behind this issue`s stories.
Letters. Updates. Advice.
Feedback: The Soundtrack of Success
Fast Company listens to its readers -- and what its readers listen to.
Ideas From Smart Friends
An online discussion led by Indian business school students revisits a Fast Company feature from last year -- and yields some new ideas and insights. Heath Row
The Net/Net
A go-to guide of the products and services featured in this month`s issue.