If it seems as though the recession will never end or your startup will never survive, chalk it up to Kanter's Law: "Everything looks like a failure in the middle." In the midst of any endeavor, writes Rosabeth Moss Kanter, negativity grows and conflicts arise as a project's momentum fades. To help differentiate the gloomy middle from a true dead end, she offers a five-point checklist, starting with re-examining the business environment.

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