If current trends continue, China's GDP will surpass the United States' in the coming decades. "When and if that happens, America loses," says Gallup's chairman. "China may dominate the world."

By investing in leadership development, ALJ Saudi Arabia automotive has been thriving amid the financial crisis. But its success isn't the product of chance or serendipity. ALJ has been preparing for the worst as well as the best for several years, writes a top company executive.

George Borst, president and CEO of Toyota Financial Services, had a daring plan for leading TFS through an expansion of its customer base and product line. But that required transformation in every aspect of his organization -- new people, infrastructure, knowledge, and skills. Some of the changes offered fresh opportunities, but others presented big problems. What's more, the expansion required Borst to discover new methods of leadership. Here's how he successfully transformed his organization -- and, in the process, himself.

In their efforts to cut costs, companies in gasoline retailing -- and plenty of other industries -- are minimizing human interaction. But in doing so, they're undermining a major competitive advantage: the personal touch. Does this self-service approach risk turning their brands into commodities?