1. Stop Retrenching. Strike instead. Historically, economic downturns show winners don't retrench out of fear, but strike early.
  2. Think Strategy, Not Tactics. Make sure you know how to outmaneuver the competition and position yourself in the new competitive landscape.
  3. Avoid Getting Sucked into Operations. Most managers are spending too much time in operations, versus leading their teams.
  4. Recheck Your Mission Statement. Does your culture inspire passion for the strategic result?
  5. Hire the Brave. Not the desperate. Cowardice stops employees from challenging the status quo, holding others accountable and exposing weaknesses.
  6. End Politeness. Politeness stops the essential act necessary for accelerating profits: telling the truth.
  7. Jettison Dead Weight. Keeping marginally performing employees and sticking with doomed projects far too long are the best way to shove profits down a slippery slope.
  8. Say "No" to Customers. Assess the return-on-customer, and focus on the top profit player.
  9. Encourage Group Think. When everyone thinks like a CEO, they realize how every decision affects the balance sheet and cash flow.
  10. Question the Answers. The new "normal" means reconsidering everything you know is right. Refocus on what customers and employees really want now.

DON SCHMINCKE [www.HighAltitudeLeadership.com] is a dynamic speaker and author, authoring the bestseller The Code Of The Executive and High Altitude Leadership with co-author Chris Warner.

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