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Keep Calm and Carry On

January 6, 2010  

It's hard to maintain a positive attitude as the recession's negative impact continues to challenge businesses like yours. "The relentless tide of bad news may tempt those in charge to adopt a pessimistic view point," writes John Baldoni at Harvard Business Online, "but leaders owe it to their followers to spread optimism." How might you do that? 

According to Baldoni, you can start by telling a story—one that helps your staff make sense of the chaos, gives them hope and inspires the resilience needed to power through adversity. Here are some of the components he recommends:

Lay the groundwork for your narrative with an honest assessment of how your business got where it is today. "Talk about what your company did right as well as what it might have done better to prepare for the downturn," he advises.

Clearly outline how external forces—positive and negative—influence your company's fortunes. "[Address] how the situation is affecting your customers' buying habits as well as your ability to service current needs."

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