As we continue to feel the adverse effects of a global recession, it's only natural to feel a sense of defeat. "Giving up the ghost is a real option," says John Baldoni at Harvard Business Online, "but if you are a manager in a declining business or even a flat lining [sic] one, defeatism can be used as a precursor to regeneration."

To reach the best outcome, Baldoni prescribes this process:

Face the truth. Maybe your customers can no longer afford your product or service, or they've discovered it isn't essential. It's possible your business won't regain its former glory, even when the recovery comes. Whatever your circumstances, acknowledge the facts and make a realistic assessment of the situation. "Remember the good things, as well as the good contributors," says Baldoni. "Mourn what you have lost."

Resolve to move forward. If you choose to stick it out, and your top leadership fails to provide specific direction, he advises, "[m]ake things happen that are consistent with organizational vision and mission."

Think anew. Analyze your day-to-day operations and identify ways to become more efficient and effective. Says Baldoni, "Cost-cutting is not the answer; re-engineering value is."

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