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A Recession is a Terrible Thing to Waste
By Bill Catlette

According to a recent Reuters article , "Americans Losing Sleep Over Financial Crisis" Americans are likely becoming grumpier and less productive due to a loss of sleep induced by economic worries (read the article here).

"Ninety-two percent of respondents said the economic turmoil is keeping them awake at night, according to a survey by ComPsych Corp, a provider of employee assistance programs. Of those, a third said their biggest worry was the cost of living, while another third cited their credit card debt. One in six said their biggest worry was their mortgage payment, and another one in six cited concern over their retirement account."

While this may sound a little counter-intuitive, one really good way to mitigate the stress in your own life is to find something new to put your energy into. Sometimes, that something new can take the form of a person or cause that is greater than yourself, or, just a new habit or activity. Some examples of things that might do the trick:

1. If you want to help prevent future meltdowns, work to create/strengthen laws that clearly define the obligations of corporate and organizational boards of directors with respect to financial and/or ethical malfeasance within the institution.

2. Work with kids to teach them fiscal responsibility and how to manage a bank account. Start at home, and expand your effort to include local schools.

3. Since many of us have more time and less money on our hands, and are opting (by necessity) not to dine out, let's get reacquainted with that rectangular appliance with the burners on top in our kitchen.Cooking can actually be fun, it is therapeutic, and the results can be much healthier than eating prepared stuff out of a box whose contents label contains words you can't even pronounce. Indeed, one of the best meetings I EVER attended was at the Culinary Institute of America's Napa Valley campus where I spent an afternoon in the kitchen with a group of corporate managers.

4. Do outreach within your own neighborhood. We've all got at least one neighbor who is struggling but is probably too proud to ask for help; an elderly person, or someone who has lost their job perhaps. Fix a meal for them, take their kids shopping, send them an anonymous gift card, or if you know they are job hunting, offer to help them with their search. Just do it. It''s not the government's job, that's what neighbors are for.

5. If your fiscal condition is getting you down, you may find that time spent getting into better physical shape is more within your immediate grasp. Besides, if you're worn out from a good, hard workout, it's likely you'll sleep better.

6. Focus similar efforts in your workplace. Doing so is good not just for the recipient, but the giver and the organization as well. It is good for business, because people who are consumed by worry aren't moving very fast, generating many ideas, or serving customers well.


We administer employee satisfaction surveys, and analyze, interpret, and present the results to your leadership team.

Especially in times like these, no organization can afford to operate without the full engagement of everyone on the payroll.

Our turnkey process provides a valuable and affordable way for you to measure your organization's effectiveness in the view of those who fuel your business with their effort, labor, and commitment.

Visit us online, or simply contact us, to learn more about our survey process and how it can help to make your workforce a powerful competitive weapon.

Perilous times demand extraordinary leadership.

Are you struggling to manage the fear and uncertainty your employees are experiencing as a result of the current global economic crisis?

Are you being asked to balance cost cutting measures, potential layoffs and other major organizational changes against employee engagement and higher productivity?

Are you stuck in neutral, unsure how to lead in such times?

If so, Bill Catlette and Richard Hadden can help.

Our new keynote presentation, "Leading Through the Storm", provides specific tips and techniques to help you lead successfully in uncertain economic times, and to get the most from an enthusiastic and engaged workforce.

It's a message of hope, of realism, of optimism, and of practicality. Your audience will learn:

* At least six ways to keep people fired up and focused in difficult economic times.
* Tips for building and maintaining a reputation as an employer of choice - which is critical, even in times of higher unemployment.
* Strategies and examples from real organizations, and real leaders who are getting it right.

Find out about bringing Bill or Richard to your organization. Contact Geoff Knue at 317-873-0011, or

Richard Hadden and Bill Catlette
Contented Cow Partners, LLC

phone: 904-720-0870
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