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Fight through adversity with shared sacrifice

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in Leaders & Managers,Leadership Skills

During the Great Recession in 2008 and 2009, we had about 18 employees.

We went through the entire financial crisis without laying off anyone.

Like everyone else in our industry, our assets under management fell 40 percent. But our people knew we would do the best we could to take care of them.

Senior management was the first to cut our pay, and we were the last to restore it. I took a bigger pay cut than anyone else, and everyone knew it.

All the employees took smaller pay cuts. We also eliminated our 401(k) match. But they saw the sacrifice that our senior managers took.

We looked at layoffs this way: I knew that when we came out the other side, we would need the staff in place. It’s better to keep the people you have than to get rid of them and then hire and train new people later.

George Gay, CEO, First Affirmative Financial Network, Colorado Springs, Colo. 

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