Based on recent surveys and conversations, the companies that have proven successful—or given the economic crisis, least unsuccessful for the short duration—appear to share a number of leadership techniques, marketing efforts and operational tactics. In looking over the diversity of strategies and the resulting variances in product designs, distribution techniques and service center designs, the ones that seemed to have risen above the challenges and distinguished themselves seemed to all share a core set of seven characteristics. The shared characteristics found included:

1. Have consistent leadership. Everyone on the management team shares the same clear vision of where the company is headed and can articulate it to others.

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