One of the professional organizations to which I belong has had its theme for the year: Keep It Real. It is meant to encourage us members to truly be experts in what we proclaim to be and do. To be honest, when I first heard the theme, I thought: Boring! However, over the past several months, I've come to appreciate it.

With the business environment becoming more and more challenging,it's been interesting to note the validity of Warren Buffet's famous saying: "Only when the tide goes out do you discover whose been swimming naked."

Just last week, as I was wrapping up a training program, one of the participants said, "You actually know this stuff don't you?" I looked at her and initially thought, "Well yeah." But then I thought,"Oh my gosh! They know when someone's snowing them and when someone actually knows the material!"

There are far too many innocent victims of these troubled times, yet there are many organizations and professionals who had been getting by with providing mediocre products or services that are now being severely tested. When the economy had been sailing along smoothly, it was relatively easy to use virtual and viral marketing techniques to hype over less-than-excellent products or services. But when money is tight, and decisions are made on legitimate value, how will your company stack up? Will your past customers continue to be repeat future customers? Have you proven that your products or services have been and will continue to be 'worth it.' Have you invested in your employees to ensure they continue to develop their expertise, skills, and experiences to be the experts in your industry?

How good is your company at doing what you say you do?
How good are your employees at being the experts in their fields?
In tough times and bad, how good are you at Keeping It Real?

Copyright 2008 - Liz Weber of Weber Business Services, LLC.
Liz speaks, consults, and trains on Leadership Development, Strategic Planning, and Organizational Change. Additional articles can be found at http://www.wbsllc.com/leadership.shtml
Liz can be reached at liz@wbsllc.com or (717)597-8890

Permission to reprint this article is granted as long as you use the complete attribution above - including live website link and e-mail address - and you send me an email at liz@wbsllc.com to let me know where the article will be published.

Author's Bio: 

In the words of one client, "Liz Weber will help you see opportunities you never knew existed."

A sought-after consultant, speaker, and seminar/workshop presenter, Liz is known for her candor, insights, and her ability to make the complex "easy." She creates clarity for her audiences during her results-oriented presentations and training sessions.

Participants walk away from her sessions knowing how to implement the ideas she's shared not just once, but over and over to ensure continuous improvement and management growth and development.

This former Dragon Lady has been there, done it, and learned from it. Whether speaking to corporate executives or government agency personnel, Liz's comments and insights ring true.

As the President of Weber Business Services, LLC, a management consulting, training, and speaking firm headquartered near Harrisburg, PA, Liz and her team of consultants provide strategic and succession planning, management policy & systems development, employee training, as well as marketing and media outreach services.

Liz has supervised business activities in 139 countries and has consulted with organizations in over 20 countries. She has designed and facilitated conferences from Bangkok to Bonn and Tokyo to Tunis. Liz has taught for the Johns Hopkins University's Graduate School of Continuing Studies and currently teaches with the Georgetown University's Senior Executive Leadership Program.

Liz is the author of 'Leading From the Manager's Corner', and 'Don't Let 'Em Treat You Like a Girl - A Woman's Guide to Leadership Success (Tips from the Guys)'. Her 'Manager's Corner' column appears monthly in several trade publications and association newsletters.