Keep Calm and Carry On

There's nothing like a crisis to test your managerial mettle. If you panic and fold at the first whiff of trouble, don't be surprised if your employees dismiss you as a weak leader.

If, however, you remain calm when things go wrong, rest assured your colleagues will rate you highly. It's an important skill to have, especially during these so-called "turbulent times", which call for that British quality - the stiff upper lip.

Keep Calm and Carry On taps into the zeitgeist, promising to give you "good advice for hard times". The title of the book comes from a poster produced by the government's Ministry of Information in 1939. Its message is just as effective a tonic for those labouring under modern anxieties as for those who endured the Blitz.

The book is a collection of reassuring and witty quotes. The first, courtesy of Benjamin Franklin, is: "Wise men don't need advice. Fools won't take it."

For something more philosophical, try this from Benjamin Disraeli: "What we anticipate seldom occurs; what we least expect generally happens." Finally, if you're feeling particularly wicked, try this from Herbert Hoover: "Blessed are the young, for they shall inherit the national debt."

- Emma De Vita is books editor of Management Today

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