Things changed in a hurry. Only 18 months ago, the economy was strong and banks were reporting record profits. The FDIC reported that 56% of the nation's banks reported lower earnings for the second quarter. Sometimes as a manager, you actually have to manage, and now is one of those times. It is the tough times that test your management ability, not the good times. Here are a few things to keep in mind: As tough as times may be for you, they may be tougher for someone else. Keep your eye open for bargain-priced assets. Now may be the time to resolve that issue involving a long-time under-performing employee. Market the bank based on its strength rather than its growth and earnings. Whether economic times are good or bad, people want to know that their money is in a strong institution more than they care that the institution is growing. Now is also a good time to do something special for your customers - not something expensive, but something that people will notice.