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For corporate leaders looking to survive in this tough environment, "Communication, resolve, humor, passion and little sleep" are key, Tome said. Under the leadership of CEO Frank Blake, Home Depot has focused on its most important asset - its people. The company distributed about $40 million in employee bonuses in 2007 to recognize top-performers, an incentive that other companies might be tempted to eliminate to cut costs, Tome said. Home Depot also recently reorganized its supply chain and introduced a new pricing strategy that includes permanent budget items, a move designed to entice customers looking for enduring values, rather than seasonally discounts.
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