PUNCHLINE:  (yes, I’ll start with it) Managing Partners: I don’t think you should downsize now unless you absolutely have to.  It’s a rough world out there – you should have cut the underperformers a long time ago.  BUT, if you HAVE TO, if you MUST, then learn from one of the most successful and business savvy people out there, Guy Kawasaki – read The Art of Laying People Off

Excerpts to tempt you:

6 Share the pain. When people around you are losing their jobs, you can share the pain, too. Cut your pay. In fact, the higher the employee, the bigger the percentage of pay reduction. Take a smaller office. Turn in the company car. Reassign your personal assistant to a revenue-generating position. Fly coach. Stay in motels. Sell the boxseat tickets to the ball game. Give your 30-inch flat-panel display to a programmer who could use it to debug faster. Do something, however symbolic.

8 Don’t ask for pity. Sometimes managers go to great lengths to show the person they’re laying off (or firing) how hard it is on them. Th is reminds me of the old definition of chutzpah: A boy murders his parents and then asks the court for leniency because he’s an orphan. The person who suffers is the one being terminated, not the manager.