Are you prepared to handle adversity?

I got an opportunity to practice what I preach today. I was holding a free teleconference today on Extemporaneous Excellence. I was sitting on hold with two minutes to go…alone. I was supposed to have 25 people on the line. With one minute to go, I saw my cell phone ringing. It was a friend who was taking part in the call. “Dan, the phone number you gave out says it’s not in service.” Upon checking closely, I realized that I had inverted two numbers when transposing to my memo to everyone (Dyscalculia as I have later learned is the term). At that moment, e-mails and phone calls started flooding in. Now was the time for Extemporaneous Excellence!

I managed to shoot out urgent e-mails as quick as a the fastest gun in the wild west. Within 12 minutes, we had almost 100% of the group in. A little tardy, but we went the whole 60 minutes and I believe no worse for wear. At least that’s what I heard back from people…I am looking forward to hearing the recording!

Here’s your message. Mistakes will happen to the best of us. How you respond is critical. Recovery means making the best decisions you can at the time with the knowledge you have. My decision could have been one of two things:

  1. Cancel today and send out a re-scheduled day and time
  2. Try like heck to get everyone on board, start a little late, and do my best

I opted for the latter. Either one could have worked but my gut feeling was to get these folks taken care of today because another time might not work. I had the recording so for those who never made it in, or were late, we had a solution for.

What’s your disaster recovery plan? You can’t know them all (that’s why they are called disasters), but you can know your own personal style and have a standard response. This happens to be mine. If you can identify what yours is, the next disaster won’t end up being so disastrous.

© 2010 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved


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