What happens in your job when you have an emergency and cannot be there? Especially for a period of time, say a week or more, and it happens all of a sudden. Did you set up the support necessary to cover your roles and responsibilities? Or will you still need to be on the phone, or on a laptop, in the emergency room or at the funeral home conducting work? Making certain clients and customers are being taken care of, tracking that shipment down to be certain it arrives on time, or running your weekly management meeting.
Many people believe they must keep everything to themselves. Put their arms out around all of their information and contacts so they are viewed as indispensable assets to the company and the business. This could not be further from the truth and the proper approach. It does not make one bit of difference if you are the CEO or the head of taking out the daily trash cans from the office building, you should take the time to empower others with the information necessary to cover your areas of responsibility if you are not able to at a moment’s notice.
This is not like a vacation where you had time to prepare in advance and planned to make a few work calls each day and check in on email each day. Yes, this is what you do now on your vacation isn’t it? This situation is different. It is an emergency where you just cannot get to the phone in a timely manner, or maybe not at all. It is the type of situation where email actually is not on your mind. This may last for a few days, a few weeks, or more. Where you might currently work with the mistaken assumption that being protective about everything you do is ‘job security’, you might find yourself out of a job if you do not plan ahead for such an emergency situation. After all, how smart can you really be, and how prepared are you actually, when you have not taken the time and the effort to set up the proper coverage and protocols necessary to cover all of your areas of responsibility in an emergency situation?
Start right now. Create a paper file folder, an online document trail, or utilize the cloud, whatever works best for you and your company. Name the clients and customers you regularly interact with and their contact information. Create a list of your internal personnel and all of their contact information. Is there a rolling list of projects and open assignments with names attached to it and projected due dates? Where are you on this list. Now that you are thinking you will come up with other specific items which must be included as well. Great, now this is how you plan for an emergency.
Mitch Tublin is an advanced certified executive and personal coach who resides in Stamford, CT.