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Would you be ready if disaster struck your business? Featured

9:46am EDT January 3, 2012

Are you ready if some unthinkable disaster was to strike your business? What would you do? Who would you call? How would you rise above the pandemonium and be the leader that your company needs in order to make it through this calamity?

These are all important questions for any leader to consider, even if they aren’t very pleasant to think about. Your future depends on it, but perhaps more importantly, the future of your business and the livelihood of your employees hinges on how effectively you do prepare for the unexpected.

Smart Business spoke with a number of leaders about this topic over the past year and they revealed that it takes a combination of great urgency and steely resolve that helps you through the really tough times.

“A good leader has a sense of Zen or calmness even when it seems like chaos is happening. It’s really up to you to navigate through those moments and make it OK for everybody and begin to problem solve.”

Julie Smolyansky, president and CEO, Lifeway Foods Inc.  

“Once you’re comfortable with the compass heading, you just have to charge ahead with it. The worst that happens is you get fired.”

Thomas J. Neri, president and CEO, Lawson Products Inc.  

 “You have to have your key leaders, functional leaders or divisional leaders participate and get involved. If they’re not part of it, they’ll fight it until the last breath of implementation.”

Tim Jahnke, president and CEO, Elkay Manufacturing Inc. 

Summary: Don’t try to solve every aspect of the problem in the first five minutes.

Focus on what needs to be done most urgently.

Always keep the impact of your decisions on your people in mind.