Extra Points: Close Calls

Dan_Weedin_022The time-frame to walk down 20 floors of a hotel, discover the emergency is a false alarm, and then take an elevator back to your room is 15 minutes. I know. Just did it.
I was in Las Vegas to teach a class last week, staying in a nice casino on the strip where the class was to be held. I was happily surprised when my room was upgraded to a suite on the top floor because of my single night stay. Of course, as luck would have it, at 11:30 pm as I’d fallen into a deep sleep, the fire alarm went off.
I did what I was initially trained to do in grade school: checked the door to see if there was fire directly outside; grab my keys, phone, and wallet; and find the nearest exit by stairs and start descending. I was part of a group of people all doing the same thing.
When we got down to the ground, we noticed that Vegas was still Vegas. No fire trucks, no throngs of evacuated guests and customers. As it turns out, it was a false alarm and 99% of the hotel had no idea what happened. Thankfully for me, the elevator to my tower was operational and I ascended happily knowing that taking the stairs back up would not be required!
False alarms can at first blush be considered an annoyance. In reality, they are a great learning opportunity. In my consulting practice, I discuss the concept of “close calls” with my clients. A pattern of close calls generally turn into a crisis if left unattended to. This concept is real in operations both physical (near collision by forklift or vehicle) or mental (data input errors).
We all deal with close calls professionally and personally. I encourage you to not brush them off as happenstance, but to add one important activity – to consider what was learned to be better prepared.
What was my lesson in the evacuation from the 20th floor, you may ask?
While I did seemingly bring the most important things with me, one more thing could have been included. It would have taken no more time to throw my laptop into my bag and bring the entire thing with me. There’s important information stored there and in the event of a real emergency, would have taken extra time to recover.
Bottom line – in your next close call – whether it be a near miss in traffic or a false alarm at work, make sure that you take advantage of the lesson it will offer you.
Post script: The exact same thing happened to me exactly 10 years ago except it was January in Providence, RI and about 70 degrees colder outside. That time, I didn’t bring my cell phone with me, so I’m getting better at it!
Quote for the Day:
“Experience is simply the word we give to our mistakes.”
~ Oscar Wilde
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Unleashed® is a registered trademark of Toro Consulting, Inc.

Extra Points: Be Part of Something Larger

Dan Weedin Unleashed-40This is Part 4 of a four-part series this month in honor of National Preparedness Month. Thank you fore bearing with me this month to ficus on readiness and preparedness. In order to be “unleashed” both personally and professionally, you need to make sure you are able to be resilient when bad things happen as they always will. Today’s’ message is focused on the concept of being part of a something larger than just us

We all share this big planet together. Being a lone wolf is perilous; as Rudyard Kipling taught us, “For the strength of the pack is the wolf, and the strength of the wolf is the pack.”

In order to survive and ultimately thrive out of a calamity, we wolves need to band together and be a resource for each other. The ideas and concepts from the past three weeks need not just suffice for your family and your business. There is great opportunity to share with neighbors (of whom we’ve already discussed); your faith-based organizations; your professional and personal associations (e.g. Rotary, Lions, Kiwanis, Chambers of Commerce); your school districts and college campuses; and other groups that you consider as part of your own pack. 

You are encouraged to check out the Ready.gov website that is filled with resources for all your groups. What better way to impact and improve the lives and future conditions of others than to share, participate, and build a stronger pack?

There is also a fabulous program meant to train people to be first responders and help each other. It’s called Until Help Arrives and information can be located here – Learn more.

Final thought: In my life I’ve observed that the greatest and most heroic acts of courage and compassion by humans to other humans have been shown in times of crisis. While that will continue to be the case, let’s also work to try and prevent crisis and be prepared to accelerate recovery and reduce loss of lives. That’s the ultimate wolf pack and truly being unleashed for everyone.

Next week, we resume our regular programming. Thanks for reading!

P.S. Follow me on Facebook. This month, I will be doing a Facebook Live segment on how to pack a “go bag” in case you must evacuate your home and one that you should keep at work in case you get stuck and can’t make it home for days. I’m also posting daily tips on Twitter.

Quote of the Week:

”Don’t go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first.”

~ Mark Twain

© 2017 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Do you need help creating an emergency crisis plan for your business or family? Call me and let’s schedule a meeting to talk. The time to act is before you need it. Email me

The Big 5

I was recently interviewed for an article on crisis management for Chief Executive Officers. The question was – what are the five things that need to be in EVERY crisis plan. I thought I’d share my answer with you!

  1. Chain of Command – There must be a clear, delineated, and communicated chain of command from the person in charge of the command center, to the communications coordinator, insurance liaison, scribe, etc. The size and scope is dependent on the size and complexity of the operation.
  2. Plan to recover power, connectivity, and data…quickly. This includes setting up in alternate locations, if necessary.
  3. Backup physical location plan. What do you do with 200 employees tomorrow if a fire destroys the building overnight? That’s the question this section must answer.
  4. Communications plan. This will be a guide for the communications coordinator/lead to communicate with all stakeholders – employees, board of directors, investors, customers, prospects, Supply chain, community, and media. This will also lay out the method – email, text, social media (specifically Twitter), etc.
  5. Evacuation and security plan. This is about getting people out of the building quickly and keeping them secure before, during, and after a crisis.

© 2013 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved