When Disaster Strikes…
Outside of it being one of my favorite Busta Rhymes albums (Songs featured include: Put Your Hands Where My Eyes Can See & Dangerous)… “When Disaster Strikes” means that at some point, you may be faced with one of the toughest challenges you have yet to see on your journey. It could come in the form of job loss, personal/family/business problems or all of the above in any grand magnitude. One question I always ask myself when a major situation or setback comes up is: “What Are You Going To Do?” And with that I am always reminded of the quote from Charles Swindoll, “Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% of how you react to it.”
This past weekend I was completing a project for a client and disaster struck in a major way. The task was to find and broker a deal for an event space so that they could host a showcase for some of their industry partners and friends. Doesn’t sound too hard until you take in consideration I had less than 24 hours to complete this task and it was right before the 4th of July weekend and the show was in 10 days (See the “Friends in Life and In Business” post as a reference on how I pulled this off)… Now I could have found the location and stopped there, but I believe that bare minimum will leave you with the bare minimum and so I stayed on the project just to ensure a proper handoff because this was new territory for all parties involved… And sure enough for some strange reason at the last minute the air conditioning system in the building completely crashed the day of the show without enough time to have a professional correct the problem.
Let me preface a few things… Atlanta, Ga is warm in the winter and in this case, we are talking JULY… Couple that with a few hundred people in an enclosed area and things can get uncomfortable very quickly. But again we go back to the “What Are You Going To Do?” Thankfully we had a great team and a last-minute game plan…
First, we addressed the situation head on. As a point of insight: Anytime you are dealing with a crisis or problem don’t shy away from action, but assess, address and then act. Assessment is necessary because it causes a time to think before you proceed. Once we realized there was no time to have the system fixed we proceeded to inform the attendees of the situation to better prepare them for what was to come.
Second, we acted on what we could. As a team we knew that the guests were going to be very warm while inside the area so instead of throwing our hands up with a Kanye Shrug we began serving ice-cold water to help ease the current situation. When you run into a brick wall… either break it down or find a way around.
And last, we apologized for the inconvenience. One of my favorite sayings is that, “People Don’t Care How Much You Know Until They Know How Much You Care.” What we all realize is that yes unfortunate events may take place that no one plans for (system was fine prior to day of show), but the response is what will always make or break a business or brand.
I am happy to say that while this situation was not ideal in the best sense at all, we were able to at least mitigate risk in the form of action-oriented resolve and move forward with integrity in tact.