Some of you will recall watching the popular TV Series, Sanford & Son in the mid-1970s. The star, Red Foxx, who was Mr. Sanford, often used the phrase It's the Big One when communicating with his deceased wife Elizabeth during or after experiencing a comfortable or uncomfortable situation.
When the Big One takes place and it is a positive such as a bonus, award, promotion, tax refund or ROI on an Investment, there is usually a celebration. In contrast, when the Big One involves a negative such as news about declining health, the departure of a valued employee or executive, abrupt termination of a partnership or contract, a steep decline in the company's bottom line and more, we move swiftly into control damage mode...creating strategies and interventions to offset the impact.
Over my life time, I have experienced an abundance of positive and negative Big Ones. Some I handled well and some I have not.
As leaders in our business, professional and personal lives we encounter more often than not Big Ones that are negatives.
Below are a few steps that I take to better prepare for negative Big Ones and to assure those affected that I have the capability to do so:
- Look for warning signs that something could happen
- Provide flexibility in my schedule to adjust for the unexpected
- Avoid leaving outstanding issues on the table as responding to the Big One will likely be disruptive and time consuming
- Manage stress crepe as the cumulative effect could erode my fitness status to address the Big One
- Keep the basics of crisis management on the front burner as it is critical to know how to act and to know when, what and how to communicate about the Big One
- Learn from Big One experiences and share what you learned with others.