You can’t predict the unpredictable, but you can prepare for the inevitable. The most effective business leaders prepare themselves, their teams, and their businesses for emergency situations so that when they do occur, they can not only weather the storm, but they can also deliver unexpected results and delight their customers in uncertain times.

Business owners and entrepreneurs are constantly making decisions. These decisions, unnoticed by team members and clients by design, should always be further pushing the business forward, creating clearer action items for the team, reducing any existing friction in the operational strategy, and drawing in better clients and higher performing teammates to the organization. It’s a constant process of self-evaluation, improved perspective seeking, and granular change that eventually add up to explosive growth. 

For the best business leaders, this way of thinking and acting becomes second nature. Small fires deserve equally small responses. But what about when real emergencies occur? What about those moments in business and in life that seem to turn the world upside down? It’s in these moments that your value as a leader is truly tested. Your team needs you. Your clients need you. Your loved ones, too. So…what do you do?

It’s for these sorts of moments that I created the Emergency Business Response resource guide. It’s all too easy for business owners to lose perspective in times of crisis, and I’m here to tell you that you’re in a position where you can not only stabilize your business, but you can even identify opportunities that didn’t exist before. Crises bring opportunities to align your team, support your existing client base, and even expand your client base because you’re one of the few businesses out there that is delivering exceptional experiences. 

In times of crisis, people are naturally drawn to those who can position themselves as a calm in the storm. You can be that. And I’m going to tell you how. Remember: You set the tone. People are looking to you for direction. It’s your responsibility to stay calm, stay focused, and make the right decisions for the right reasons, and this is exactly how I do that for the Cardone Ventures team:  

Have both context and contrast whenever you initiate change

What do I mean by context and contrast? Context is the inter-related condition(s) in which something occurs. Contrast is the difference between things having similar or comparable natures.  The more data you have to identify context and contrast, the more you can isolate and define the direction you’re moving, and the more accurate your decision making will be during a crisis. Look for  precedents you can model after to that can inform the direction you should be going for your business. 

How are these situations different? How are they alike? What are the right moves that leaders made and what are the choices people made that made a bad situation worse? Remember, we’re standing on the shoulders of giants here. There are always experiences we can look to in order to contextualize our situation, and then contrast and compare to plot the best path forward. Find someone else who’s been in your situation, your crisis, your emergency–a person to model after. Then mimic exactly what they did to succeed until you master the granular, incremental steps of their success.     

Pause before making decisions 

Do not make any decisions in a state of fear or shock. Stop for a moment, ask the right questions, and solicit information from trusted, proven resources. It’s when leaders make rash decisions based on too little information that the wheels can fall off of an organization. This is not a time for impulsive decision making. 

In contrast, it’s also not a moment for inaction. This is a time to gather as much information as you can from as many trusted resources as you can so you can make the best decisions. Be communicative about your team and clients while you’re doing this, too. Silence can create worry. Alleviate everyone’s stress by setting the right tone,  

Step back. Isolate your decision making. Don’t isolate yourself. 

Remember how I mentioned earlier that great leaders, with enough time and experience, can make those small day-to-day decisions almost without thinking? Well, I want you to also remember that times of crisis require an entirely different level of leadership than normal day-to-day decision does. 

Do not make reactive, second-nature decisions in an emergency. Instead, slow down and allow yourself the time and space necessary to strategically align your current thoughts and actions with your immediate and long-term goals. Again, this is a true test of your leadership. Who have you chosen to surround yourself with? What does your company’s mission and vision and values look like in the face of adversity? If you’ve been building your organization with the right materials — purpose, team, clients — then you are going to be okay. 

Be courageous

Remember how starting your own business was one of the scarier things you’d ever done? Remember the adversity you faced, the lack of belief some others might have had in you, and how the easiest decision you could’ve made was to pack it in and just go work for someone else? But you didn’t, did you. You persevered. You achieved. And with the right mindset and sense of belief, you can persevere in times of crisis, too. 

Trust yourself to control the controllable by assimilating data, studying it, and acting on it in incremental ways. You’ll not only stabilize yourself, but you’ll stabilize your team, your clients, and your business can be more successful than it’s ever been. Even in an emergency.

Want to know more about how successful business owners are 10Xing their businesses in the face of adversity? Download The Emergency Business Response guidebook TODAY.