When visiting the office of a colleague who works in public relations, I noticed an extra sport coat, dress shirt and tie on the back of his door. I know from my previous time in working with him that this is an ubiquitous feature in his office — always at the ready to be filmed on television even if he happened to be dressing casual that day.

For Mike, a press-conference-worthy professional outfit (from the waist up which is all that is shown from behind a podium) is an essential tool for the job. He can’t take the chance that he will be in a polo if thrust into the media spotlight as a spokesperson for his organization, so the suit-on-the-door is standard.

Have you considered what tool may be essential in your position under certain circumstances and taken steps to provide duplicates that are always accessible? Maybe your necessity is a flashlight so you can immediately act if the power goes out. Maybe you require a list of codes or passwords for off-site access in an emergency. Perhaps you need a change of clothes out of your professional attire so you can become hands-on if disaster strikes. Or you may need to carry around extra batteries for your equipment or phone so that you are ready to capture that unexpected big moment. Maybe it involves having an extra blog entry “in the cloud” to access remotely if the power or computer fails.

No matter what your role, take a few moments to anticipate the “what if”. What is the most likely scenario that disrupts your normal — and then how can you take one step toward preparation for the unlikely? The answer may suit you well in unfortunate circumstances.

About the Author leadership dots by dr. beth triplett

Dr. beth triplett is the owner of leadership dots, offering coaching, training and consulting for new supervisors. She also shares daily lessons on her leadershipdots blog. Her work is based on the leadership dots philosophy that change happens through the intentional connecting of small steps in the short term to the big picture in the long term.

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