Being the first of the month and April Fools Day, I enjoyed an early swim and breakfast at Coogee beach Sydney with some mates, and then lunch at Bondi beach with my family. It was a relaxing day and fairly uneventful until I got an email from my full time project officer of our Foundation in India and it read:
Thank u for everything U guys have done for me, but now I’m finding it difficult to survive with my pay,
So I’m quitting the Foundation, I’m really sorry about it. Good Bye & best of luck
Love u both”
This email took me for six and I could not believe that this project officer, after 4 years of being with us had just quit in a brief and abrupt email. After reading this and before a replied I went into crisis mode. “What am I going to do now and what succession plans did I have in place? Was all the strategies and investment in time and resources a complete waste of time? I was angry, disappointed and couldn’t believe what had just happened.
So I sent him a ‘graceful’ yet concerned reply to his email. By this time, in my mind, I had stressed about what was going to happen seeing our options for replacing him was limited, and also had thought about 100 other resilience based scenarios if this had ever happened again.
His reply to my reply read:
“Happy April Fools Day” Ha Ha, He He, Ho Ho. I don’t have u In the corner, I have u in my heart Boss, My words once spoken will never fail my friend, I will not leave the foundation till my last breath, unless and until u kick me out.
Have a nice day. How was my style?”
After cooling down I thought that all the things I had thought about during the half hour crisis, while the emails were being replied to, got me thinking a lot about what would happen if a major crisis hit. Like the CEO quit or died, or that linchpin of your team just suddenly left? What do your succession planning strategies look like? What haven’t you seen because a crisis has not hit yet?
The essence to being resilient is in the preparation and proactive strategies needed to be put in place for the days outside of April Fools jokes.