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How to Handle Catastrophes Like a Boss

Posted on 2.22.2014

By Ilan Nass, Fueled

Sure, being the boss has its advantages, like dictating your own schedule and hiring your own staff, but all that freedom comes with a lot of responsibility. You are essentially the go-to person whenever problems, or even disasters, arise. This means that having a well-managed team to act quickly during times of need is absolutely necessary.

So how can you handle catastrophes like a boss? It’s not as hard as it seems. If you set up your organization well from the very beginning, you and your team can do no wrong.

Dealing With Problems Directly and Quickly

A great boss understands that they don’t always need details, just a bottom line to stick to. When you see a problem, look at it objectively and let bygones be bygones. For example, if someone accidentally sent documents to the wrong person, address the problem and move on with it. If there happens to be a disaster, acknowledge it and then move on. It doesn’t help if you harp on it. Remember, your main goal is to maintain the integrity of your organization, promote positive behavior, and to keep respect amongst staff and employers.

During catastrophes, you need to see which tasks you need to deal with in order to deal with the problem directly. For example, during plane crashes, you need to ensure that all passengers are taken care of, that a crew is there to analyze crash details, and that a representative is present to talk to the media. The more specific and direct the task is, the easier it is to delegate jobs to the appropriate people and focus on effectiveness.

Trust Your Team To Do The Work

You are only as good as your team. So why drive yourself and others crazy by micromanaging? Nobody likes to have someone looking over their shoulder while they do their work. During a crisis, you won’t have the time or resources to make sure that your team is doing their job. You’ve taken the time to pick them (and, obviously, train them) in the first place, so surely they’ve got to be good employees in your books.

You’d want to play on each and every one of your employee’s strengths during times of need. This means that you have to get to know your team and how they work together way before you need them to act quickly. That way, you maximize their potential, and you can trust that everything is done in your power to ensure that catastrophes are handled effectively.

Trusting your employees means freeing up your schedule to work on other tasks, such as speaking to the public as a representative of the company, or even meeting with higher-ups about the next steps.


Hearing what someone says is not the same as truly listening to them. Dealing with catastrophes means that you need to listen to the problems at hand, as well as any concerns the public or your employees have. Practice being fully engaged while listening, and don’t form an opinion about what is being said until after the person has stopped talking. During times of need, people are stressed and may simply need someone to hear them out. The more you listen, the more your team will respect and want to work hard during stressful times.

Ilan Nass is the head of marketing at Fueled, the leading iPhone app builder in New York City, renowned for its award winning mobile design and strategy.

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