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Sidelined CEO: Does Your Company Have a Contingency Plan?



If our CEO in chief (aka the President of the United States) can get sidelined by illness, then it can happen to anyone. As the leader, or CEO, of your own organization, are you prepared for such an event? Most of us who are healthy think we are invincible and don’t plan for difficult eventualities that we may not want to contemplate. We might have contingency plans for national emergencies or bad weather however for the benefit of our organization you must plan for both the best AND the worst. So unless you are prepared to let your own enterprises come to a full stop if you are sidelined, here are 6 tasks to help you begin preparing your own business continuity plan.


  • Key Man insurance: A life insurance policy that provides a death benefit to a business if its owner or another significant employee passes away, this will compensate your businesses for financial losses that may arise from the death or extended incapacity of an important business member.

  • Rainy day funds: accumulate cash reserves or keep available a line of credit to deal with a sudden or severe financial event. This should cover your operational needs for a specific period of time.

  • Disability insurance: compensation to cover personal expenses if you're disabled due to sickness or injury and can't work.

  • Life insurance: Again, provides money to family and loved ones to after your death to ensure that their expenses such as college, or mortgage payments are covered.

  • Will and final directives: Your will and/or Trust will explain who gets what and when. Trusts can additionally be set up for relatives that are disabled or underage and require someone to supervise their financial disbursements.

  • Resources and responsibilities: Assign responsibility for and give access to a secure, up-to-date list of important contacts, user and passwords as well as duties that can be delegated to a trusted individual if you are incapacitated.

Having a clear, directed and informative contingency plan in the case of illness or incapacitation, will actually instill confidence and a sense of security in those around you that all the bases are covered. It will also provide an opportunity to show the forward thinking of you and your organization.

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