By Scott Eblin
Recently, I had the opportunity to meet and learn from someone I’ve admired for the past five years—former U.S. Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Thad Allen.
Most Americans first became aware of Allen when he led the disaster response to Hurricane Katrina following the dismissal of FEMA director Michael Brown. This past summer, President Obama appointed Allen to lead the interagency response to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Allen was the Atlantic area commander in the days following 9/11 and played a key role in the Haitian earthquake relief efforts in January as Coast Guard cutters stationed off Haiti provided the first U.S. relief in the hours after the quake.
Here are three of his crisislessons that stuck with me:
1. Check your mental model: As he was flying to New Orleans for the first time after Katrina, Allen thought through his mental model for coordinating the response. If the levees and floo...(register to read more)