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Crisis Leadership

In addition to the environmental consequences, the political and policy implications of the Gulf Oil spill will unfold across the energy industry for years to come. Thus we read with great interest today The Washington Post's Federal Coach column. It presented an insightful article about leadership lessons from Coast Guard Admiral Thad Allen's conduct in response to the Gulf Oil spill. The author, Tom Fox, mentions the following lessons he has taken from Admiral Allen's performance after Hurrican Katrina and now the Gulf spill:

1. Remember who counts - the people affected by the disaster.

2. Fix the problem and don't worry about blame - accountability will come later and is best left to others.

3. Trust but verify - do your own research.

4. Communicate constantly - through every means available.

Tom Fox invites reader thoughts on the response to the spill and on crisis leadership skills at fedcoach@ourpublicservice.org.

NOTE: If you'd like a taste for how clear and plain spoken is Admiral Allen, see the transcript of one of his appearances on last Sunday's talk shows.

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