Quote: I got up on a desk, with a loudspeaker

30 Nov Quote: I got up on a desk, with a loudspeaker

“I got up on a desk, with a loudspeaker, and told everybody that I was giving one order: They were to treat anybody they came into contact with who had been affected by the storm like a member of their own family.  Their mother, father, brother, sister, whatever.  And I said, ‘If you do that, two things are going to happen.  Number one, if you make a mistake you’re going to err on the side of doing too much, and that’s okay.  Number two, if somebody has a problem with what you’ve done, their problem’s not with you, their problem’s with me.’

After I said that, a cheer broke out, because there had been so much stress from the pressure that had been exerted on the response and the perception that it wasn’t going well.  Just a simple set of core values- a North Star to steer by – was, I think, what they were looking for.”

Admiral Thad Allen, USCG (Ret.) on his first actions after taking over the Hurricane Katrina disaster relief efforts. http://hbr.org/2010/11/you-have-to-lead-from-everywhere/ar/1

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