The great Unofficial Coast Blog reported today that ADMIRAL Thad Allen, Commandant of the US Coast Guard has a Facebook Page. (The 4 – 8 watch is secure)
I was intrigued so I went over there, found him and sent him a short note with a “friend” request. By the time it took me to get to the M’s in the ADMIRAL’s FB Friends, my picture miraculously appeared and I had a new “friend.”
I’m sure that he was impressed by my intelligent note and extraordinary profile. NOT!
Regardless of the why and how I acquired my new “friend” so fast, I think that this is a clever public relations strategy and one that most leaders at his level would not undertake. A quick search on FB for ADMIRAL Allen’s boss, Secretary of Homeland Security, Michael Chertoff, turned up zilch. (I have previously written about Secretary Chertoff’s use of social media here.)
As of this writing, ADMIRAL Allen has 303 FB friends from USCG Academy cadets to USCG officers to Harvard Kennedy School leadership professors and many others. His Wall is very active and he uses it to post lots of pictures of what he’s up to.
Here are a few things that add to the human side of leadership, something that ADMIRAL Allen clearly has a handle on.
Okay, my guess would be that much of what’s up on his profile is put there by someone else. But that’s okay. Reading ADMIRAL Allen’s pages it’s clear that he engages with FB directly and that let’s his followers in on a little slice of his life to which they wouldn’t otherwise have access. This should be mandatory reading for every Coast Guardsman and organizational leaders everywhere should take note.
You can read the opinions of both ADMIRAL Allen and Secretary Chertoff on the DHS Leadership Journal blog. It’s fun to contrast their styles!
Kudos to ADMIRAL Allen, my new “friend.”