ADMIRAL Thad Allen is my “Friend”

n1232028385_30023800_7217The 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.

Facebook - Thad Allen_1219286960383

Facebook - Thad Allen_1219286585278

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.”

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Peter A. Mello

Father, son. Lifelong mariner, student of leadership, photographer. Professional creative placemaker.

7 thoughts on “ADMIRAL Thad Allen is my “Friend””

  1. Don’t block the media from taking pictures of the Gulf oil spill disaster. Thad Allen and the Coast Guard are making journalists stay 65 feet away from injured wildlife, oil boons, and even injured oil spill cleanup workers being treated in medical centers. Why are you taking away our Constitutional rights of freedom of the press. To protect BP or government hesitancy and incompetence is the only thing I can think of!!! Outrageous!!

  2. I’m really crushed that the Admiral has not responded at all to my friend request, so I guess I should have said a little more about my exalted state in the marine industry. But you only get one chance on Facebook. Sad Situation.

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