EM Weekly: 14 Engaging Senior Leadership In Emergency Management

EM Weekly Episode 14, Eric McNulty

[TODD] Hi, welcome to EM Weekly. This is your host, Todd DeVoe. Today we have a great guest on, his name is Eric McNulty, and he is a writer and speaker in the area of leadership. I actually found Eric this weekend by reading an article on leadership and getting your senior leadership into emergency exercises and drills. And here, we’ve all had that suffer… that aspect of going: how can we get our guys to support us? And Eric’s article was really spot-on. So thank you for that article, and if anybody wants to see it, I’m gonna include that in the links down below in our show notes; so I do encourage you guys to read it. So, Eric, thank you for being here, first of all. And the first question I really wanna ask you is, tell me a bit about yourself, and how you got involved in emergency management, and also the whole aspect of leadership, because I find that really fascinating.

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[ERIC MCNULTY] Well, thank you, Todd. It’s great to be here and speak with you, and it’s also great to be speaking with your listeners. So, I’m director of research for a program called the National Preparedness Leadership Initiative. We’re a joint program of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, and Harvard Kennedy School of Government, which as many words as you can stick together in one title. We were formed shortly after 9/11, after the attacks, where the federal government realized that if the different agencies and entities didn’t play well together, they weren’t able to collaborate and coordinate, they were not gonna be able to effectively address this new world, which now included terror threats of the homeland, as well as the natural disasters, and other things that come along all the time. And you recall, the DHS was formed, putting a lot of agencies together under one umbrella that didn’t necessarily feel like they were national homeland, necessarily. But it was now, “we’re gonna make this work”. We have been doing that ever since then, we now actually work a lot with state, local government entities, as well as the private sector and non-profit sector, because they’re all involved in both preparedness and response and recovery. And it’s a whole community, which FEMA made famous under Craig Fugate, that’s really a philosophy we embraced before we had those words, and now certainly, after those words are out there. And so, we now have about 750 alumni of our executive education program. They range from people who are running federal agencies, to the police commissioner here in Boston, Billy Evans; people in EMS and fire, as well as big corporations. I’ve been with the program since 2008, I came from Harvard Business School, actually Harvard Business School Publishing, where I was writing and producing events. And I came over after having… hired to… what are now my colleagues as speakers for conferences around business planning for pandemic. So, my early career was in communications, both in private sector, and then working in the business school, I knew a lot about the private side of things and the aspects of leadership and organizational behavior, that are typically addressed in those corporate settings. How do you run a business unit? How do you align goals and strategies? Those kinds of things. And I came into this world of emergency management and emergency response, I was really fascinated; I learned as much as I taught, I think, over these last eight years that I’ve been with this program. I really enjoy getting to know people on the field. And part of my job now, and it’s thanks to the alumni that we have, is to whenever possible, get out on the field and spend time with leaders in the moment, or as soon as we can get there, to see what works, what doesn’t work, and how can we distill that into general principles that we can then teach people going forward. So then, I was on the ground in the Gulf, during Deepwater Horizon response; I was in New York and New Jersey during the Sandy response; my colleagues and I did the most extensive leadership review of the Boston Marathon Bombing response. And then H1N1, the domestic side of Ebola. So whenever we can, we get out there, and try and experience the field. So, what we’re trying to bring together, what I try to bring forward in both teaching and writing, is this combination of the academic rigor of making sure that there’s some substance in what we’re talking about, but also blend it with real world experience. Because a purely theoretical approach to this is not gonna work. If we don’t give people things that are useful, we’re just wasting their time.

[TODD] Yeah.

[ERIC MCNULTY] I make sure they’re rigorous, it just becomes a series of anecdotes. We can’t teach them systematically over time, and over different locations. And so, that’s how I came to this. I’ve learned a lot, and I think… I urge this to your listeners as well, I think one of the things I’ve learned to do really well is ask stupid questions. Or sometimes state the obvious. Because, again, you can be with any situation with a lot of assumptions; and if you’ve been in the profession for 20 years, you know how things have always been done. There’s a lot of bias, fakes in there, and it’s just the way things go. If I come in as an outsider and say: “so, why are you doing it that way?”, or “what’s the purpose of this?”, or “what’s really being accomplished here?”. I have that distant status of the outsider to get away with that.

[TODD] Yeah.

[ERIC MCNULTY] And it also helps in terms of… you know, you mentioned the senior executives, and getting them involved; again, it’s one of the rules I have played in companies, is being able to… it really can be hard, eternally, to push the message up through the formal chains. Up command, and the formal hierarchy, and say: “hey, we need the boss there for this”. So, as an outsider, you can do that in ways that help you get through in ways that you can’t do internally. I tried to… I have become a master of asking stupid questions, hopefully I get smart answers.

[TODD] I agree with you there a lot, I always ask the “why” question. I remember a story… it might be a joke, but I use it as a good story. Starts out with this woman, she’s teaching her daughter how to bake, and so she puts the bread, or whatever; the cake inside the oven. And she puts a pan of water in there. And my little girl goes: “hey mom, why did you put the pan in there?”, and the mom goes: “I don’t know, that’s just what my mom did, but let’s give her a call to find out”. So, she calls up grandma, and grandma says: “I don’t know why I put the pan of water, that’s what my mom did”. And in this case, great grandma is alive, and she calls great grandma, and great grandma says: “I don’t know why you guys do it, but my stove is broke”. So, there’s things that we do that maybe at one point had purpose, but really today they don’t; we just do it because that’s what we’ve always done. And asking those “why” questions are really important.

[ERIC MCNULTY] Absolutely. Go ahead, I’m sorry.

[TODD] No, no, no. Really quick, I just want to go in the whole concept of the turbulent leadership. I saw your piece that you did on that, and talking about the Boston bombing, and those things. And realistically, as emergency managers, we are stepping in to leadership at the time of everybody else’s worst day. Whether it be the Boston bombing, or the hurricane, or the large fires that we have out here. And we really have to empathize with the victims, but at the same time, show strong leadership so we can get through that crisis and start the rebuilding process. So, tell me a little bit about that theory of turbulent leadership.

[ERIC MCNULTY] So, I do see this as a time of extraordinary turbulence, and I think over history, we go through them. There are periods that are more stable, and then you get turbulent, and you… what they would say in Asia, “a change of the nature of the age”. That we are going through this period of transition, and with transition comes turbulence. So, many of your listeners will be familiar with the acronym VUCA, which the military came up as they were beginning to realize they were facing this aggregated military threat, not just a monolithic enemy in the Soviet Union. The world is volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous, which talks about it being hard to find cause and effect all the time. It can be hard to see if you do acts that you can’t predict whether W, Z, or something else is going to happen; there’s just so many factors involved. And I’ve added two more letters to that, because everyone needs their own acronym. I call it a VUCAST world. So, it’s VUCA plus S and T. “S” stands for system scale change, and that is changes in the climate; that is a long-term trend, and we can debate who caused it forever, but you can see the impact coming, and that’s one that is causing very large-scale change in the environment. We don’t know quite what’s happening when it happens. But also, we have an aging population, you see technology changing in ways that are really fundamentally re-oriented in the social contract, as we automate a lot of jobs. So you have that big system scale change. And then the “T” is for ubiquitous transparency; where almost everyone can see almost everything in almost real time. Now, just over the last couple of days, we’ve all seen what happened to United Airlines when that passenger was dragged off. And what would have, ten years ago, have been an isolated security incident that may have gotten reported in The Chicago sometimes, and maybe gotten picked up eventually some place, all of a sudden went globally viral. And the stock price goes way down, and people are saying they’re never gonna fly them again. And it’s that instant tsunami, because of the incredible connectivity we have in the world now, interconnectedness. And so that is something which leaders really need to be aware, because everyone is watching you, and when you make a decision and something starts to happen, the spark can be lit, and it goes global instantly. And so, the challenges there… we used to have a basic framework, we were approaching leadership, which we found works overtime, and kept it going forward. Is looking at the three facets of things: the first of those is knowing yourself and who you are; that includes everything from just being aware of your background, your education, your expertise, your experiences, and having reflected on them to know what you can learn from them. But also, being self-aware and having emotional intelligence. And then even knowing how your heart is wired, how does your brain work on distress, for example? We all, even people who have been in the field for a long time, when confronted with a threat, we all go to what we call the emotional basement, or the FFF: flee, flight, fight response. And if you aren’t able to reset and get out of that, you’ll get stuck in that panic mode and not be able to behave well and get the outcome you want. So, if you’re a firefighter or a police officer, you go there, and you’ll come right back very, very quickly, in a familiar situation because you’ve been trained, and you have the experience. You say: “ok. Gunshots, I know what to do”.

[TODD] Right.

[ERIC MCNULTY] General public, they don’t. They go down and they have a very hard time coming up. Elected officials, senior executives, if they have not been through this, they don’t have the training… one of the things we teach, is how to have a personal trigger script. So, as simple as taking 3 deep breaths. Ok? That calms you, that resets your brain, like restarting a computer, and you can then get into the problem solving. So, it’s knowing yourself and knowing how to work with yourself, being smarter than yourself. It’s the first piece. The second is understanding the situation. And that’s not just situational awareness in the traditional emergency management terms, but it really is understanding the complexity. Who are all the stakeholders? What are their interests? What are they likely to do? How are they likely to respond? So, that’s a common data set, it includes traditional situational awareness, but it’s bigger than that. And the final one is looking at connectivity of the system; who am I connected to positively, negatively, and who is in the middle? So, is the public on my side or against me? Is the media going for us or against us? And being sensitive to what’s gonna happen in that largest system. And when you have those three dimensions you can use as almost as a lens to look at what you’re doing, you’re better able to lead yourself and lead others, because you’ll ask smarter questions, you will push… you know, you’ll be more open, realize there’s a lot more that you don’t know than you do know. People can get blinded, we see that in many responses, where they get stuck on what they can see, and what they know for sure, but they miss everything that’s going around and they aren’t quite sure of. It can lead to not good outcomes. So, in times of turbulence, this is a good time to get used to this idea of complexity, and things not being quite so linear and predictable as they once were. I want you to embrace that, it becomes much, much easier to fight your way forward.

[TODD] That’s awesome. Let’s take a quick break here for a second, and when we come back, I wanna talk to you about analysis paralysis.

[ERIC MCNULTY] Ok.

[TODD] Welcome back from the break. So, one of the issues that I’ve seen happen, a lot of times, mostly in training, thank God. But people wanna have every bit of piece of information that they can possibly get, and won’t make decisions sometimes until they get everything. And one of the things that I’ve learned, and I’ve been doing this for a long time, I started working as an EMT in the field, back in 1988, and all the way up to what I’m doing today. And what I’ve learned to do is find the information I have and make a decision based upon that information, and adjust our way through it once we get more information to make that change. How do you teach leaders to not get into that analysis paralysis?

[ERIC MCNULTY] Well, the example you gave is a great one, and having had that experience in emergency medicine is, you realize, I think when you get to the scene, you’re gonna know a certain amount of information, you know you’re not gonna know it all, and that it’s gonna change overtime. And that’s the attitude we try and teach to people, is that particularly in these big, complex events, you are not gonna know at all, yet you have to move forward. So what we use as a tool, and I apologize for the acronym, it’s one of the worst ones we’ve ever come up with, but something called the pop-dock loop. Which is… this is based on neuroscience, and how the brain works. And it’s built on OODA Loop, which many folks may know, that observe is observe, orient, decide, and act, which they teach fighter pilots. This has two more steps, because the situations with leaders is a bit more complex than those that you find in a fighter jet. So, the pop-dock is so the analysis… is proceed; so, what data can I gather, what’s out there? What can I know? The “o” is orient; what does it mean? Are there patterns in that data, that we can see a meaning behind this? The second “p” is for predict. If I can see a pattern, I should be able to predict what’s coming next. You then make a transition to the “dock” side, so you’re taking action. So the “d” is to decide. If you’re making a prediction, you should now be able to make a decision. “O” for operation allies. If I take that decision, what resources am I gonna need, when am I gonna need them, where are they gonna need to be? And then “C” is communicate. Who needs to know we’re doing this? Who needs to be informed, who needs to coordinate, who needs to collaborate? And then you go back around again. That draws you around, back to “proceed”. Once I’ve taken an operation and told people about it, what changed? Did it work, did it not work? And then you go through it again. And it’s just visually giving people six steps, as clunky as the acronym may be, it reminds people that you actually have to keep going around that. And when you’re doing things well, this is naturally what you are doing. You can do it in a few seconds, or you can actually use it as a structure for a staff meeting, it takes 20 minutes to 1 hour to go through what’s going on. But it kind of pushes you along to say: “hey, I can’t get stuck on that ‘pop’ side, where I am just getting paralysis by analysis”. You’ve gotta make decisions, you gotta make sure that once you’ve made them, that you’re able to carry them out, and make sure everyone knows what’s going on.

[TODD] Yeah. I think sometimes, especially when you’re talking about some of the senior leadership, whether in a political position, and also mayors, and elected officials, that they don’t wanna make a decision that’s gonna have a negative political impact on them. But at the same time, I think, if you take a look at Katrina for example, when they did not move those buses in time, and that became the focal point of some studies we’ve done. It was based upon the paralysis of not making that decision, and by the time they wanted to do it, it was too late, and they were stuck in there. So, it’s just really important for people to understand that there is a decision process, and maybe this is something that we should, as emergency managers, take that tool into a meeting, and teach our elected officials that kind of information; what the decision making process is like in EM. I think that’s kind of a cool idea.

[ERIC MCNULTY] Yeah, I think that one of the interesting things… it’s very true, in Katrina, we also saw it in Deepwater. Was, people on the professional side, so people in emergency management, having to do that dance with the elected officials and their other advisors. So, understanding how that political world works, how you’re gonna need to feed that beast, to a certain extent. But you wanna try and do it in a way that it has a minimal impact on your operations. To actually get the job done, while knowing that the news cameras need something to photograph, the mayor or governor needs something to stand next to and say: “here’s what we’re doing”. You’ve gotta engage in a bit of that, because their world is as valid as the operation world. If you ignore them, you’re gonna be in big trouble. But don’t let them run the operational side, because they will screw it up. They don’t know what they’re doing!

[TODD] That is true. We joke, and we always like to put our policy group as far away from the emergency operation center as possible. You know, that way they’re not really interfering with what we’re doing over there. But at the same time, you’re right; we do have to give them that optics for them, it is political. Everything does end up being political, because they’re the ones that are gonna feel it, if the recovery is not going well, and they’re the ones that are going to lose their jobs. So, I do understand where they’re coming from on that. So, let’s go back a little bit and talk about getting that senior leadership involved early in the drills and the exercises. What can we do to get them to understand that they’re not the ones, necessarily, that are gonna run the tactics and the operations aspect of it, but they do have the political side? Do you put that in the drill? Do you recommend that? Or what do you think?

Eric McNulty[ERIC MCNULTY] I think you do. I mean, I think that… so again, one of the tools we teach is, drawing something we call a situation map. We can’t be visual here, but if you imagine a piece of paper, and in the middle you draw a circle, which is whenever the technical event is; so, if it’s a bombing, a hurricane, industrial accident, whatever it is, that’s the technical event. And then you draw around it, the circles for the other situations that are going to evolve from it. So, if you look at Deepwater, for example, there’s obviously an environmental situation; there was a legal situation; there was a political situation; a media situation; business continuity, and around you go. You get a lot of circles. Now, if you’re the commander, as one of our students was, actually, for that event, your job isn’t necessarily to solve all of those. But you need to know that they are unfolding around you, and they may have some impact on what you were doing, as what you do will have an impact on each of those, or some of those. And be aware and know what’s going on. Because you have to understand that other things are going to unfold around you, and there will be some effect on you. So I think in terms of getting people involved early, there’s a couple of things you can do. One is, to invite people; which isn’t always thought of, but particularly, if you are in the public side, to invite the mayor or the governor to stop by. Don’t go and say: “we need you for four hours”, because you won’t get them. But say: “hey, stop by. We’re gonna be using that new equipment you just helped us pay for, thank you very much. We’re testing this out, come on by and see it”. They tend to… they think it’s cool! I mean, I get it. When you come into this world as a newbie, or from the outside, it can be a little intimidating, cause there’s a lot of jargon, and a lot of specialized expertise and processes that go on, but it’s kinda cool; it’s kinda fun. So hey, can you stop by? It’s one way of… and they will see… again, depending on who it is, get a little intrigued and interested. Also, asking… again, working your way up the chain to get to the first, interview that person to find out what questions they’re gonna want answers; so, Mr. Mayor, if we have a wildfire that threatens this part of town, what are you gonna want to know from us? So, we’re preparing to help serve you. Which opens the conversation to the way of: “oh, let me think about that!”. And it begins to open a dialogue. Cause what you’re trying to get to is, having enough of a relationship, so when the event actually happens, there’s some level of trust established; some level of comfort. Elected officials tend to be very comfortable with their political advisors because they’re with them all the time.

[TODD] Right, right.

[ERIC MCNULTY] They came through the campaign with them, so they’ve been through some rough times with those people, and they trust them. If there is no interaction until the bad thing happens, you have no time to build up trust. And so, you know, it helps when they’re around for a while, and obviously you can’t… if you’ve got a brand new elected official… again, I would try to get into this as early as possible. The pretext is, I wanna know what your priorities are, what you’re gonna be concerned about, so we can serve you better. And that will…. you know, you’re putting it on their terms. One of the best relationships we’ve seen was here, after the Boston Marathon bombings, where our Governor, Deval Patrick, who was technically in charge… he was the senior elected official involved there. But he never tried to assume operational command. He told us, and many other people, he told us… he would come into the room and say: “how can I be helpful? What do you need me to do?”. Because he was confident enough on the people who we had in place, and it was his second term, so he had been around, at that point, 7 or almost 8 years. And he had appointed several of these people, but he knew them. And so, he knew that was not his area of expertise, but he trusted them. And also, to say… knowing he can be useful, so you know, “ok, you need me to sit at the press conference? Great, I’ll go do that”, “you need me to call so and so? I can do that”. And that was a really confident place for him to be, which is different when we’ve seen with other governors being in other responses.

[TODD] That’s really great. So, kind of what I got out of that right now is that… number one, really build a relationship with them; don’t put them on the corner, because they’re gonna have stuff they’re gonna wanna do, because they’re gonna have their agenda, specifically, and you wanna be part of that agenda. And then the third thing is, make them feel part of the team.

[ERIC MCNULTY] Right.

[TODD] Yeah. That’s really… that’s a different way of looking at it, for sure, because… you know, we always wanna do our thing, and we always know the first responders and what not… yes, these are the mayors, but he’s gonna be out in a couple of years, and a new guy is gonna come in, and we’re gonna have to rebuild this again, and so, just let us to our thing. But I like the idea of building that relationship and having them as part of the team, because they really do have major impact on what’s gonna happen.

[ERIC MCNULTY] Yeah, I mean, don’t forget… first of all, they’re in a role that they’re used to being in charge. If it’s the elected official, or CEO, they’re used to being in charge. When they come in to a situation, they’re gonna tend to want to take charge. So you better figure out what you’re gonna give them to do, so they can feel like they’re in charge without getting in your way.

[TODD] Right.

[ERIC MCNULTY] So, if you’re bringing him into an ICS environment, for example, and they see everybody’s got a vest on, and identifying your role, you better have a vest to the mayor, or something. So they feel part of the team, and they know… here’s what we need you to do. And again, if they’ve been through it, if they’ve been around for a while, they get used to it, but they build a level of trust. But yeah, they’re gonna be involved, so you might as well plan for it. And the general public will tend to look for those people, that’s who their trust is in. They don’t necessarily know who the EMT chief is, who the EMS chief is.

[TODD] Right.

[ERIC MCNULTY] Because these people aren’t introduced that often. So that’s where their trust level is; so you gotta leverage that, and work with that as best as you can.

[TODD] That is so true. And I mean, like I said before, they’re the ones that are gonna get the bad press if things go sideways. You never throw the fire chief under the bus, it’s always the city manager, the mayor, that’s gonna get the hit on that, for sure. Let’s change gears here for a little bit, because one of the things that I found interesting when I was doing some… looking at your website, was your elephant initiative. Can you tell me a bit about that? And what I thought was kind cool too was I actually saw how this could actually be an emergency management issue. Because looking at that elephant not just as the animal, but they are a great asset to us all, as humans. We wanna always protect our assets, so can you tell me a bit about that, and what you guys are doing, and how we can help protect that beautiful asset that we have?

[ERIC MCNULTY] Absolutely. This is the Elephant Wisdom Project, and it has… what I’m trying to do is raise money for holistic approaches to elephant conservation. And I picked elephants, because we all… we are very empathetic to our elephants, right? We read about them on story books, we see them on TV and in movies, sometimes in person. So we identify with elephants. However, they’re part of a much larger system, a much larger ecosystem, that involved the people who live in the area, the other animals and plants, and all of that. And they’re a very vital part of that ecosystem, and if they were to go away, the implications are dramatic, in terms of… I won’t go into detail here, but lots of the functioning of the ecosystem… and it’s true to every ecosystem, there are different key species, and you get rid of one, and the law of the unintended consequence kicks in a big way. The other reason why I picked the elephants was that the current kill rate… the elephants can be quickly extinct in the wild in Africa within 10 years. And that can be very scary. It’s a very short time, and… elephants, you think about it, it’s something that’s always been here, and you think always will be here, up between poaching activity, other… intersection with human beings, as the human expand, looking for farm, land and things, if we don’t start handling this, elephants will end up dead. And then climate change is also stressing the environment, both for people and for animals. So elephants are one piece of it, and what I wanted to bring to it was this understanding of leading in a system-based environment. What I talked to you about before, in terms of the situation map, and thinking about the different stakeholders, that’s about thinking about leading in a system. And when… you know, frankly, from my experience, if I sat down with you and said: “I wanna tell you about systems-based leadership”, your eyes  would roll back in your head and you would say: “how fast can I get away from this guy?”. If I sit down and say: “I wanna talk to you about elephants”, it’s like: “oh, tell me more!”. So it’s a bit about finding the right package to deliver the message. But I really do, sincerely believe that if we don’t have a world where elephants thrive, we don’t have a world where humans can thrive very long, either. And it’s this whole notion of complexity in this volatile world where we don’t fully understand when one piece of the puzzle… if one piece of the puzzle goes away, what happens to the rest of the puzzle? There are implications for all of us. So, I’m trying to stimulate thinking about it, while also doing a good thing. The money all goes to support the Big Life Foundation, and they run anti-poaching patrols in East Africa, in Kenya and Tanzania, as well as community building. So they are having a holistic approach. They are working with local communities to help them better appreciate their natural resources, and how to thrive in harmony with them. They’re a small organization, but they’ve been doing a great work, and that’s what I’m trying to bring, the different pieces of my work in life, of commitment to leadership, and helping to advance leadership education, but also trying to make the world a better place. So, I’m really glad that you picked up on it, I appreciate that.

[TODD] That’s wonderful. I love… one of my hobbies is to be on-site, and to be in the outdoors, hiking and camping and that stuff. And when I saw that, I was like: “wow, that’s really cool, and something I can really get behind, for sure”. All right, so here comes the hardest question of the day. And it is… what book; or two, or three. What books to you recommend to somebody who is just getting in to leadership positions in emergency management?

[ERIC MCNULTY] You’re right. That is the toughest question of the day. And as I look around my office, which has about 500 books… read a lot, people! Read a lot! There’s a lot of good things out there. So… to be purely self-promotional, I would recommend you read a free e-book that I wrote, called “Your critical first 10 days as a leader”. As I said, it’s free, I’m sure you’ll put the link in the show notes, so you can get that. It’s very brief, short, about 7 or 8 thousand words. But then the one I would take you to is called “Turn this ship around”, by David Marquet. He was a nuclear submarine commander, and giving his first command, he was expected to go from one boat, one ship, which he knew thoroughly; he knew the mechanics, the people, everything. They reassigned him to the worst performing submarine in the fleet. This is the story of how he turned it around, and how he turned it around by getting every member of his crew to think like leaders. It’s a practical book, it’s a quick read, and I think… David had come and spoken to our class here in Harvard a couple of times. It’s really good, and you’ll find practical wisdom to put to use. And then, I think a classic is Peter Senge, “The Fifth Discipline”. Which is about becoming a learning organization. And it really goes into how to use synthetized learning and continuous learning within an organization. I think it’s so important in emergency management, because our threats are evolving, our social contexts are evolving, and building an organization that continuously learns and shares learning, is smart about asking questions, that’s really the key to succeeding going forward. You gotta have that adaptive capacity, that resilience, to move forward. So, start with those three. There’s lots more out there, but those are my three that I recommend, out of the top of my head.

[TODD] That’s great, I appreciate that a lot. You know, it’s kinda funny. You’re the second person that I’ve spoken to that has talked about “The Fifth Discipline”. So, for those of you listening today, the second recommendation, and I would go out there and get that book. For a matter of fact, I got mine. So yeah, get that book today. Real quick, how can we get in touch with you? If somebody wants to hear from you, or learn more about you, learn more about your elephant initiative, all that kind of stuff?

[ERIC MCNULTY] So, the information about me you can find at ericmcnulty.com, my personal website, which has information on what I do, as well as the Elephant Wisdom Project. In terms of the national preparedness leadership initiative here in Harvard, if you just google NPLI Harvard, it will pop right up. The URL is kind of convoluted, so I’m not gonna give that to you. So just put on a search engine: NPLI Harvard, it will pop right up. And we have a lot of free resources on our site, in terms of papers we’ve written, we’ve got lessons learned from a number of incidents. So there’s lots there, as well as information about our executive education programs. And we would love to hear from people. We have alumni from all across the country, and I’m sure your listeners… probably some of them are your listeners, and also they know people, so we’d love to hear from folks.

[TODD] That’s awesome. Well Eric, thank you so much for being here and taking time out of your day to talk to me about leadership and the stuff that you do. I think it’s really good and really important stuff. So, love to have you back sometime.

[ERIC MCNULTY] All right Todd, thank you very much. I’m happy to do it anytime you’d like.

[TODD] Awesome.

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About Todd De Voe 62 Articles
Involved in Emergency Response, Emergency Management, Education and Volunteer Management for over 25 years.Served as a Corpsman assigned to the Fleet Marine Force of the United States Navy. I now teach Emergency Management at Coastline Community College, I am also the Host of EM Weekly.

1 Comment

  1. I like the acronym VUCA. I find it’s funny that OODA loop was mentioned. I did a paper on this in an argument that Tactical medicine techniques should be utilized in the civilian EMS field!!! Having that tool along with emotional intelligence and self-awareness is essential to any first-responder or emergency manager.

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