Unique & Powerful

“Go to Puerto Rico and Fix It!” Perfecting the Art of Decision Making and Delegation


Many leaders jump to speedy solutions before they have taken the effort to thoroughly understand the problem they are trying to solve.

There are three logical reasons for this: it is easy to overlook small aspects of a problem; every leader is forced to make so many decisions a day, and there is a variable and sometimes unpredictable amount riding on any decision. The fact is, a small problem can become a big crisis quickly. The results of any size decision can be fabulous or disastrous. Mastering decision making is a critical skill for leaders at every level of an organization, and those who hope to become leaders.

In this clear, well-organized presentation by a former top Army General, your audience members will be introduced to a high-level , battle-tested system to frame or define complex problems so that they can arrive at the best solutions every time.

Here’s what your audience will get:

  • The General will reveal the well-proven “MDMP”, the Military Decision Making Process that every military leader learns in the course of training
  • What happened when General Buchanan was tapped to handle the military response to the disaster (and early disastrous response) to Hurricane Maria, when his superior officer General Robinson simply called him and said, “Go to Puerto Rico and Fix it” and what it means to every leader trying to solve problems in a crisis and without adequate information
  • The “Magnificent Five” steps to ensure one is correctly framing and defining the problem before seeking solutions:
    1. Understand the environment, the conditions, and risks
    2. Identify the stakeholders and their points of view
    3. List potential problems and determine connections
    4. Analyze friction points and establish the core problem
    5. Collect information to validate the problem
  • Why effective delegation of responsibility requires a shared understanding between the leader and the team, illustrated by how a misunderstanding of the ever-changing nature of the threat had dire consequences for troops in Iraq
  • An awareness that factors in a complex situation will naturally change over time. When complex problems change, even if the best problem-solving decisions are what elicits that change, then the decision-making factors must be accurately reconsidered and choices recalibrated. This happened in Puerto Rico when troops were delivering desperately-needed drinking water to the victims of Hurricane Maria. Using the hard-won methods General Buchanan teaches in this presentation, leaders will know how to be alert for changes and how to best modify their decisions to accommodate.

Participants will leave with a better understanding of the nature of complex problems, the many variables affecting the options for excellent decisions, how to efficiently frame those problems as they create innovative solutions, and how to stay alert for changes that require new decisions. They will be inspired to excel at decision making, even in perilous or stressful circumstances.

With a sound foundation regarding decision making and its resultant delegation strategies, participants will be armed to face toughest challenges so they can fight and win every time.

Speaker Inquiry Form

To inquire about Jeffrey S. Buchanan's availability, rates and customization options, please contact his speaking agent Wendy Keller at (800) 278-8706 ext. 711 or fill in the form below.


Barry Johnson

“I wish I had come across Jeff Buchanan about 20 years earlier in my career. He is simply the best leader I ever worked for and learned from. He was the one person I could return to again and again for advice, both professionally and personally. He knows his business like no other and knows how to get the job done while sincerely caring about the people around him. I have found this trait all too rare in leaders, whether they work in the war room, the board room or elected office. We need a lot more people like Jeff in charge. As a PR professional, I particularly appreciate his ability to connect with people and media anywhere in the world, getting his point across clearly with just the right touch of humor. There is a reason he was picked time and again for some of our military’s toughest jobs. When in uniform myself, I would ascribe his success to being the consummate professional who exemplifies what it means to be a selfless leader. These days I just say he’s a great person who has dedicated his life to serving our nation. And what he experienced along the way makes his voice worth listening to.”

Barry Johnson
Dr. Oleg Svet

“I had the honor of working for LTG (Ret.) Buchanan when he was the J9 of US Forces-Iraq, and to this day, a decade since we first met, his leadership style is the model I use whenever I am asked to lead a team. When I worked for LTG (Ret.) Buchanan in Iraq from 2010-2011, he both exercised authority and inspired confidence in his subordinates. He personally took the lead of initiatives that required his close attention, but also, when needed, delegated responsibilities to those working under him in line with their skills and knowledge. He made sure to surround himself with the best and the brightest, and gave credit to his subordinates for their achievements. He was formal and professional, and created a work environment in which everyone on the team flourished. His thinking was informed—but not constrained—by decades of knowledge and experience in the military, and he was open-minded enough to allow his views to change as conditions on the ground changed. Organizations and teams both big and small would benefit from having a leader—and a mentor—like him.”

Dr. Oleg Svet
Booz Allen Associate & Adjunct Professor at Georgetown University
Billy Riebock

“Highly recommend General Buchanan if you’re ready to create a culture in your organization of servant leadership unlike any other you’ve known before! General Buchanan spoke to our entire football staff at Texas AM Commerce and left us with ideas/tools that were able to be implemented in our organization to help our players immediately!”

Billy Riebock
Assistant Head Coach/Offensive Coordinator/Quarterback Coach at Texas A&M University-Commerce
Jat Thompson

“There are very few people on the planet that carry the responsibility and power of a three-star US Army General.  For those that have earned the privilege to lead at that level, it could be difficult to relate their experiences to most of us in a leadership position. I have had the privilege of collaborating with Jeff for several years on a leadership workshop where we bring together corporate executives, collegiate coaches, and other military leaders to exchange ideas and best practices.  When you walk into the room you would not know there was a three-star general amongst us, but when he talks it is evident that he is a leader among leaders. Even with the magnitude of knowledge and expertise he carries, he is humble and unassuming in his demeanor and has a unique ability to draw on the lessons learned in his 30-plus years as a military leader and apply it to the challenges of other leaders.”

Jat Thompson
CEO, Horizon Performance
Bob VandePol

“Presence. When Jeff Buchanan enters a room, people take notice. When he speaks, people listen. His commanding presence is not about issuing commands; although I have no doubt he can do so as needed. He leads via readily visible expertise, a mission-driven call to character, and remarkable compassion for those with whom he serves. His communication style is thoughtful, comprehensive, and passionate in a way that calls the best out of others. If called to war, I would follow him. Fortunately, I “go to peace” with him.”

Bob VandePol
Karen Lloyd

Jeff Buchanan is one of the most inspirational leaders I’ve known in my 36 years serving in and for the U.S. Army. He is the epitome of someone whose “video matches his audio.” He can provide motivation and encouragement to vastly different audiences in a wide variety of settings with little to no notes because he speaks from the heart. He lives and breathes the Army values that he frequently illustrates in telling a story about a great hero or recognizing an outstanding member of his team. He is a leader who can make hard decisions when needed and one who genuinely listens to those who express opinions counter to his. He puts the needs of his team before his own, and he treats everyone with respect regardless of their rank or status. He never seeks recognition for himself but has nevertheless amassed a sizeable group of individuals who have served with or for him in the past that would jump at the chance to serve with him again. A true Soldier’s Soldier.

Karen Lloyd
Colonel, US Army (retired)
Jason Morales

LTG (R) Buchanan’s charisma, compassion, dedication, and love for his duty to country, especially while leading humanitarian assistance operations in Puerto Rico, was evident every time he traveled to a municipality, personally delivered food and water or when he spoke with an individual or group in need. Puerto Ricans are inherently joyful people, but I’ve never seen how accepting, appreciative, and truly happy people were to see him – he was a rockstar when he walked through a neighborhood, everyone wanted to shake his hand, give him a hug, take a picture and speak with him, which he was more than happy to do. If these are not leadership traits, what are… 

Scott W. Heintzelman, CEM Colonel, U.S. Army (Retired)

I served with LTG Jeff Buchanan during the devastating hurricane season of 2017. Operating as the senior DOD leader in the U.S. Virgin Islands, I experienced an environment perhaps more challenging than any of my combat deployments. Throughout the response to Hurricanes Irma and Maria, LTG Buchanan was a model of calm leadership while under intense pressure and a steadfast supporter of Mission Command. Remaining patient, allowing time to better understand the situation, and trusting subordinates to exercise disciplined initiative is a true test of a senior leader’s character while facing national-level scrutiny. LTG Buchanan more than rose to the occasion, and there’s much to learn from his leadership example. 

Scott W. Heintzelman
CEM Colonel, U.S. Army (Retired)

Jeff Buchanan and I served as Lieutenants in the same company in the 82nd Airborne from 1983-1985.  As I got to know him, I was impressed with the quality of his character in all he did.  Regardless of consequences, Jeff could always be counted on to do the right thing.  He took great care of his troops and accomplished all assigned missions.  He always worked to ensure those around him, subordinates and peers, had every opportunity to achieve their goals.  He went out of his way to assist others.  Jeff’s word was his bond; if he told you something would be done, it was done.  It is an honor to call Jeff Buchanan my friend after all these years and enjoy visiting with him when he comes to town.

Robert J Posick “Bobby”

I had the privilege of attending Jeff Buchanan’s leadership seminar in 2022 during an Incident Management Assistance Team (IMAT) Executive Leadership Academy. This year, 2023, I was able to listen in on another session during the Academy’s second delivery. Prior to this, I had already benefited from his exemplary leadership both while responding to Puerto Rico for Hurricane Maria and my time working in the fire service on military installations overseas in Iraq. His service to our nation unarguably provides comprehensive “street” credibility not only for leading ideas and programs at the highest level but also leading the people that execute them; the “boots on the ground”. During his presentations, however, what I found most surprising was his humility and ability to reinforce transformational leadership concepts. Not just generic ideas of what profound leadership may look like but hard lessons learned of what is, and sometimes what isn’t effective for inspiring cohesion and excellence in staff. I have since applied some of his guidance for positive effect in relationships with supervisors, subordinates, and peers

Robert J Posick “Bobby”
Emergency Manager, IMAT Operations Section Chief