The Foreign Service Journal, March 2006

16 F O R E I G N S E R V I C E J O U R N A L / M A R C H 2 0 0 6 placing more trust in subordinates? Well, when was the last time you had 30 minutes to contemplate the role that think-tanks and NGOs play in your host government? When was the last time you met a contact for tea or coffee just to get to know them? How about brainstorming the perfect press event to showcase American radio? There is a huge dividend in time you can reap from trusting your staff. Yes, your neck is potentially on the line. But don’t you think the rewards could be worth the risk? Let us all do what we can to rid our organization of the culture of fear. Start by trusting your staff to do their jobs. When you set a deadline for a draft, wait until it comes up to ask where that cable is. Expect the best; they might just surprise you. This is the big leagues; we all work with and for the smartest, most inno- vative people in America. It’s a big world and a short day; let’s make the most of it. n Llywelyn C. Graeme has served as an office management specialist in Abuja and Beijing. He is currently an OMS in Wellington. S P E A K I N G O U T u By the end of any officer’s first six months, you should either trust them to carry out instructions, or be looking for ways to ease them out of the Service.