Quote of the day/week/however long

"Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does."
~William James

Friday, June 25, 2010

The Tenets

* Inspire

* Model Integrity

* Develop the Next Generation

* Delegate Authority - but Not Responsibility

* Communicate

* Build Great Teams

* Lead by Example

* Follow Courageously

* Learn Constantly

* Practice 360-Degree Diplomacy

There are a few consular managers out there who might post this list on the wall, but seem unaware that the items on it apply to them.  Some are a bit careless of them.  Some seem to work quite hard to purposely violate all of them.

For those who work for such managers, please don't lose track of the fact that the tenets apply to all of us equally, from the most senior managers to the newest ELO. And while it is an excellent idea to follow good examples, following bad examples is a singularly bad idea.

It can be extremely difficult to practice excellence in a careless, unrewarding or even punishing atmosphere. It can be extremely easy to fall in with the dog eaters.

One of the bad things about the Service can also be a good thing:  arriving for every new assignment one can feel as if - and feel one is treated as if - we were just born in the airport, with no knowledge, no skills, and no experience.  That can be extremely annoying sometimes, but that blank slate can also be a clean slate - and an enormous relief for officers who have previously and rightly felt abused and poorly led, and need a serious change of atmosphere.

Before arriving at that post where we can start over, though, we must do our best to NOT pass badness down, even in a place infested with badness.  We must do our best to practice the tenets anyway: with one another, with other mission sections, and especially with our local employees.  We must follow the old Girl Scout tenet of leaving a campsite cleaner than we found it, never mind who else is littering.  And look forward to that next airport.


dvejr said...

Now that I am near my sunset years, I realize sadly that I devoted way too much time to assessing the quality of my supervisors, and too little improving my own.

Anonymous said...

It gives one a sheepish sort of feeling, doesn't it? Part of the process of growing up.