U.S. Ambassador Discusses Effective Management With MBA Students

February 10, 2009 usambassador

The Honorable U.S. Ambassador Linda Jewell gave pointers on how to be an effective manager at Georgetown University's McDonough School of Business Leaders' Breakfast Series on Tuesday, February 3. Speaking to a small group of MBA students, Jewell drew on her experiences in the State Department as well as her most recent posting to Ecuador. She is a career diplomat and recognized authority on investment and trade in the Americas.

Jewell began by cautioning students against micromanagement. "You should always recognize that people work in different ways, and that you shouldn't impose your work style on others. What matters is that they get things done." An advocate of what she describes as "leadership by walking around," Jewell said that being accessible is a good way to gather information and show employees their worth to the company. In particular, she voiced her admiration for former Secretary of State Colin Powell, who always made time to attend employee personal events such as birthday celebrations and retirement parties. Jewell also stressed the need for information sharing and criticized the use of negative motivators, such as humiliation, in the workplace.

After her talk, Jewell answered questions on the working relationship between career diplomats and political appointees, being a woman in a male dominated field, and evaluating performances in the State Department. She ended her visit with general career advice: "Enjoy what you are doing and convey it to people. If you don't like it, get a new job."