Wick Communications

It’s all about relationships

In Ideas, Uncategorized on 14 May 2010 at 8:15 am

This morning, I was listening to NPR on the way to work. The reporter was talking to Lt. Col. Joel Hamilton, who is a battalion commander at Joint Security Station Loyalty in Iraq. (That’s he at left in the picture.)

Hamilton was talking about the logistics of working with one of his constituencies, the people of Baghdad. It reminded me of our job. We are, in a sense, embedded in our communities. We seek to protect the people we serve, providing them with information they can use to make sense of government and the wider world around them. We are both of our readers and different from them. We have access to information and a pulpit, though not the arsenal afforded Hamilton.

Here’s why I mention all of this. I was taken by something Hamilton said, something that applies to us and our readers. Hamilton said his job is about cultivating relationships…

“You really can’t afford to drive to work. You have to live with your counterpart,” he told the interviewer, “because it’s really all about the relationship. What I tell my soldiers is, the one thing we cannot get wrong — because if we do we’ll fail in our mission — is the relationship and the partnership.”

That is so very true. It’s true in Baghdad and it’s true in Nogales. If we fail to cultivate partnerships in our community we will fail in our mission.

At ease.


  1. Read your article about Col. Hamilton and was aghast to read: “That’s he at the left in the picture.” I’m an aide to a Colonel in another group, served under Col Hamilton, and am writing a book about Afghanistan while serving my tour here. Always get a kick out of lapses like this from newsmen.

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