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Save Your Ammo: Working Across Cultures for National Security

Save Your Ammo: Working Across Cultures for National Security

by Louise Rasmussen, Winston Sieck


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He believed that eating my heart would transfer my abilities to him. I knew that once we started shooting, it would be a foregone conclusion.”

When you work in foreign environments it can seem like the principles for getting things done are blown out of the water. How do you accomplish your mission? And get home safe?

Save Your Ammo is a practical guide to working with people from other cultures. This plain-language resource shows:

  • How to turn uncertain, potentially dangerous intercultural situations around using tact and clever decision making.
  • How to get past cultural complexity to spot real problems and find creative, win-win solutions.
  • How to trade the legacy of ‘the ugly American’ for trusting relationships that let you realize goals you otherwise couldn’t have.

Cognitive psychologists Rasmussen and Sieck have distilled the advice in this book from interviews with more than 200 national security personnel. Seasoned professionals who have spent their careers interacting with foreign populations and partners all over the world.

Confront strange requests for assistance in Kyrgyzstan. Failures to follow protocol in Korea. A fight between Russians and Turks 5000 feet in the air over the Black Sea. An armed Liberian child soldier who wants to rip out your heart.

Could you see through the cultural fog and achieve success without firing a single shot?

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781733410205
Publisher: Global Cognition
Publication date: 04/16/2020
Pages: 264
Sales rank: 1,109,516
Product dimensions: 5.24(w) x 7.99(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

Dr. Louise Rasmussen is author of Save your ammo: Working across cultures for national security. She has interviewed hundreds of DoD professionals with extensive experience serving in roles that require intensive intercultural interactions. She is a founder and principal scientist at Global Cognition, where she works to advance cultural competence in demanding environments through research, training, and assessment.

Dr. Winston Sieck is co-author of Save your ammo: Working across cultures for national security. He specializes in the study of high-value skill sets that are hard to measure and challenging to develop. These include skills that underpin decision making, collaboration, and cultural adaptability. He is cofounder, president, and principal scientist at Global Cognition.

Table of Contents



1: Accomplish your mission by building relationships

2: What makes you a strange stranger?

3: Working with foreigners through the good, bad, and beyond ugly

4: A fun way to learn about new cultures

5: Will your cultural knowledge survive a reality check?

6: How to learn more from your daily encounters

7: How to handle puzzling behavior

8: Figuring out why people do what they do

9: Get inside people’s heads to gain trust, influence, and cooperation

10: Why you should engage others before you know enough

11: Ready, aim, talk

12: How to adapt your style and stay true to yourself

13: Back to your mission

About the Authors

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