Success means cultivating good habits.
Congresswoman Susan Molinari, a long time friend of Dana’s, once gave her some solid career advice. In return, Molinari said, she wanted Dana to share the advice with others. Passing on information is just one of many rules of conduct that Dana thinks is essential to success. At the top of her list, however, are good manners – because Dana believes that politeness will restore America’s lost civility.
But how did the country lose its manners in the first place?
Well, over the last few decades, many people have grown dissatisfied with the government. This has resulted in a vitriolic political climate, one in which there’s little space for civil behavior. Not just that, but a general lack of manners is making it even harder to solve the nation’s problems.
Being polite shouldn’t just be a personal goal; it should be a goal for the nation. There are a couple of key ways to practice good manners and the first is sharing credit with others.
Dana learned this lesson from president Bush in August of 2008. The president had just received a call from the CIA, informing him that American hostages, held captive in Colombia by FARC guerillas, had just been rescued.
However, the mission wasn’t just an American victory. In fact, the Colombian Special Forces had been instrumental. Knowing that the Colombian president, Álvaro Uribe, had been taking heat for not doing enough to combat terrorism, Bush gave him credit for the rescue.
Another essential skill is knowing when to keep quiet and listen. This lesson was passed on to Dana by Bush’s vice president, Dick Cheney.
In an interview, Cheney was once asked why he was often quiet in meetings. He said that staffers, worried that their opinions will come under fire, often say nothing, thus depriving the group of their valuable thoughts. So Cheney makes sure that everyone has had their say before he speaks up. That way, no one gets shut down, and all voices are heard.