Humility and accountability are two indispensable qualities that separate thoughtful, respected lawmakers from those prone to outrun their headlights in pursuit of the spotlight.
Humility boils down to knowing what you don’t know. Most everyone who runs for office does so with good intentions and motivated by ideas to make their community, state or country better.
A lawmaker with humility accepts that, beyond one’s own life experience, he or she has a limited knowledge of how the rest of the world works. For example, until I heard a restaurant owner explain it, I did not realize that operating at 25% or 50% capacity could actually be worse for their cash flow than remaining closed.
Equally crucial is accountability – not just to voters every few years – but to trusted people whom you consult for advice and who know they can speak candidly even when they tell you something you don’t want to hear. One of my most valued advisors was my predecessor, Sen. Jim Rizzuto, a Democrat respected by both parties. (more…)