Monday, July 20, 2009

A Man's Reach -- A Transforming Life, 47: Staying on good terms

Former Governor Harold LeVander presenting Elmer the Minnesotan of the Year award by the Minnesota Broadcasters Association, 1968

"I learned right away: always stay on good terms with people whose ideas differ from yours so that you can work with them tomorrow even if you differ today. Hot topics are unavoidable in the legislature. Success often depends on learning to disagree with civility and keeping on good terms with the other members. Respect their differences. Differ vigorously. Oppose actively. Maintain your own position. But respect their right to their position, and let the procedures, rules, and customs of the senate decide who wins."

"Reporters always have looming deadlines. I thought, the least I can do when they call me is to get back to them as soon as I can. My other rule in dealing with reporters was to answer their questions forthrightly and not beat around the bush. If they ask an embarrassing question, so be it. Answer it, and tell the truth. With those practices, I got along fine with the media."

Courtesy H. B. Fuller Company

"A Man's Reach -- A Transforming Life" is on display through August 15 in the Exhibit Gallery, Elmer L. Andersen Library, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities Campus.

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