My friend Karen Hughes was with President George W. Bush on 911…
as Counsellor to the President she was there during some of the most historic moments of our country.

She gave a speech at a Burson-Marsteller luncheon in Dallas today about what makes a great leader and Karen shared a lot of behind the scenes White House stuff, and talked about why President Bush made such a big deal of small things.

We’ve all heard the President was never late. Karen said he was known to say “late is rude”. Everybody from limousine drivers to White House valets appreciated it. They knew by his actions the President respected them.

He wore a coat and tie, because he thought the office of President was much bigger than he. He thought the coat and tie sent a message of respect.

And there was a painting in his office called “A Charge To Keep”, like the old Methodist hymn. It reminded everyone who served under him that they were servants of the public, not themselves.

Karen said George W. Bush knew the little things he did said much more than his words ever could. She said it’s part of what made him a great leader.

I thought there was something in there for us all.

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Karen Parfitt Hughes (born December 27, 1956) is the global vice chair of the public relations firm Burston-Marsteller. She served as the Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs in the U.S. Department of State and as Counsellor to United States President George W. Bush.