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Tim Russert-like Inspiration

16 June 2008 2 Comments

Tim Russert

The world was shocked recently by the death of a VERY young Tim Russert at the age of 58. There has been so much coverage on this over the last couple of days, I simply don’t want to write anything about this amazing person that will trivialize what has already been covered. But I do want to speak to something I never paid attention to when he was alive – his family and his friends.

Much to my chagrin, it was only in his death that I became fully aware of who this amazing man really was. He embodied what every male aspires when they finally can call themselves men.

It wasn’t his politics or his job that got my attention. It was his family and how treated people he came in contact with – every day. This was a man who knew what it took to earn the respect and he never veered off that course. He embodied what I aspire to be and it sickens me to think only after his death I will learn his lessons he put forth during his life.

Man Trait #1: Love your family and get involved with others’ families

I always knew Mr. Russert as the guy who would get me the answers to make an inform decision on politics. I never knew his personal side and that was my misfortune. Knowing and caring about the other guy’s family gives you an undeniable edge in dealing with people. It allows you to relate on a level that no one expects or can prepare for.

When I heard of his love for his son and father, it became clear I missed out on knowing this gentleman when he was alive. He adored his only child, Luke, and respected his father, Big Russ, with such immense passion that only can be found when men drop their guard long enough to build those endearing relationships.

What’s even more impressive was his amazing care and love for his friends’ families. He knew where all their kids went to school. He knew birthdays and major family events – making a point to ask and care when others did not. There is nothing that gives you a bigger edge in life (as well as fulfillment and enjoyment) than asking another guy how his son’s 10th birthday party turned out. Or sending a card on his daughter’s 8th birthday. Think about the power this has on deepening relationships with others. Think about the impact it has on their lives.

Man Trait #2: Treat the speaker as the most important person in the room

This really is something that many successful people do and it is a cornerstone to manly behavior. When someone is speaking to you and you are looking right through them, talking on your cellphone, speaking to someone else, or looking away from them for the next person to hit up, there is nothing more you can do other than to tell that person they mean nothing to you. This is not a manly gesture and the true man would never do this.

Tim Russert was world-renowned for making certain you were the only person in the room that mattered to him if you were speaking to him. It does not matter who you speak to on this, they all say the same thing – he was an extraordinary man in this regard.

Man Trait #3: Treat extraordinary people ordinary, and treat ordinary people extraordinary

There are very few media types that can pull this off (i.e. Larry King) and he was one of them. It is very easy for people to ignore the ordinary folks they come across – especially if they can’t help them get ahead in life. His colleagues, across the board, will tell you that Tim Russert was a master at this trait. Everyone had a say in the political process and every person’s opinion counted.

But think about how this relates to true manliness behavior. If you believe every person has a mother, a father, friends, people that love him/her and people he/she loves – treating every person extraordinary really enforces the other person’s belief that they are at the center of their own universe. This is a very powerful tool and very fulfilling. (Off subject – think about how this works when dealing with women!)

On the other hand, treating extraordinary people ordinary can be just as flattering. Remember, the people in the spotlight are there all the time. They want to deal with a real person as well and there is nothing that tells people you are dealing with someone “real” than having that person go out of their way to NOT kiss your ass. It also helps those other folks to drop their guards.

In Summary:

I never had a chance to know Tim Russert other than what I saw on television. I never read any of his books, but you can bet I will read every last one of them now. I never knew how much of a great man this guy was until all of the memorials came on the air. I will never appreciate all the other manly traits this true gentleman possessed. I never knew what he meant to other people he came in contact with. I never knew I really needed to get to know this legend while he was alive.

I will never allow myself to fail in any of these manly traits or any of the countless others Tim Russert had, again.


  • Manlicious Manliness « Persistent Illusion said:

    […] Return to Manliness wrote an incredible  post on Tim Russert.  It’s a moving tribute to an inspirational man. […]

  • The Manliness Roundup: Missing Tony Snow Edition | Return To Manliness said:

    […] of Meet The Press fame suddenly died from a heart attack.  I wrote a post on the man and what types of incredible Manliness Traits he possessed.  My shame was that it was only in his death did I learn what an incredible person he truly was.  […]

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