But the [feedback] analysis may also show that a person fails to obtain results because he or she lacks manners. Bright people - especially bright young people - often do not understand that good manners are the "lubricating oil" of an organization.
It is a law of nature that two moving bodies in contact with each other therefore always create friction. And then manners are the lubricating oil that enable these two moving bodies to work together, whether they like each other or not - simple things like saying "please" and "thank you" and knowing a person's birthday or name, and remembering to ask after the person's family. If the analysis shows that brilliant work fails again and again as soon as it required cooperation from others, it probably indicates a lack of courtesy, that is, manners.
Peter F. Drucker, 1973
Management (Revised Edition)
"If you need a man, hire him, but hire the right kind of a man. Dr. Nicholas Murray Butler said there were only two things in connection with education that were of real importance, and without which you could not educate anybody or do anything with him. Those two things, he said, were character and good manners. And he said a great many of our educational institutions were falling down on both those points.
I have thought about that a lot. You men never had a successful experience in your life with a workman who did not have good manners. The fellow that is always rough and doesn’t show you the consideration and the courtesy to which, as foreman, you are entitled is not the kind of man you want in your department. You need the kind of men who are gentlemanly and courteous, and whose manners are backed up with good clean character. I want us to keep those two things in mind right through every branch and every department of our business. If we have anybody in any department—sales, factory or office—who we discover is a man of real character but does not display good manners, we must get rid of him and give the job to somebody who does possess those qualities. Then we will have a real organization.
Of course, we must always set the right kind of example all the way along the line as to character and good manners. Then you can teach the men anything, because they are with you, they will listen to you. They are not trying to show off or be smart. They get right down to business."
Thomas. J. Watson Sr., January 1933
The World's Greatest Salesman
Speaking at Hundred Percent Club
to Factory Foremen on Men of Character and Courtesy
March 23, 2013