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Retired NASA Leader Touts Good Manners as a Key to Success

Donald G. James has been a witness to much of America’s history of space exploration during his 35 years with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

He explained to PNR members in a presentation at their July 16th lunch meeting that he enjoyed a great ride in a career ending in March 2017 as the agency’s associate administrator for education.

Donald G. James, retired associate administrator at NASA

Of all the lessons James has passed on from his NASA experience, the one he believes has the greatest value for assuring professional success and personal happiness starts with gratitude for your opportunities and is sustained with good manners.

As described in his book Manners Take You Where Brains and Money Won’t (available at Town Centre Books, Pleasanton), people who have gratitude are happier people. Positive attitudes lead to positive impressions, with four positive thoughts in a day counteracting one negative thought, he said.

James recommended saying thank you three times for three things daily, with morning being the best time of the day to begin this sunny process. Not surprisingly, James is a big fan of Thank You cards and sending several, short loving text messages to his wife every day.

For successful professional advancement, James recommended disciplined personal comportment and a knowledge of proper etiquette to break down social barriers and to create positive first impressions.

(Full Image Caption: Donald G. James, retired associate administrator for education at NASA stresses the value of positive attitudes for a happy and successful living.)

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