A Great Mind, But a Tin Ear

I don't know about you, but I put a lot of stock in good people. People who aren't rude. People who smile and take the time to chat with so-called little people. Not because they have to, but because they want to.

I'd sooner side with a loyal, compassionate idiot, than a disloyal, cunning snake. The snake only bites you in the end.

You know, careers are lost messing up the little things.

Just ask Harvey Pitt, the now out-going SEC chief.

According to all reports, Pitt was and is a genius. The youngest SEC counsel ever. A fierce and brilliant securities lawyer.

On all the big things, Harvey was a big success. It was on the little things that Harvey failed.

Meeting privately with executives the SEC was investigating. Not telling fellow commissioners, or even the White House about some potential conflicts in a nominee for that crucial accounting board.

Harvey had a great mind, but a tin ear. He was so focused on keeping his own counsel that he lost all support.

My mother used to say great minds are to be shared, not hoarded. Funny, she had no advice for my mind. But she did for my heart. "Never forget the niceties of life," she would say. The little things.

I understand her now. It is far better to offer a hand, than a finger. A smile, than a stab. An understanding ear, than no ear at all.

That's not only good advice in politics. That's good advice in life.

Watch Neil Cavuto's Common Sense weekdays at 4 p.m. ET on Your World w/Cavuto.