Just because I wrote them, doesn’t mean I read them..

Rumsfeld’s Rules:

If you foul up, tell the president and correct it fast. Delay only compounds mistakes.

Be precise. A lack of precision is dangerous when the margin of error is small.

Don’t divide the world into “them” and “us.” Avoid infatuation with or resentment of the press, the Congress, rivals, or opponents. Accept them as facts. They have their jobs and you have yours.

The price of being close to the president is delivering bad news. You fail him if you don’t tell him the truth. Others won’t do it.

You and the White House staff must be and be seen to be above suspicion. Set the right example

Remember the public trust. Strive to preserve and enhance the integrity of the office of the presidency. Pledge to leave it stronger than when you came.

Be able to resign. It will improve your value to the president and do wonders for your performance.

Your performance depends on your people. Select the best, train them, and back them. When errors occur, give sharper guidance. If errors persist or if the fit feels wrong, help them move on. The country cannot afford amateur hour in the White House.

If the staff lacks policy guidance against which to test decisions, their decisions will be random.

Public servants are paid to serve the American people. Do it well.

“Try to analyze situations intelligently, anticipate problems and move swiftly to solve them. However, when you’re up to your ears in alligators, it is difficult to remember that the reason you’re there is to drain the swamp.” — Unknown

The secretary of defense is not a super general or admiral. His task is to exercise civilian control over the department for the commander in chief and the country.

Reduce the layers of management. They put distance between the top of an organization and the customers.

That which you require be reported on to you will improve, if you are selective. How you fashion your reporting system announces your priorities and sets the institution’s priorities.

“The most important things in life you cannot see — civility, justice, courage, peace.” — Unknown

And here’s one that he really really forgot before invading Iraq:

It is easier to get into something than to get out of it.

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Yeah. Like I would tell you....