08 Nov 2006

Rumsfeld’s Rules


I don’t know if I agree with Defense Secretary Rumsfeld on everything, but I certainly have an enormously greater amount of respect for Rumsfeld than I do for his enemies, and I hate to see them get their way.

On the occasion of his resignation, it seems appropriate to me, by way of remembrance, to quote a few of his own rules for public service.

Enjoy your time in public service. It may well be one of the most interesting and challenging times of your life.

Don’t think of yourself as indispensable or infallible. As Charles de Gaulle said, the cemeteries of the world are full of indispensable men.

Let your family, staff and friends know that you’re still the same person, despite all the publicity and notoriety that accompanies your position.

Don’t be consumed by the job or you’ll risk losing your balance. Keep your mooring lines to the outside world — family, friends, neighbors, people out of government and people who may not agree with you.

Know that the amount of criticism you receive may correlate somewhat to the amount of publicity you receive.

If you are not criticized, you may not be doing much.

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

Rumsfeld’s Rules


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