Donald Rumsfeld

Donald Rumsfeld

Donald Henry "Don" Rumsfeld (born July 9, 1932) is an American retired politician and businessman. Rumsfeld served as the 13th Secretary of Defense from 1975 to 1977 under President Gerald Ford, and as the 21st Secretary of Defense from 2001 to 2006 under President George W. Bush.

Enjoy the best Donald Rumsfeld picture quotes.

Read more about Donald Rumsfeld on Wikipedia.

Don't necessarily avoid sharp edges. Occasionally they are necessary to leadership.

Don't be a bottleneck. If a matter is not a decision for the President, or you delegate it. Force responsibility down and out. Find problem areas add structure and delegate. The pressure is to do the reverse. Resist it.

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

Don't blame the boss. He has enough problems.

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.

Be yourself. Follow your instincts. Success depends at least in part on the ability to "carry it off."

Test ideas in the marketplace. You learn from hearing a range of perspectives. Consultation helps engender the support decisions need to be successfully implemented.

Make decisions about the President's personal security. He can overrule you but don't ask him to be the one to counsel caution.

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 will launch many projects but have time to finish only a few. So think plan develop launch and tap good people to be responsible. Give them authority and hold them accountable. Trying to do too much yourself creates a bottleneck.

Don't do or say things you would not like to see on the front page of The Washington Post.

Remember where you came from.

In politics every day is filled with numerous opportunities for serious error. Enjoy it.

If in doubt move decisions up to the President.

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

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

Secretary Powell and I agree on every single issue that has ever been before this administration except for those instances where Colin's still learning.

Amidst all the clutter beyond all the obstacles aside from all the static are the goals set. Put your head down do the best job possible let the flak pass and work towards those goals.

Members of the U.S. House and the U.S. Senate are not there by accident. Each managed to get there for some reason. Learn what it was and you will know something important about them about our country and about the American people.

Don't automatically obey Presidential directives if you disagree or if you suspect he hasn't considered key aspects of the issue.

I can't tell you if the use of force in Iraq today will last five days five weeks or five months but it won't last any longer than that.

If in doubt don't. If still in doubt do what's right.

If you develop rules never have more than ten.

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

If you try to please everybody somebody's not going to like it.

Prune - prune businesses products activities people. Do it annually.

When you raise issues with the President try to come away with both that decision and also a precedent. Pose issues so as to evoke broader policy guidance. This can help to answer a range of similar issues likely to arise later.

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

Presidential leadership needn't always cost money. Look for low- and no-cost options. They can be surprisingly effective.

Think ahead. Don't let day-to-day operations drive out planning.

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

There are a lot of people who lie and get away with it and that's just a fact.

Work continuously to trim the White House staff from your first day to your last. All the pressures are to the contrary.

Don't speak ill of your predecessors or successors. You didn't walk in their shoes.

When cutting staff at the Pentagon don't eliminate the thin layer that assures civilian control.

When asked for your views by the press or others remember that what they really want to know is the President's views.

Oh my goodness gracious what you can buy off the Internet in terms of overhead photography. A trained ape can know an awful lot of what is going on in this world just by punching on his mouse for a relatively modest cost.

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

Look for what's missing. Many advisors can tell a President how to improve what's proposed or what's gone amiss. Few are able to see what isn't there.

There are known knowns. These are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns. That is to say there are things that we know we don't know. But there are also unknown unknowns. There are things we don't know we don't know.

I don't do quagmires.

With the press there is no "off the record."

The Federal Government should be the last resort not the first. Ask if a potential program is truly a federal responsibility or whether it can better be handled privately by voluntary organizations or by local or state governments.

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

Congress the press and the bureaucracy too often focus on how much money or effort is spent rather than whether the money or effort actually achieves the announced goal.

See that the President the Cabinet and staff are informed. If cut out of the information flow their decisions may be poor not made or not confidently or persuasively implemented.

The way to do well is to do well.

Reduce the number of lawyers. They are like beavers - they get in the middle of the stream and dam it up.

Visit with your predecessors from previous Administrations. They know the ropes and can help you see around some corners. Try to make original mistakes rather than needlessly repeating theirs.

Don't say "the White House wants." Buildings can't want.

One of your tasks is to separate the "personal" from the "substantive." The two can become confused especially if someone rubs the President wrong.

If a prospective Presidential approach can't be explained clearly enough to be understood well it probably hasn't been thought through well enough. If not well understood by the American people it probably won't "sail" anyway. Send it back for further thought.

First rule of politics: you can't win unless you're on the ballot. Second rule: If you run you may lose. And if you tie you do not win.

Treat each federal dollar as if it was hard earned, it was - by a taxpayer.

Death has a tendency to encourage a depressing view of war.

In our system leadership is by consent, not command. To lead, a President must persuade. Personal contacts and experiences help shape his thinking. They can be critical to his persuasiveness and thus to his leadership.

Many people around the President have sizeable egos before entering government some with good reason. Their new positions will do little to moderate their egos.

It isn't making mistakes that's critical, it's correcting them and getting on with the principal task.

Imagine a September 11 with weapons of mass destruction. It's not 3 000. It's tens of thousands of innocent men women and children.

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

Politics is human beings, it's addition rather than subtraction.

Leave the President's family business to him. You will have plenty to do without trying to manage the First Family. They are likely to do fine without your help.

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.

Our task your task... is to try to connect the dots before something happens. People say 'Well where's the smoking gun?' Well we don't want to see a smoking gun from a weapon of mass destruction.

Plan backwards as well as forward. Set objectives and trace back to see how to achieve them. You may find that no path can get you there. Plan forward to see where your steps will take you which may not be clear or intuitive.

Learn to say "I don't know." If used when appropriate it will be often.

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

Preserve the President's options. He may need them.

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

Arguments of convenience lack integrity and inevitably trip you up.

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.

You're thinking of Eurpoe as Germany and France. I don't. I think that's old Europe.

In the execution of Presidential decisions work to be true to his views in fact and tone.

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