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Donald Rumsfeld Quotes

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.

Arguments of convenience lack integrity and inevitably trip you up.

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

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

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

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.

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

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

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.

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

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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.

I don't do quagmires.