Politics aside, Donald Rumsfeld is an excellent manager. And employee. The man has served something like 15 of the last 10 presidents. Along the way, he coalesced his managerial success into a list of rules (I love rules) that are universally applicable, especially if your universe includes “Serving in the White House” (page 2) or being the Secretary of Defense (page 6).
- Learn to say “I don’t know.” If used when appropriate, it will be often.
- It is easier to get into something than to get out of it.
- If you are not criticized, you may not be doing much.
- Think ahead. Don’t let day-to-day operations drive out planning
- All of the “Serving in Government” section
- In unanimity there may well be either cowardice or uncritical thinking.
- For every human problem there is a solution that is simple, neat and wrong.
- 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.
Some are more applicable than others. Particularly:
- Let your family, staff, and friends know that you’re still the same person, despite all the publicity and notoriety that accompanies your position.(Hey Mom and Dad! Don’t worry — the fame won’t get to my head.)