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Donald Rumsfeld, who served as defense secretary in both the Ford and George W. Bush administrations, died last Wednesday

PJ Blogger

Washington DC, Donald Rumsfeld, who served as defense secretary in both the Ford and George W. Bush administrations, died last Wednesday June 30th  at the age of 88.

In a statement Wednesday, former President Bush called his first Defense secretary “a man of intelligence, integrity and almost inexhaustible energy.”

“On the morning of September 11, 2001, Donald Rumsfeld ran to the fire at the Pentagon to assist the wounded and ensure the safety of survivors,” Bush recalled. “For the next five years, he was in steady service as a wartime secretary of defense — a duty he carried out with strength, skill and honor.”

Although primarily known for his foreign policy roles, Rumsfeld played an important role at the birth of supply-side economics. Arthur Laffer drew the famous “Laffer Curve” on a cocktail napkin at a dinner in 1974 with Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld, who was then President Ford’s chief-of-staff. He instantly became an apostle.

Having had the opportunity to have drinks with Art Laffer some years ago in New York City ,the ever entertaining Mr Laffer refrained from drawing on any cocktail napkins but we did have an amazing time.  It was  the most fun at a business dinner I had ever had. The evening match downing a few drinks with Sean Connery in the 90’s and some very pleasant conversations I had with Jaclyn Smith in the 80’s .

Rumsfeld was also known for nuggets of wisdom he had gathered from his careers in government and business. He worked them into a 2013 book called Rumsfeld’s Rules.

Here are some of Economist Stephen Moore’s favorites:

Once you quit one thing, then you can quit something else, and pretty soon you’ll get good at being a quitter.

General Douglas MacArthur once said, “Rules are mostly made to be broken and are too often for the lazy to hide behind.”

Whatever your position, reach out to those who know more than you do, and have been around longer than you have. Find those people. Listen carefully.

Humility and discretion are two valued qualities in an employee.

Bad news doesn’t get better with time. If you have fouled up something, it’s best to tell the boss fast.

Disagreement is not disloyalty.

The act of calling a meeting about a problem can in some cases be confused with actually doing something.

Stubborn opposition to proposals often has no basis other than the complaining question, “Why wasn’t I consulted?”

Those who write and speak clearly—free of jargon and cant—are most likely to be the ones who think clearly and are therefore indispensable for good decision-making and sound policy.

If everyone in the room seems convinced of the brilliance of an idea, it may be a sign that the organization would benefit from more dissent and debate.

Without the best people in place, the best ideas don’t matter.

Many people have the ability to review something and make it better. Few are able to identify what is missing.

The cemeteries of the world are full of indispensable men.

People think focus means saying yes to the thing you’ve got to focus on. But that’s not what it means at all. It means saying no to the hundred other good ideas that there are.

If you don’t know what your top three priorities are, you don’t have priorities.

What you measure improves.

Planning done well allows for improvisation. It allows for an openness to being wrong.

Surprise often arrives when one side assumes that the enemy or the competition thinks like it does and will do what it would be likely to do in a similar situation.

Credibility takes years to build, and one second to lose.

You are far better off being seen as not fully informed than as untruthful or evasive.

If you are in an organization and find lawyers making decisions instead of advising on decisions, then maybe you need to reduce their number.


5 thoughts on “Donald Rumsfeld, who served as defense secretary in both the Ford and George W. Bush administrations, died last Wednesday

  1. Former wrestler at Princeton.

  2. The master of unknown unknowns.

  3. I always enjoyed his Press conferences.

  4. Goodbye to a great statesman. The liberal media tried their best to ruin him.

  5. Yes the liberals try to ruin everybody. But in the end they lose. Because so many many of us to see what’s going on.

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