Rumsfeld's Rules: Leadership Lessons in Business, Politics, War, and Life

Rumsfeld's Rules: Leadership Lessons in Business, Politics, War, and Life

4.3 6
by Donald Rumsfeld
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

The legendary leadership guide, distilled from a lifetime of wisdom and experience in government and business

Throughout his long and distinguished career—as a naval aviator, a U.S. Congressman, a top aide to four American presidents, a high-level diplomat, a CEO of two Fortune 500 companies, and the only twice-serving Secretary of Defense in

See more details below

Overview

The legendary leadership guide, distilled from a lifetime of wisdom and experience in government and business

Throughout his long and distinguished career—as a naval aviator, a U.S. Congressman, a top aide to four American presidents, a high-level diplomat, a CEO of two Fortune 500 companies, and the only twice-serving Secretary of Defense in American history—Donald Rumsfeld has collected hundreds of pithy, compelling, and often humorous observations about leadership, business, and life. When President Gerald Ford ordered these aphorisms distributed to his White House staff in 1974, the collection became known as "Rumsfeld's Rules."

First gathered as three-by-five cards in a shoebox and then typed up and circulated informally over the years, these eminently nonpartisan rules have amused and enlightened presidents, business executives, chiefs of staff, foreign officials, diplomats, and members of Congress.  They earned praise from the Wall Street Journal as "Required reading," and from the New York Times which said: "Rumsfeld's Rules can be profitably read in any organization…The best reading, though, are his sprightly tips on inoculating oneself against that dread White House disease, the inflated ego."

Meanwhile, the collection continued to grow as Rumsfeld added new rules derived from things he read, heard, or observed in more than eight decades of a remarkable life. Now these legendary rules are made available for the first time to corporate executive. Rumsfeld has selected his most useful and important rules for effective leadership, enhanced with fresh insights and entertaining anecdotes, and discusses them in the blunt and witty style that made his Pentagon press conferences "must-see TV."

Distilled from a career of unusual breadth and accomplishment, and organized under practical topics like hiring people, running a meeting, and dealing with the press, Rumsfeld's Rules can benefit people at every stage in their careers and in every walk of life, from aspiring politicos and industrialists to recent college graduates, teachers, and business leaders.

The book provides unprecedented insight into leadership, management, strategy, and life—thinking that not only helped Rumsfeld lead the Pentagon in wartime, but earned him a reputation as one of America's toughest and most effective CEOs.

Read More

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
To anyone who has followed Rumsfeld's long corporate and political career—he first ran for the U.S. House in 1962, at age 29—it's not surprising that he begins a book on leadership with a nod to his humble beginnings. But that's pretty much where the humility ends. An inveterate namedropper, Rumsfeld has some impressive anecdotes to share from a lifetime of meetings with figures like Saddam Hussein, Vladimir Putin, and Henry Kissinger. However, to anyone not nearing pensioner age many of Rumsfeld's stories (about Alf Landon or even Chuck Percy) will feel like ancient history. Clearly, Rumsfeld knows his fields—he served under four U.S. presidents and was CEO of two Fortune 500 companies—but much of his advice is mundane or obscure. And when Rumsfeld starts flying the flag or sharing melodramatic anecdotes to prove his patriotism, he sounds more like an old man left to ruminate in the corner rather than an accomplished statesman. Readers interested in Rumsfeld's wisdom might start at the end with his "Rules"—heavily drawn from a diverse cast of characters including Peter Drucker, Machiavelli, and Abraham Lincoln—and decide if it's worth going back (May)
Henry Kissinger
"Tough, acute in his analyses, and effective in advocating his positions, Donald Rumsfeld has been one of the remarkable personalities in American public life. His book of maxims and lessons learned is sure to engage and enlighten."
George P. Shultz
“A Brilliantly useful set of ideas, boiled down to their essence and presented in an easily accessible way, and with stories from experience to give them vibrant meaning.”
Henry A. Kissinger
“Tough, acute in his analyses, and effective in advocating his positions, Donald Rumsfeld has been one of the remarkable personalities in American public life. His book of maxims and lessons learned is sure to engage and enlighten.”
Kirkus Reviews
Two-time former Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld (Known and Unknown: A Memoir, 2011) condenses the rules that he claims shaped, and were shaped by, a lifetime in business and public service. The author packages his previous memoir about his life and times into a breezier format organized around a collection of maxims, which he presents at the end in a 25-page appendix. The author writes that he has collected these thoughts throughout much of his career, and here, he assembles them in a straightforward, uninspiring book. Rumsfeld has been involved in public policy since he became a congressional aide in 1957 and brings his experience to bear in discussing the defense bureaucracy and how it has grown over time. His maxims include aphorisms, observations and quotes from Sun Tzu and Confucius, W.H. Auden and David Hume, among many others. Examples: "Never hire anyone you can't fire"; "The way to do well is to do well"; "Remember where you came from." Here, readers can discover Rumsfeld's thoughts on how to apply for a job, accompanied by reminiscences of people he has hired, including former Vice President Dick Cheney, who became an aide in President Richard Nixon's Office of Economic Opportunity. Disappointingly but perhaps predictably, Rumsfeld does not provide new insight into the events that (often negatively) shaped the latter part of his career--e.g., the problematic nonexistence of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction, the torture at Abu Ghraib and the disastrous governmental failures in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. Nonessential. The collection offers an occasionally intriguing but hardly revelatory view of the author's career, but reader response will likely hinge on political affiliation.

Read More

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780062272874
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
05/14/2013
Sold by:
HARPERCOLLINS
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
352
Sales rank:
280,549
File size:
2 MB

Meet the Author

Donald Rumsfeld has been an American government official and corporate executive. Rumsfeld served as CEO as two Fortune 500 companies and as the thirteenth and twenty-first Secretary of Defense.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >