While writing a fictional missing chapter to Candide, where Candide meets up with Donald Rumsfeld in Iraq, I came across some great quotes from Rumsfeld. Some are actually insightful, while some are just plain funny (in a sick way :P). From BrainyQuote:
"Death has a tendency to encourage a depressing view of war."
"Control your time. If you're working off your in-box, you're working off the priorities of others. Be sure the staff is working on what you move to them from the President, or the President will be reacting, not leading."
"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." (spoken like a true boss :-D)
"Don't necessarily avoid sharp edges. Occasionally they are necessary to leadership."
"Don't say "the White House wants." Buildings can't want."
This one's for Cooper:
"From where you sit, the White House may look as untidy as the inside of a stomach. As is said of the legislative process, sausage-making and policy-making shouldn't be seen close-up. Don't let that panic you. Things may be going better than they look from the inside."
"I don't do quagmires."
"I'm not into this detail stuff. I'm more concepty."
Keep your rules limited to the number of fingers you have:
"If you develop rules, never have more than ten."
"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. "
"People say, 'Well, where's the smoking gun?' Well, we don't want to see a smoking gun from a weapon of mass destruction. "
Kind of scared to see the Powerpoint that goes with this one (pruning people :O):
"Prune - prune businesses, products, activities, people. Do it annually."
Say this one three times fast:
"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. "
Did Rummy work in academia?
"Watch for the "not invented here" syndrome."
Okay, maybe not because they all seem to be vacant this long:
"Watch the growth of middle level management. Don't automatically fill vacant jobs. Leave some positions unfilled for 6-8 months to see what happens. You will find you won't need to fill some of them."
"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. "