Sunday, May 19, 2013

One man I greatly admire and respect is former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. My reason is pretty simple.  Mr. Rumsfeld embodies a true public servant.  He was elected to Congress; accepted top level jobs in various administrations, served two tours as Secretary of Defense, and was successful in the private sector as the CEO of a pharmaceutical company.

Perhaps equally important, he started compiling a list of rules back in 1974.  He periodically updated it and made it available to the public.  I keep a copy of it and refer to it often.  It reflects the wisdom of a man who experienced considerable success and took on challenges in the public and private sector.  Oddly enough, I am not aware of anyone one else in the public or private sector that compiles a list like this and generously makes it available to citizens.

One other aspect I like is when he uses a quotation; he attributes it to the source.  No small footnotes buried in the back of the document, he tells you where he got it right after the actual sentence. That probably seems minor, but as a writer and former debater, I greatly appreciate it.

You probably know most of Mr. Rumsfeld's rules. However, it is well organized and easy to read.  Some of the entries are humorous. And some are very serious. You will note on the first page the last revision was September 10, 2001. Please be sure to read Mr. Rumsfeld's introduction paragraph on the second page.

For those in the private sector, I suggest starting on page 9. On that page Mr. Rumsfeld notes lessons learned in business.  Of course his rules noted elsewhere in the attachment also apply to business.  The rules under the heading “Doing the Job in the White House” certainly apply to working in most public and private sector organizations.
The section titled “Life” is not his rules, but rather quotations he found over the years and covers a multitude of subjects. 

Whether you agree with Mr. Rumsfeld or not, his rules are excellent advice. The rules are written simply and the PDF is well organized.

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