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

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The challenge for readers is to read what he writes through the lens of history.


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.


About Donald Rumsfeld

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DONALD RUMSFELD currently chairs the Rumsfeld Foundation, which supports leadership and public service at home and the growth of free political and free economic systems abroad, as well as charities that benefit the men and women of the U.S. armed forces and their families.
Published May 14, 2013 by Broadside e-books. 352 pages
Genres: Business & Economics, Biographies & Memoirs, Political & Social Sciences. Non-fiction
Bestseller Status:
Peak Rank on Jun 02 2013
Weeks as Bestseller
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Critic reviews for Rumsfeld's Rules
All: 3 | Positive: 1 | Negative: 2

Publishers Weekly

Above average
on Jul 15 2013

...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.

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Above average
on Apr 18 2013

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.

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Reviewed by John Baldoni on May 21 2013

The challenge for readers is to read what he writes through the lens of history.

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