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Rumsfeld's Rules: Leadership Lessons in Business, Politics, War, and Life Hardcover – May 14, 2013


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Editorial Reviews

Review

“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.” (Henry A. Kissinger)

“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.” (George P. Shultz)

About 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.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Broadside Books; 1 edition (May 14, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062272853
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062272850
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.1 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (199 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #43,532 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Donald Rumsfeld was the 13th and 21st U.S. Secretary of Defense. He currently chairs the Rumsfeld Foundation, which supports leadership and public service at home and the growth of free political and free economic systems abroad. The Rumsfeld Foundation funds microfinance development projects, fellowships for graduate students interested in public service, the development of young leaders from Central Asia and the Caucasus, and charitable causes that benefit the men and women of the U.S. armed forces and their families.

Customer Reviews

God bless you Mr. Rumsfeld.
Kelsey Delacruz
This is really helping me to get a better perspective.
N. Konduru
A great book - full of wisdom, insight and experience.
Michael Soltys

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

64 of 80 people found the following review helpful By Thomas McLean on May 14, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a great read. Rumsfeld is a polarizing figure ...just like R. S. McNamara. Here Rumsfeld captures his rules, gathered over a lifetime, in a highly readable volume. There are pearls of wisdom between the covers. I've been waiting for this book for months and it doesn't disappoint. For those who are Rumsfeld fans, this book is really a no brainer. It's a must have. For those who are not Rumsfeld fans, it may be a little more difficult to separate the man from the message. The message is good.The book is choke full of wisdom and good advise and makes sense. I'm sure that some of the content will stir some debate....but that's ok. I got the Kindle version and the paper copy since I use the e-book when traveling but wanted to have a hard copy also. Hard copy is of good quality...but not the best. No mention if the paper is acid free and meets the standards for permanency. Hard to comment on robustness of the binding but it looks reasonably good. E-Book has no such issues. There are a few black and white photos that are adequate. Other than the dust jacket, everything is black and white. Book begs to be illustrated and in color in my opinion.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I can't remember the last time I enjoyed a book this much. I always lean toward nonfiction books because I want to learn something. Anyone who found this book lacking in any way, read it through a highly political (partisan) lens and missed all the wisdom that an 80 year old has to offer. Mr. Rumsfeld's rules were already helpful and insightful, but they were enhanced by the anecdotes, the historical paths that Rumsfeld took us through. He credited these discovered truths wherever they came from, attributed them to who ever first uttered the words. I feel sorry for anyone who missed out on the book because they associated Rumsfeld with Bush.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Irfan A. Alvi TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 22, 2014
Format: Hardcover
Addressing the elephant in the room, politically I'm an independant, and wasn't a fan of the Bush II administration, so by association I wasn't really a fan of Rumsfeld either. But as I pondered his oft-ridiculed comment about knowns and unknowns, I came to conclude that it was a profound distinction, and it made me think that perhaps he had unappreciated depth. Having finished the book, I have to say that I'm impressed. There's indeed much depth, insight, and wisdom here, and the book is written with admirable clarity and elegance, with plenty of well-chosen anecdotes to illustrate the points. Actually, I enjoyed reading every page of the book, and often it was hard to put down.

Does Rumsfeld show biases and present his own take on history when providing his anecdotes? Surely he does, but that is to be expected of any former senior government leader recounting past events, and I don't think that he takes excessive liberties in this regard. So look past the politics and the specifics of history - imagine that the author shares your political persuasion and just listen to him with an open mind. If you do, you may learn some valuable "leadership lessons in business, politics, war, and life." I certainly did, and these lessons ring true with my own decades of leadership experience. I look forward to reading this book again, and perhaps listening to the audio version also.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Pierfisher on June 23, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Not a lot of new ideas or thought but constantly kept telling myself I used to know that and in some cases I wish I had known that. I really did enjoy some of the inside Washington examples of the rules.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Citizen John TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on May 28, 2013
Format: Hardcover
I got this book on Audible. Donald Rumsfeld deserves credit for doing his own narration. His narration is genuine and excellent.

I'm a sucker for this genre: old-guy-imparts-hard-earned-wisdom. Wisdom is here, but not consistently. Much of the effort is on branding. I place this in the sub-category where one finds books on life instruction by Donald Trump. Rumsfeld and Trump are both tough guys that thrive on competition. Both have loads of experience. Neither is willing to serve wisdom without leavening it with self-promotion.

Rumsfeld organizes his rules with quotes, instructive experiences and a bio that impresses. The reader/listener will certainly recognize him as a smart, capable and determined leader.

The merits of the book have nothing to do with whether one likes Rumsfeld. You've got to respect this man.

Rumsfeld's accounts of dealing with the Pentagon bureaucracy are remarkable. With relatively few words and total authority, he describes systemic problems with this bureaucracy and bureaucracies in general. I marveled at his discussion about the number of attorneys that don't practice law but are needed for legal guidance on everything. He says the Pentagon employs 10,000 attorneys.

Some stories exaggerated the author's importance. This tendency was unnecessary because Rumsfeld's professional life in and out of government has been incredibly important. His resume includes many powerful positions. He was Chief of Staff under President Ford, CEO of Searle and most recently Secretary of Defense. He's relentlessly hard-working. Curiously, he didn't toot his horn regarding his work ethic. I liked that.

The main rule of the book is that one should be perfectly loyal to one's boss. The next rule has to do with patriotism.
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