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

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CHAPTER TEN

BATTLING BUREAUCRACY

Bureaucracies have befuddled, frustrated, and undermined leaders for as long as the term has been in existence. But although the word bureaucracy can give nightmares to business leaders and government officials alike, there’s no reason it should instill fear. As with most things, there are ways to get around it. Sometimes it is simply a matter of will.

In 1983, President Reagan asked me to meet with him in the Oval Office to discuss something called the Law of the Sea Treaty. When he had been elected two years earlier, the treaty was on a bureaucratic fast track toward ratification by the U.S. Senate. All the relevant machinery of the U.S. government, including the Departments of State and Defense, favored it. ...

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