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

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CHAPTER THREE

PICKING PEOPLE

Toward the end of his tragically shortened presidency, John F. Kennedy mused to some friends that there were three people he thought could succeed him in office. The list, according to biographer Robert A. Caro, consisted of Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara, Treasury Secretary Douglas Dillon, and the President’s brother Bobby.1 Notably missing from the list was his Vice President, Lyndon Baines Johnson, who of course did end up succeeding him in November 1963.

Lyndon Johnson, a gruff, larger-than-life Texan, never fit in with the well-heeled, Harvard-educated inner circle of Camelot. And though he was a skilled legislator and Senate leader, Johnson did not excel as an executive.

A few years later, in 1968, Richard ...

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