Make decisions about the President's personal security. He can overrule you, but don't ask him to be the one to counsel caution.
Don't think of yourself as indispensable or infallible. As Charles De Gaulle said, the cemeteries of the world are full of indispensable men.
Enjoy your time in public service. It may well be one of the most interesting and challenging times of your life.
When cutting staff at the Pentagon, don't eliminate the thin layer that assures civilian control.
Secretary Powell and I agree on every single issue that has ever been before this administration except for those instances where Colin's still learning.
If you foul up, tell the President and correct it fast. Delay only compounds mistakes.
Test ideas in the marketplace. You learn from hearing a range of perspectives. Consultation helps engender the support decisions need to be successfully implemented.
In our system leadership is by consent, not command. To lead a President must persuade. Personal contacts and experiences help shape his thinking. They can be critical to his persuasiveness and thus to his leadership.
Work continuously to trim the White House staff from your first day to your last. All the pressures are to the contrary.
Arguments of convenience lack integrity and inevitably trip you up.
Visit with your predecessors from previous Administrations. They know the ropes and can help you see around some corners. Try to make original mistakes, rather than needlessly repeating theirs.
It isn't making mistakes that's critical; it's correcting them and getting on with the principal task.
Know that the amount of criticism you receive may correlate somewhat to the amount of publicity you receive.
If you are not criticized, you may not be doing much.
Think ahead. Don't let day-to-day operations drive out planning.
Don't be a bottleneck. If a matter is not a decision for the President or you, delegate it. Force responsibility down and out. Find problem areas, add structure and delegate. The pressure is to do the reverse. Resist it.
Death has a tendency to encourage a depressing view of war.
Don't divide the world into 'them' and 'us.' Avoid infatuation with or resentment of the press, the Congress, rivals, or opponents. Accept them as facts. They have their jobs and you have yours.
Our task, your task... is to try to connect the dots before something happens. People say, 'Well, where's the smoking gun?' Well, we don't want to see a smoking gun from a weapon of mass destruction.
Don't necessarily avoid sharp edges. Occasionally they are necessary to leadership.