If you're going to sin, sin against God, not the bureaucracy; God will forgive you but the bureaucracy won't.
A system under which it takes three men to check what one is doing is not control; it is systematic strangulation.
The devil is in the details, and everything we do in the military is a detail.
I have the charisma of the chipmunk. I never have thought I was smart. I thought the people I dealt with were dumb.
The Devil is in the details, but so is salvation.
A child is being properly educated only when he is learning to become independent of his parents.
Any one detail, followed through to its source, will usually reveal the general state of readiness of the whole organization.
I do not have regrets. I believe I helped preserve the peace for this country. Why should I regret that? What I accomplished was approved by Congress - which represents our people. All of you live in safety from domestic enemies because of security from the police. Likewise, you live in safety from foreign enemies because our military keeps them from attacking us.
Above all, we should bear in mind that our liberty is not an end in itself; it is a means to win respect for human dignity for all classes of our society.
What it takes to do a job will not be learned from management courses. It is principally a matter of experience, the proper attitude, and common sense - none of which can be taught in a classroom... Human experience shows that people, not organizations or management systems, get things done.
It is a human inclination to hope things will work out, despite evidence or doubt to the contrary. A successful manager must resist this temptation.
I believe it is the duty of each of us to act as if the fate of the world depended on him. Admittedly, one man by himself cannot do the job. However, one man can make a difference. We must live for the future of the human race, and not for our own comfort or success.
All new ideas begin in a non-conforming mind that questions some tenet of the conventional wisdom.
Trying to make things work in government is sometimes like trying to sew a button on a custard pie.
When doing a job - any job - one must feel that he owns it, and act as though he will remain in that job forever.
The man in charge must concern himself with details. If he does not consider them important, neither will his subordinates.
More than ambition, more than ability, it is rules that limit contribution; rules are the lowest common denominator of human behavior. They are a substitute for rational thought.
Half-truths are like half a brick - they can be thrown farther.
When the men in Russia foul up, they are dismisses, sometimes losing their necks. But we protect those who fail and press them to the government bosom.
Human experience shows that people, not organizations or management systems, get things done
Be ever questioning. Ignorance is not bliss. It is oblivion. You don't go to heaven if you die dumb. Become better informed. Lean from others' mistakes. You could not live long enough to make them all yourself.
Responsibility is a unique concept... You may share it with others, but your portion is not diminished. You may delegate it, but it is still with you... If responsibility is rightfully yours, no evasion, or ignorance or passing the blame can shift the burden to someone else. Unless you can point your finger at the man who is responsible when something goes wrong, then you have never had anyone really responsible.
Success teaches us nothing; only failure teaches.
Good ideas are not adopted automatically. They must be driven into practice with courageous patience.
Free discussion requires an atmosphere unembarrassed by any suggestion of authority or even respect.
As a guide to engineering ethics, I should like to commend to you a liberal adaptation of the injunction contained in the oath of Hippocrates that the professional man do nothing that will harm his client.
The tools of the academic designer are a piece of paper and a pencil with an eraser. If a mistake is made, it can always be erased and changed. If the practical-reactor designer errs, he wears the mistake around his neck; it cannot be erased. Everyone sees it.
Knowing more about the public effects his work will have, the engineer ought to consider himself an "officer of the court" and keep the general interest always in mind.
Those involved with practical reactors, humbled by their experiences, speak less and worry more.
How the hell are you supposed to know what God wants you to do with your life, eh?
I have a son. I love my son. I want everything that I do to be so safe that I would be happy to have my son operating it. That's my fundamental rule.
Act as if you are going to live for ever and cast your plans way ahead. You must feel responsible without time limitations, and the consideration of whether you may or may not be around to see the results should never enter your thoughts.
It troubles me that we are so easily pressured by purveyors of technology into permitting so-called "progress" to alter our lives without attempting to control it-as if technology were an irrepressible force of nature to which we must meekly submit.
All men are by nature conservative but conservatism in the military profession is a source of danger to the country. One must be ready to change his line sharply and suddenly, with no concern for the prejudices and memories of what was yesterday. To rest upon formula is a slumber that, prolonged, means death.
If you are going to sin, sin against God, not the bureaucracy. God will forgive you but the bureaucracy won't.
To doubt one's own first principles is the mark of a civilized man. Don't defend past actions; what is right today may be wrong tomorrow. Don't be consistent; consistency is the refuge of fools.
Thoughts arising from practical experience may be a bridle or a spur.
Nothing so sharpens the thought process as writing down one's arguments. Weaknesses overlooked in oral discussion become painfully obvious on the written page.
Optimism and stupidity are nearly synonymous.
Responsiblity is a unique concept. It can only reside and inhere in a single individual. You may share it with others, but your portion is not diminished. You may delegate it, but it is still with you. You may disclaim it, but you cannot divest yourself of it.