One of the most cogent Realist phrases came from, of all people, Donald Rumsfeld: "You go to war with the army you have, not the Army you might want or wish you had…”

Leaving aside the baggage of the person quoted, this is important wisdom for Humanist Realists and Stoics like myself; and it applies to things other than wars and armies.

All to often we're forced to deal with things or complete a project with less than ideal resources. *But it's not an excuse for failure.*

Related: There's an old saw I learned as a programmer, but which is probably quoted in every field where people need to deal with both complexity and ambiguity.

"Failure to plan on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part."

From a Humanist Realist and Stoic perspective this phrase is only partly true. There are many cases where you can safely walk away when people shit in their own nests.

But sometimes it becomes *your* problem or a *general* problem and you have no choice.


The upshot?

1. Plan realistically and defensively; assume at least some of the people you are dealing with are incompetent or lying

2. Avoid people who blameshift failure

3. Don't over-promise, even to yourself; but do make room to take advantage if things go your way

4. The purpose of tactics is producing the best possible outcome from a particular situation; the purpose of strategy is managing the situation to allow the widest possible array of tactics – think strategically; act tactically

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