Just days before Gen. David Petraeus resigned as director of the CIA over an extramarital affair with his biographer Paula Broadwell, he shared 12 rules for living to the Daily Beast. The list was compiled by — you guessed it — Paula Broadwell.
When the list was published Nov. 5, Petraeus was a revered and respected leader, but by Nov. 9 he had unfortunately fallen from grace.
But the irony of giving life advice while engaging in some not-so-advisable activities has not escaped us. Here are some of the best gems from “General Petraeus’ Rules for Living”:
- Petraeus suggests that one must “[l]ead by example.” That doesn’t seem like a very good idea for him, now does it?
- “A leader must provide a vision—clear and achievable ‘big ideas’ combined in a strategic concept…” Well, his “strategic concept” on not getting caught having an affair didn’t work out too well.
- “A leader needs to give energy; don’t be an oxygen thief.” There’s a sexual innuendo in there somewhere.
- According to the general, “[t]here is an exception to every rule [like a marriage vow], standard operating procedure [like don't have an affair], and policy [like don't tell your mistress about matters of national security]; it is up to leaders to determine when exceptions should be made and to explain why they made them [if you're a super badass CIA director you can make exceptions for yourself anytime.]“
- “We all will make mistakes. The key is to recognize them and admit them, to learn from them, and to take off the rear view mirrors—drive on and avoid making them again.” So far, this is the only time the general seems to have taken his own advice, since he admitted to the affair and stepped down as CIA Director — so hopefully he learned from his mistake. Although, he can’t exactly repeat this exact mistake seeing as he will never be the director of the CIA again.
- “Be a team player,” Petraeus says. Heh.