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Knowing when to say less

ONE theme that runs across the entire spectrum of public administration is that leaders should say less than necessary because power cannot accrue to those who squander their treasure of words. Essentially, the more you speak, the more likely you are to make mistakes. And words are like the toothpaste – once you press it out of the tube, it cannot be put back. In the words of Cardinal de Retz (1613-1679), “It is even more damaging for a Minister to say foolish things than to do them”.

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