BOYD The fighter pilot who changed the art of war

is the title of an excellent book by Robert Coram. As usual I'm going to quote from a few pages:
He was determined to excel athough he did not yet know in what area. He only knew that he had to do something better than anyone had ever done it before.
Boyd is the only known Hun driver to work in the dangerous low-speed end of the airplane's envelope. And that was how he solved the adverse yaw problem.
They might have lost three or four pounds during the strenuous high-G maneuvers. They were thirsty and longed for a cold beer. But first they had to catch a ride on the truck that served as the flight-line taxi. They headed back to ops for the debrief, the most important part of the mission.
...more usable energy always goes into a system than comes out, because there is unavailable energy called entropy.
Tactically, the ability to quickly slow down is as important as the ability to quickly speed up.
Boyd despised optimization.
The Air Force launched a Zero Defects Campaign, and the base commander at Eglin wanted every person on base to sign a pledge saying he would make no mistakes during the coming year. Most organizations at Eglin already flew a flag saying the office was 100% FOR ZERO DEFECTS. But Boyd knew, as did almost everyone who signed the pledge, that he and everyone else would make mistakes. He thought Zero Defects was a stupid idea and refused to sign. A group of lieutenants working for Christie not only followed his lead but raised a flag that proudly proclaimed there were 100% AGAINST ZERO-DEFECTS.
Study after study shows that the higher the rank a military officer ascends, the less likely he is to make change.
You gotta challenge all assumptions. If you don't, what is doctrine on day one becomes dogma forever after.
Anything new and different is feared by a bureaucracy.
He did not become fixated on technology or "one-point" numerical solutions.
Boyd worked daily to remove things.
A twenty-pound maintenance ladder does not simply add twenty pounds to the aircraft.
Again and again they practiced.
In life there is often a roll call. That's when you will have to make a decision. To be [someone] or to do [something]? Which way will you go?
The lightweight fighter had such an extraordinary thrust-to-weight ratio and could recover energy so quickly that energy dumping became a tactic of choice rather than of desperation.
Boyd liked ambiguity.
One cannot determine the character or nature of a system within itself.
He must operate inside his adversary's time-scale.
People, ideas, hardware - that order.
"You synchronize watches," Boyd shouted, "not people."