Yesterday Colin Powell passed away. I’ve watched Powell lead for decades, and was impressed by his steady, consistent leadership in good times and bad. His book, It Worked For Me: In Life and Leadership is a must read. Though we disagreed on issues at times, I never doubted that he aimed to lead with character and integrity. 

Five of my favorite quotes from Secretary Powell:

“If you are going to achieve excellence in big things, you develop the habit in little matters.”

“Leadership is solving problems. The day soldiers stop bringing you their problems is the day you have stopped leading them. They have either lost confidence that you can help, or concluded that you don’t care. Either is a failure of leadership.”

“Perpetual optimism is a force multiplier.”

“Bad news isn’t wine. It doesn’t improve with age.”

“There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure.”

The impact of a great leader goes on far beyond their death. Their legacy continues in all the lives they touched and influenced. Mine is one of those. I’m grateful for Colin Powell’s life and leadership.


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