Colin Powell Quotes
1. Being responsible sometimes means pissing people off.
2. Always focus on the front windshield and not the review mirror.
3. The day the soldiers stop bringing you their problems is the day you stopped leading them. They have either lost confidence that you can help them or concluded that you do not care. Either case is a failure of leadership.
4. Get mad, then get over it.
5. There are no secrets to success: don’t waste time looking for them. Success is the result of perfection, hard work, learning from failure, loyalty to those for whom you work, and persistence.
6. The freedom to do your best means nothing unless you are willing to do your best.
7. Well, the correct answer is he is not a Muslim, he’s a Christian. He’s always been a Christian. But the really right answer is, what if he is? Is there something wrong with being a Muslim in this country?
8. Perpetual Optimism is a Force Multiplier.
9. Trying to get everyone to like you is a sign of mediocrity.
10. You don’t know what you can get away with until you try.
11. A dream doesn’t become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination and hard work.-Colin Powell
12. Avoid having your ego so close to your position that when your position falls, your ego goes with it
13. The day you are not solving problems or are not up to your butt in problems is probably a day you are no longer leading. If your desk is clean and no one is bringing you problems, you should be very worried. It means that people don’t think you can solve them or don’t want to hear about them. Or, far worse, it means they don’t think you care.
14. There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hardwork, and learning from failure
15. Great leaders are almost always great simplifiers who can cut through the argument debate and doubt to offer a solution everybody can understand.
16. Keep looking below surface appearances. Don’t shrink from doing so just because you might not like what you find.
17. The healthiest competition occurs when average people win by putting above average effort.
18. Surround yourself with people who take their work seriously, but not themselves.
19. The ties that bind us are stronger than the occasional stresses that separate us.
20. If you get the dirty end of the stick, sharpen it and turn it into a useful tool.
21. You should never be so involved with your position/job that when the position is gone your entire self image is gone with it.
22. There are no secrets to success. It’s the result of preparation, hard work, learning from failure.
23. No matter how significant or life-changing your greatest hit or miss might be, neither even begins to define who you are. Each of us is a product of all our experiences and all our interactions with other people. To cite calculus, we are the area under the curve.
24. The day soldiers stop bringing you their problems is the day you have stopped leading them.
25. It takes more courage to send men into battle than to fight the battle yourself.
26. ON BUSY BASTARDS: A busy bastard can’t stop finding things to do. He never rests and as a result, his staff never rests. He’s always making work that expands to fill whatever time is available. The point I make in my book is: Be busy, work hard, but don’t become so busy that you cut out other things in life, like family and recreation and hobbies. And never be so busy that you’re not giving your staff and your followers enough time to do the same thing.
27. I’m not perfect but I’ll be the creator of perfection.
28. Our strategy in going after this army is very simple. First we are going to cut it off, and then we are going to kill it.
29. Perpetual optimism is a force leveler
30. 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 you do not care. Either case is a failure of leadership.
31. Good judgment comes from experience, and experience comes from bad judgment.
32. Few people make sound or sustainable decisions in an atmosphere of chaos. The more serious the situation, usually accompanied by a deadline, the more likely everyone will get excited and bounce around like water on a hot skillet. At those times I try to establish a calm zone but retain a sense of urgency. Calmness protects order, ensures that we consider all the possibilities, restores order when it breaks down, and keeps people from shouting over each other. You are in a storm. The captain must steady the ship, watch all the gauges, listen to all the department heads, and steer through it. If the leader loses his head, confidence in him will be lost and the glue that holds the team together will start to give way. So assess the situation, move fast, be decisive, but remain calm and never let them see you sweat.
33. A sense of shame is not a bad moral compass.
34. Leadership is the art of accomplishing more than the science of management says is possible.
35. Fear and failure are always present. Accept them as part of life and learn how to manage these realities. Be scared, but keep going. Being scared is usually transient. It will pass. If you fail, fix the causes and keep going.
36. We can seldom get our children to do what we tell them, but they almost never fail to imitate us.
37. Each of us is a product of all our experiences and all our interactions with other people.
38. I was taught to think about mission and people. Mission. What are you trying to accomplish? Don’t do anything until you know what the mission is. Drilled into our hearts and into our heads.
39. If you are going to achieve excellence in big things, you develop the habit in little matters. Excellence is not an exception, it is a prevailing attitude.
40. There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure.
41. Great leaders are almost always great simplifiers.
42. Officers have been trying for hundreds of years to outsmart soldiers and have still not learned that it cannot be done. We can always count on the native ingenuity of the American GI to save us from ourselves, and to win wars.
43. The day the soldiers stop bringing you their problems is the day you stopped leading them. They have either lost confidence that you can help them or concluded that you do not care. Either case is a failure of leadership.
44. Tell them what you know. Tell them what you don’t know. And only then, tell them what you think. And be sure you distinguish among them.
45. IT AIN’T AS BAD AS YOU THINK. IT WILL LOOK BETTER IN THE MORNING.
46. You are the leader and the troops will reflect your emotions.
47. Freedom to be your best means nothing unless you are wiling to do your best.
48. I get over it quickly and never lose control of myself.
49. Success is the result of perfection, hard work, learning from failure, loyalty, and persistence.
50. A dream doesn’t become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination and hard work.
51. Late that year, one of the soldiers stationed at the prison [Abu Ghraib] reported the abuses to his superiors and said that photos had been taken by the abusers. The commanders in Iraq immediately took action and took steps to launch an investigation. Soon after that the news reached Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and General Richard Myers, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who told President Bush in early January 2004 that incidents at Abu Ghraib were being looked into. It seems nobody told these senior leaders that these incidents were truly horrendous.
52. In Prosperity Our Friends Know Us. In Adversity We Know Our friends.
53. All work is honorable. Always do your best, because someone is watching.
54. Colin Powell’s Rules It ain’t as bad as you think. It will look better in the morning. Get mad, then get over it. Avoid having your ego so close to your position that when your position falls, your ego goes with it. It can be done! Be careful what you choose. You may get it. Don’t let adverse facts stand in the way of a good decision. You can’t make someone else’s choices. You shouldn’t let someone else make yours. Check small things. Share credit. Remain calm. Be kind. Have a vision. Be demanding. Don’t take counsel of your fears or naysayers. Perpetual optimism is a force multiplier.
55. Success is the result of perfection, hard work, learning from failure, loyalty, and persistence
56. During my career I’ve worked with intelligence agencies and experts of every kind, from a young lieutenant, battalion-level intelligence officer to all sixteen branches of the U.S. intelligence community. With rare exceptions, intelligence analysts do all they can to give you the information and facts you need to understand the enemy and the situation and come up with the best decision.
57. The infantry’s mission was “to close with and destroy the enemy.” No questions asked. No ambiguity. No gray areas. The infantry officer was to go into battle up front, demonstrating courage, determination, strength, proficiency, and selfless sacrifice.
58. Whenever you place the cause of one of your actions outside yourself, it’s an excuse and not a reason.
59. As the old expression goes, if you take the king’s coin, you give the king his due.
60. You know what? You just suck it up and get started again. It’s a new day in which to excel.