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Colin Powell on Leadership

Colin Powell on Leadership

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Published by: api-3782823 on Oct 16, 2008
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03/18/2014

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Chairman (Ret), Joint Chiefs of Staff
Chairman (Ret), Joint Chiefs of Staff
General Colin Powell
General Colin Powell
A Leadership Primer
A Leadership Primer
LESSON 1
LESSON 1
"Being responsible sometimes means pissing people off."
"Being responsible sometimes means pissing people off."

od leadership involves responsibility to the welfare of the group, which
ans that some people will get angry at your actions and decisions. It's
vitable, if you're honorable. Trying to get everyone to like you is a sig
mediocrity: you'll avoid the tough decisions, you'll avoid confronting th
ople who need to be confronted, and you'll avoid offering differential
ards based on differential performance because some people might
t upset. Ironically, by procrastinating on the difficult choices, by trying
t to get anyone mad, and by treating everyone equally "nicely" regardl
their contributions, you'll simply ensure that the only people you'll wind
angering are the most creative and productive people in the organizati

LESSON 2
LESSON 2
"The day soldiers stop bringing you their problems is the
"The day soldiers stop bringing you their problems is the
day you have stopped leading them. They have either lost
day you have stopped leading them. They have either lost
confidence that you can help them or concluded that you
confidence that you can help them or concluded that you
do not care. Either case is a failure of leadership."
do not care. Either case is a failure of leadership."

is were a litmus test, the majority of CEOs would fail. One, they build s
y barriers to upward communication that the very idea of someone lo
e hierarchy looking up to the leader for help is ludicrous. Two, the
orate culture they foster often defines asking for help as weakness or
re, so people cover up their gaps, and the organization suffers accordi
l leaders make themselves accessible and available. They show conce
he efforts and challenges faced by underlings, even as they demand hi
dards. Accordingly, they are more likely to create an environment wh
lem analysis replaces blame.

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