It Worked for Me is filled with vivid experiences and lessons learned that have shaped the legendary public service career of the four-star general and former Secretary of State Colin Powell. At its heart are Powell’s “Thirteen Rules”—notes he gathered over the years and that now form the basis of his leadership presentations given throughout the world. Powell’s short but sweet rules—among them, “Get mad, then get over it” and “Share credit”—are illustrated by revealing personal stories that introduce and expand upon his principles for effective leadership: conviction, hard work, and, above all, respect for others. In work and in life, Powell writes, “it’s about how we touch and are touched by the people we meet. It’s all about the people.”
A natural storyteller, Powell offers warm and engaging parables with wise advice on succeeding in the workplace and beyond. “Trust your people,” he counsels as he delegates presidential briefing responsibilities to two junior State Department desk officers. “Do your best—someone is watching,” he advises those just starting out, recalling his own teenage summer job mopping floors in a soda-bottling factory.
Powell combines the insights he has gained serving in the top ranks of the military and in four presidential administrations with the lessons he’s learned from his immigrant-family upbringing in the Bronx, his training in the ROTC, and his growth as an Army officer. The result is a powerful portrait of a leader who is reflective, self-effacing, and grateful for the contributions of everyone he works with.
Colin Powell’s It Worked for Me is bound to inspire, move, and surprise readers. Thoughtful and revealing, it is a brilliant and original blueprint for leadership.
About Colin Powell
COLIN POWELL was born in New York City in 1937. He is a retired four-star general in the United States Army and has earned numerous military, civilian, and foreign honors. He has served four presidential administrations in a variety of roles, most recently as Secretary of State from 2001 to 2005. He lives in Virginia.
The author rose in the military to become “the first black Army officer to have a four-star troop command.” He was chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff during the first Iraq war and served as secretary of state from 2001 to 2005. The release of his first book, My American Journey (2003), fueled a groundswell campaign to nominate him for president in the upcoming election. However, he recognized that he was not cut out for the job despite his proven leadership strengths. He describes how, as he advanced in rank, his military training also prepared him for his role in government. He learned the importance of always focusing on the mission, being resolute in the face of danger and setbacks, not being governed by ego and maintaining a can-do spirit (with the proviso, “I try to be optimistic, but I try not to be stupid”). A good leader, he writes, accepts responsibility for the failure of those in his command, but makes sure to reward them for their successful missions. Unlike the corporate world, the Army recruits from within its ranks, which makes recognizing potential and providing continuing education a primary concern. Powell reviews his profound disagreements with Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Vice President Dick Cheney on the handling of the war in Iraq, while taking full responsibility for mistakes made on his watch—e.g., his “infamous speech at the U.N. in 2003” claiming that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. – Kirkus Reviews
‘It Worked For Me’: Life Lessons From Colin Powell
NPR Book Review – May 22, 2012 (Excerpt)
If you’re looking for advice on leadership, it’s good to start with a four-star general. Colin Powell’s new memoir, It Worked for Me: In Life and Leadership, is a collection of lessons learned and anecdotes drawn from his childhood in the Bronx, his military training and career, and his work under four presidential administrations. The memoir also includes Powell’s candid reflections on the most controversial time in his career: the lead-up to the war in Iraq in 2003.
If there’s a theme that runs throughout the book, it’s Powell’s love for the U.S. Army — from his days in ROTC, right through to becoming chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Powell says that back when he was a lost 17-year-old at City College of New York, ROTC “saved” him and kept him in school.
“I found my place. I found discipline, I found structure, I found people that were like me and I liked, and I fell in love with the Army those first few months in ROTC, and it lasted for the next 40-odd years,” Powell tells NPR’s Robert Siegel. “People have asked me, ‘What would you have done if you hadn’t gone into the Army?’ I’d say I’d probably be a bus driver, I don’t know.” [Read the full article...]
THE BLEEDING HILLS A Novel by Wilfried F. Voss
I have fought a good fight,
I have finished my course,
I have kept the faith. - 2 Timothy iv. 7
The Irish War is officially a part of history, but not for Finnean Whelan, an IRA veteran of almost 40 years. British Intelligence has produced evidence that he is the mastermind behind a conspiracy to assassinate the First Minister of Northern Ireland. For Whelan this is not only a mission of revenge, but marks the beginning of a journey into the past and the return to the one true love: Ireland. [More...]
We are the only country that makes guns, including military-style assault weapons, available to anyone who wants to buy them. This is not freedom. It is a tyranny of death and destruction — a tyranny of which the National Rifle Association is proud. The Washington Post
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