Colin Powell was the nation's first African–American Secretary of State under George W. Bush and the first to serve on the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
He joined the ROTC during college and quickly rose through the ranks. While serving in Vietnam he was wounded by a booby trap while on patrol and, after a helicopter crash, Powell saved his comrades from the burning helicopter even though he himself was injured.
Powell won his MBA from George Washington University and served in the Nixon, Reagan, Carter, Clinton and Bush administrations. Following his military retirement Powell wrote his autobiography, My American Journey.
Below are Colin Powell's 13 Rules of Leadership, first printed in the August 13, 1989 issue of Parade magazine. General Powell expands on the 13 rules in his book, It Worked for Me: In LIfe and Leadership, in which he reflects on his life experiences.
It ain't as bad as you think.
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 decisions.
Check small things.
Remain calm. Be kind.
Have a vision.
Don't take counsel of your fears or naysayers.
Perpetual optimism is a force multiplier.
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