Thursday, June 28, 2012


His book, "IT WORKED FOR ME," has just been published. Colin Powell collected lessons that have shaped his career as a four star general and Secretary of State, and created a blue print for leadership -- offering advice for succeeding in the workplace and beyond.

You and I have heard bits and pieces of his story. We know that in 2003, he was tricked -- inveigled by President Bush and Vice President Cheney -- into making a speech at the U.N. that got us into the war in Iraq.

Later, Powell learned that the facts he was stating were NOT facts, were exaggerations and speculation. What a wham, what a shock it was for this man, who has served our country with stern, unshakeable honesty and integrity.

How does Powell feel about this now? What's he doing? What does he feel about the fact that he could have been our president right now, rather than Barack Obama? Powell is a black man that both Democrats and Republicans supported.

Colin Powell has said that he did not run for president because he promised his wife Alma that he wouldn't. Her fears that he might be assassinated are undoubtedly the fears that Michelle Obama feels about her husband.

I bow to Colin Powell-- respect, admire, and cherish him Here is a man right now, today, who represents integrity.

Here's a man who doesn't allow anyone to speak for him, or put words in his mouth that he doesn't believe.

He is teaching us, adults and our children, what worked for him. He says in a direct, always clear way, what he's thinking, and explains his point of view with humor, and his personal experience behind his words.

In the very first chapter of his book he says: "Here are my rules and the reasons I have hung on to them. The Thirteen Rules caught on. Over the past twenty-three years, my assistants have given out hundreds of copies of that list in many different forms; they have been PowerPointed and flashed around the world on the Internet.

"1. It ain't as bad as you think. It will look better in the morning.

"Well, maybe it will, maybe it won't. This rule reflects an attitude and not a prediction. I have always tried to keep my confidence and optimism up, no matter how difficult the situation. A good night's rest and the passage of just eight hours will usually reduce the infection. Leaving the office at night with a winning attitude affects more than you alone; it also conveys that attitude to your followers. It strengthens their resolve to believe we can solve any problem.

Wow, that's a big lesson, a lesson for a lifetime. I'm not trying to sell you this book, I'm just expressing a heartfelt wow. Here's a good man. Let's try to be more like him.


Valerie Ormond said...

Thanks, Em., for highlighting this American hero on your blog. I was one of those who followed (and still follow) General Powell's 13 rules. I look forward to reading this book and learning more lessons from this great leader and role model.
Valerie Ormond

Anonymous said...

I like and admire Colin Powell greatly. He is definetly an American hero. If he had run for president I might have voted for him. Thanks for reminding us about this honest great man of our country! kam

Maureen Jacobs said...


I, for one, would vote for Colin Powell. Regardless, I now must buy his book to find out the other 12 rules. Or, perhaps, I will look them up.

Love that you are tackling a variety of topics and I look forward to reading what you will come up with next.


Jonathan Gunson - Writer. Illustrator. said...

Thanks Emily. Integrity is a bit thin on the ground these days.


Linda Phillips said...

Em, your feelings about him, totally mirror my own. Yes, I too would vote for him, if he ran. He is so level headed and brilliant, a man of great integrity.

When he was set up by Bush and Co. to deliver that pack of lies at the UN, I wanted to believe what he told us, because he has so much integrity. When I learned that he had been duped and used as the tool that got us into that senseless situation, thus leading us to attack a country that had nothing at all to do with 9/11....well I was furious and also felt so awful for the man.

I trust he. I like him and agree with all you said.

Ameer S. Washington said...

While you are not trying to sell me this book. I think I'll buy it. I've always admired and respect Colin Powell for the way he carried himself. I've known his name since 8th grade and I think I'd like to know more as I change my life and position myself for success in the coming days, weeks, months and years. Thank you for sharing this piece on a truly exceptional human, black man, and American. I'm sure there is much I can learn from him.