Colin Luther Powell was a four star US general and statesman, who had also served as the United States Secretary of State from 2001 to 2005. Powell grew up in New York City, where he studied at Morris High School and later went on to study geology at City College of New York. He joined the US military after completing his education and he was a soldier for a span of 35 years, rising up to become a four star general. He had also been a part of the Vietnam War, Persian Gulf War and Invasion of Panama. From 1987 to 1989, he also served as the National Security Advisor of the United States under the Reagan administration and later on he became the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff - a position he held from 1989 to 1993. Following his retirement from the US Military he became a public speaker and also authored his autobiography titled ‘My American Journey’, which went on to become a runaway success. A decorated army General and leader, Powell delivered many speeches during his stint with the army, and during his stint as a diplomat and later became a motivational leader and writer, too. His quotes have been excerpted from his speeches, writings and lectures. Presenting a collection of Colin Powell’s quotations and sayings.
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.
But just as they did in Philadelphia when they were writing the constitution, sooner or later, you've got to compromise. You've got to start making the compromises that arrive at a consensus and move the country forward.
Never neglect details. When everyone's mind is dulled or distracted the leader must be doubly vigilant.
In other words, don't expect to always be great. Disappointments, failures and setbacks are a normal part of the lifecycle of a unit or a company and what the leader has to do is constantly be up and say 'we have a problem, let's go and get it'.
My own experience is use the tools that are out there. Use the digital world. But never lose sight of the need to reach out and talk to other people who don't share your view. Listen to them and see if you can find a way to compromise.
When you decide to get involved in a military operation in a place like Syria, you've got to be prepared, as we learned from Iraq and Afghanistan, to become the government, and I'm not sure any country, either the United States or I don't hear of anyone else, who's willing to take on that responsibility.
You should see what our Founding Fathers used to say to each other and in the early part of our nation. But what they were able to do, especially in Philadelphia in 1787, four months, they argued about what a House should be, what a Senate should be, the power of the president, the Congress, the Supreme Court. And they had to deal with slavery.
Too often we act - ask our schools to be truant officers, our teachers to be truant officers, because we're giving them children who have, you know, they're not ready to learn. And if they're not ready to learn by the third grade, they know they're behind.