Leadership Paper

2255 WordsMar 30, 200910 Pages
WHAT I LEARNED ABOUT LEADERSHIP FROM COLIN POWELL By Patrick N. Crow MG620 Leadership in Organizations October 5, 2008 I read Colin Powell’s eighteen leadership lessons (Harari, 1996) some years ago while stationed in Iwakuni, Japan. At the time I passed it off as an old retiring man’s last stab at glory. Maybe this was simply due to my being a biased Marine or possibly from seeing many a soldier seem cowardly in his presence the one and only time I have been around him. As I have now had the opportunity to review this past decision I find myself drawn to him and his style as it very similar to my own. What I have learned about leadership from Colin Powell is that leadership is simple as long as you make the commitment to applying leadership in all its facets to everything you do. Set the Example Colin Powell often cites his early days in the Army as his initiation into leadership. In doing so he ensures that his audience understands leadership can be done by all. Colin Powell’s eleventh leadership lesson is that a leader is not a stereotype (Harari, 1996). Powell was born April 5, 1937 (Duffy, 2005). He grew up in the South Bronx (Powell & Persico, 1995) and graduated from the City University of New York then he joined the Army. Now he is among the most noted leaders in the world even as he has now retired from active roles in government but still gives much of his time to charitable organizations. Powell points out that a leader cannot cut corners (Coventry, 2006). If a leader does so he undermines the entire team and gives them an excuse to cut corners themselves. Further Powell points that we as leaders for two reasons, you are the boss and people want to follow you (Powell, 2003). There is a distinct difference for the two reasons and Powell points to the second being a

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