Leaders / Innovators

43 General Colin Powell Quotes (LEADERSHIP)

91

Top 16 Most Famous Gen. Colin Powell Quotes (BEST)

Great leaders are almost always great simplifiers, who can cut through argument, debate and doubt, to offer a solution everybody can understand.
Great leaders are almost always great simplifiers, who can cut through argument, debate and doubt, to offer a solution everybody can understand.
The freedom to be your best means nothing unless you are willing to do your best.
The freedom to be your best means nothing unless you are willing to do your best.
All work is honorable. Always do your best because someone is watching.
All work is honorable. Always do your best because someone is watching.
A dream doesn’t become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination and hard work.
A dream doesn’t become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination and hard work.
If you are going to achieve excellence in big things, you develop the habit in little matters.
If you are going to achieve excellence in big things, you develop the habit in little matters.
Never get so close to your position that when your position goes, your ego goes with it.
Never get so close to your position that when your position goes, your ego goes with it.
Surround yourself with people who take their work seriously, but not themselves, those who work hard and play hard.
Surround yourself with people who take their work seriously, but not themselves, those who work hard and play hard.
You don't know what you can get away with until you try.
You don’t know what you can get away with until you try.
Dig up all the information you can, then go with your instincts.
Dig up all the information you can, then go with your instincts.
There is no end to the good you can do if you don’t care who gets the credit.
There is no end to the good you can do if you don’t care who gets the credit.
The healthiest competition occurs when average people win by putting above average effort.
The healthiest competition occurs when average people win by putting above average effort.
If you take the pay, earn it. Always do your very best. Even when no one else is looking, you always are. Don’t disappoint yourself.
If you take the pay, earn it. Always do your very best. Even when no one else is looking, you always are. Don’t disappoint yourself.
Bad news isn't wine. It doesn't improve with age.
Bad news isn’t wine. It doesn’t improve with age.
Never believe the first thing you hear.
Never believe the first thing you hear.
Get mad, then get over it.
Get mad, then get over it.
It ain’t where you start in life, it’s where you end up, and what you did along the way.
It ain’t where you start in life, it’s where you end up, and what you did along the way.

27 Inspirational Gen. Colin Powell Quotes on Leadership and Success (HARD WORK)

“Never neglect small details, even to the point of being a pest. Moments of stress, confusion, and fatigue are exactly when mistakes happen. And when everyone else’s mind is dulled or distracted, the leaders must be doubly vigilant. Always check ‘small things’.”

Colin Powell
There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure.
There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure.
Leadership is solving problems. The day soldiers stop bringing you their problems is the day you have stopped leading them.
Leadership is solving problems. The day soldiers stop bringing you their problems is the day you have stopped leading them.
Fear and failure are always present. Accept them as part of life and learn how to manage these realities.
Fear and failure are always present. Accept them as part of life and learn how to manage these realities.
Be scared, but keep going. Being scared is usually transient. It will pass.
Be scared, but keep going. Being scared is usually transient. It will pass.
I think whether you’re having setbacks or not, the role of a leader is to always display a winning attitude.
I think whether you’re having setbacks or not, the role of a leader is to always display a winning attitude.
Always show more kindness than seems necessary because the person receiving it needs it more than you will ever know.
Always show more kindness than seems necessary because the person receiving it needs it more than you will ever know.
The commander in the field is always right and the rear echelon is wrong, unless proved otherwise.
The commander in the field is always right and the rear echelon is wrong, unless proved otherwise.
Control enthusiasm in the face of victories, large or small.
Control enthusiasm in the face of victories, large or small.

“Wanting to be someone isn’t enough; dreaming about it isn’t enough; thinking about it isn’t enough. You’ve got to study for it, work for it, fight for it with all your heart and soul, because nobody is going to hand it to you.”

Colin Powell
Trust is the glue that holds people together and is the lubricant that keeps an organization moving forward.
Trust is the glue that holds people together and is the lubricant that keeps an organization moving forward.
The chief condition on which, life, health and vigor depend on, is action.
The chief condition on which, life, health and vigor depend on, is action.
Don’t bother people for help without first trying to solve the problem yourself.
Don’t bother people for help without first trying to solve the problem yourself.
Success is the result of perfection, hard work, learning from failure, loyalty, and persistence.
Success is the result of perfection, hard work, learning from failure, loyalty, and persistence.
Don’t be afraid to challenge the pros, even in their own backyard.
Don’t be afraid to challenge the pros, even in their own backyard.
Always be looking for that which you do well and that which you love doing, and when you find those two things together — man, you got it.
Always be looking for that which you do well and that which you love doing, and when you find those two things together — man, you got it.
What could be more important than equipping the next generation with the character and competence they need to become successful.
What could be more important than equipping the next generation with the character and competence they need to become successful.
If you get the dirty end of the stick, sharpen it and turn it into a useful tool.
If you get the dirty end of the stick, sharpen it and turn it into a useful tool.
Perpetual optimism is a force multiplier.
Perpetual optimism is a force multiplier.

“Today I can declare my hope and declare it from the bottom of my heart that we will eventually see the time when that number of nuclear weapons is down to zero and the world is a much better place.”

Colin Powell
War should be the politics of last resort. And when we go to war, we should have a purpose that our people understand and support.
War should be the politics of last resort. And when we go to war, we should have a purpose that our people understand and support.
Have fun in your command. Don’t always run at a breakneck pace. Take leave when you’ve earned it, spend time with your families.
Have fun in your command. Don’t always run at a breakneck pace. Take leave when you’ve earned it, spend time with your families.
The ties that bind us are stronger than the occasional stresses that separate us.
The ties that bind us are stronger than the occasional stresses that separate us.
Each of us is a product of all our experiences and all our interactions with other people.
Each of us is a product of all our experiences and all our interactions with other people.
Wouldn't it be great if we could look forward to a whole world in which no child will be left behind?
Wouldn’t it be great if we could look forward to a whole world in which no child will be left behind?
I have always tried to keep my confidence and optimism up, no matter how difficult the situation.
I have always tried to keep my confidence and optimism up, no matter how difficult the situation.
Never neglect details. When everyone’s mind is dulled or distracted the leader must be doubly vigilant.
Never neglect details. When everyone’s mind is dulled or distracted the leader must be doubly vigilant.

General Colin Luther Powell Short Biography

Born on 5 April 1937 in New York City, New York, United States, Colin Luther Powell was a politician, a four-star general, and the first African-American Secretary of State.

Powell graduated from City College of New York with a Bachelor of Science in Geology in 1958.

He joined the army soon after graduating and was deployed to Vietnam from 1962 to 1963.

He was deployed to Vietnam once again in 1968 and received a Soldier’s Medal for his bravery after surviving a helicopter crash.

Colin Powell received his MBA in 1971, and a year later served a White House Fellowship.

In 1987, Powell served as the National Security Advisor to then-President Ronald Reagan. Two years later on October 1, 1989, Powell was made 12th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, considered to be the highest military position in the Department of Defense, by President George H. W. Bush.

Powell served as the Secretary of State for the Bush Administration from 2001-2005. Powell is the first African-American to hold this position. He played a very important role in the events that took place following the September 11, 2001 tragedy.

Colin Powell retired in 2005 and has authored many books after retiring such as It Worked for Me: In Life and Leadership, which he published in 2012.

Further Reading:

Here are the best Colin Powell quotes so you can be inspired for success by finding the right balance between working hard and playing hard. 

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General Colin Powell Quotes (LEADERSHIP) - Gracious Quotes

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