Powell: Leadership in Action
A unique perspective on the role of the leader comes from Oren Harari, a professor of management from the University of San Francisco and an expert on transformational leadership. In The Leadership Secrets of Colin Powell, Harari offers leadership solutions from a four-star general considered by many to be one of the world's most effective, bottom-line leaders.
While the military is hardly the place where one expects to find side-by-side leadership, Powell emphasizes that leadership has more to do with responsibility than rank and privilege, and is all about total commitment to a shared mission, evaluating performance standards, challenging the status quo, attending to details, surrounding oneself with talent, empowering people in the field, and showing courage and resolve.
The book begins with a section on "Powell as provocateur," which includes chapters such as, "Know When to Piss People Off," "Promote a Clash of Ideas" and "When to Challenge the Pros." Other sections examine "Powell on Strategy and Executive" and "The Powell Character."
Every chapter ends with a series of "Powell Principles." The chapter, "Prepare for Loneliness," for instance, offers these four Powell Principles:
- Command is lonely. The ultimate decision rests with the leader, and strong leaders accept the weight of their position.
- Lead by example. All employees are boss watchers. The rank and file will always take their cues from the leader.
- Know when to exit. Sometimes the act of leaving is the greatest task of leadership. Know when it is time.
- Leadership is, ultimately, responsibility, and, it's the ultimate responsibility. Those who seek out responsibility have to be prepared to accept it, fully and unequivocally.
Why Soundview Likes This Book
The Leadership Secrets of Colin Powell provides excellent food for thought for those who are looking for inspirational leadership wisdom. While describing the benefits and difficulties faced by managers, supervisors and leaders at all levels of any kind of organization, the author takes the concept of leadership off its pedestal and shares the most important attributes and qualities that bring leaders success, respect and loyalty. According to Colin Powell, "Leadership is the art of accomplishing more than the science of management says is possible." This book will help managers achieve that goal.