28 Splendid Colin Powell Quotes

Colin Powell is a retired four star general in the United States Army and best known for serving as the first African American United States Secretary of State. To commemorate the successes achieve during Powell’s term, here is a look at some of the most memorable Colin Powell quotes to be familiar with.

“A dream doesn’t become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination and hard work.”

“Avoid having your ego so close to your position that when your position falls, your ego goes with it.”

“Bad news isn’t wine. It doesn’t improve with age.”

“Don’t be afraid to challenge the pros, even in their own backyard.”

“Effective leaders are made, not born. They learn from trial and error, and from experience.”

“Every organization needs to be introspective, transparent, and honest with itself. This only works if everyone is unified on the goals and purposes of the organization and there is trust within the team.”

“Experts often possess more data than judgment.”

“Good leaders set vision, missions, and goals. Great leaders inspire every follower at every level to internalize their purpose, and to understand that their purpose goes far beyond the mere details of their job.”

“Great leaders are almost always great simplifiers, who can cut through argument, debate and doubt, to offer a solution everybody can understand.”

“If you are going to achieve excellence in big things, you develop the habit in little matters. Excellence is not an exception, it is a prevailing attitude.”

“Leadership is all about people. It is not about organizations. It is not about plans. It is not about strategies. It is all about people-motivating people to get the job done. You have to be people-centered.”

“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.”

“Look for intelligence and judgment and, most critically, a capacity to anticipate, to see around corners. Also look for loyalty, integrity, a high energy drive, a balanced ego and the drive to get things done.”

“Never receive counsel from unproductive people. Never discuss your problems with someone incapable of contributing to the solution, because those who never succeed themselves are always first to tell you how.”

“None of us can change our yesterdays but all of us can change our tomorrows.”

“Not everyone has a right to speak into your life. You are certain to get the worst of the bargain when you exchange ideas with the wrong person. Don’t follow anyone who’s not going anywhere.”

“Perpetual optimism is a force multiplier.”

“Pissing people off doesn’t mean you’re doing the right things, but doing the right things will almost inevitably piss people off.”

“Success is the result of perfection, hard work, learning from failure, loyalty, and persistence.”

“Surround yourself with people who take their work seriously, but not themselves, those who work hard and play hard.”

“The healthiest competition occurs when average people win by putting above average effort.”

“The less you associate with some people, the more your life will improve. Any time you tolerate mediocrity in others, it increases your mediocrity. An important attribute in successful people is their impatience with negative thinking and negative acting people.”

“The most important thing I learned is that soldiers watch what their leaders do. You can give them classes and lecture them forever, but it is your personal example they will follow.”

“There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure.”

“Trust is the essence of Leadership.”

“Trust is the glue that holds an org together & the lubricant that moves it forward.”

“We have to start thinking of America as a family. We have to stop screeching screeching at each other, stop hurting each other, and instead start caring for, sacrificing for and sharing with each other.”

“When we are debating an issue, loyalty means giving me your honest opinion, whether you think I’ll like it or not. Disagreement, at this state, stimulates me.”

Colin L. Powell appears during this Ted Talk to discuss how the youth of today must be ready to lead for tomorrow.

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