General Colin Powell’s Leadership Style and Traits

General Colin Powell’s Leadership

Genral Colin Luther Powell is an American Statesman and retired four star General in the United States Army. He is considered one of the most popular and admired leaders in America.

Powell’s leadership style is noted to be one that aligns with The Hersey – Blanchard Situational Leadership Model. Throughout his career, Powell has displayed methods of contributed leadership suited to the standards his team members. This style of situational leadership is made up of four components that Powell illustrates.

Directing
High task – low relationship: Defining tasks and supervising closely as displayed throughout his military career.

Coaching
High task – high relationship: Focuses on communication and the ability of receiving feedback and ideas from his team. This style of his was more prominent within the war zone with the troops.

Supporting
Low task – high relationship: The members of his team withhold more control within the decision making process although Powell would be the final say. His style is focused largely on support and motivation.

Delegating
Low task – low relationship: Involved within the decision and problem solving of the issue but followers are more empowered by his active role within the situation. This was a least important focal point within his leadership style since it was vital that Powell remain in control at all times.

Leadership Quotes from Colin Powell

“Leadership is leadership is leadership.”

“Take me off a stage and put me behind a desk anywhere in the world and I’ll lead the same way I always have.”

“If you stop, lower your window, and speak to us like real people, you get the number one spot. You see, everyone wants to be treated like they matter.”

“There is no one in the organization who is not valuable.”

“Being responsible sometimes means pissing people off.”

“The freedom to do your best means nothing unless you are willing to do your best.”

Colin Powell’s 13 Rules to Leadership

The book, “It Worked for Me” authored by Colin Powell himself laid out these basic 13 rules to leadership.

1. It ain’t as bad as you think. It will look better in the morning.
2. Get mad, then get over it.
3. Avoid having your ego so close to your position that when your position falls, your ego goes with it.
4. It can be done!
5. Be careful what you choose. You may get it.
6. Don’t let adverse facts stand in the way of a good decision.
7. You can’t make someone else’s choices. You shouldn’t let someone else make yours.
8. Check small things.
9. Share credit.
10. Remain calm. Be kind.
11. Have a vision. Be demanding.
12. Don’t take counsel of your fears or naysayers.
13. Perpetual optimism is a force multiplier.

Colin Powell’s Achievements

General Colin Powell served in the United States Army from 1958-1993, earning 34 United States awards to include 16 unique ones, 7 foreign awards, and 10 badges. He participated in the Vietnam War, Invasion of Panama, and Persian Gulf War. He was assigned as the 12th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff from 1989 to 1993.

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