Summary of The Leadership Secrets of Colin Powell

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The Leadership Secrets of Colin Powell book summary


8 Overall

8 Applicability

7 Innovation

9 Style


Perhaps no political leader in the United States is more widely respected than Colin Powell, decorated soldier, architect of the 1991 U.S. victory over Iraq, former presidential contender and current Secretary of State. Using anecdotes and quotations from Powell’s life, management professor Oren Harari distills leadership philosophies and methods that can be applied to business. The book is written in a short, pithy style, reflecting Powell’s own direct approach. While the principles Harari uncovers are not innovative, they are comprehensive and practical. Charged with maintaining an international coalition in the ongoing war on terrorism, Powell has been thrust into one of the world’s most important leadership roles. For this reason alone, recommends Harari’s book for its insight into the man’s leadership philosophies, which have had a profound influence on U.S. military and government organizations.

In this summary, you will learn

  • The biographic history of Colin Powell, the Secretary of State under U.S. President George W. Bush;
  • The guiding philosophies that have made Powell an inspirational leader, and
  • Specific techniques employed successfully by Powell in managing soldiers and civilian employees.

About the Author

Oren Harari, Ph.D is a professor of management at the Mclaren Graduate School of Business at the University of San Francisco. He is the author or co-author of six previous books, and has contributed to numerous professional publications, including the Harvard Business Review, California Management Review, Industrial Relations, and Small Business Reports.



Birth of a Leader
After the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, Colin Powell emerged as one of the key leaders guiding the U.S. response. Prior to the attacks, Powell had been criticized in the media for being out of step with the Bush administration, particularly in his multilateral...

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