Summary of The Powell Principles

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The Powell Principles book summary


6 Overall

8 Applicability

5 Innovation

6 Style


Retired four-star general and former Secretary of State Colin Powell is considered one of the most respected leaders in the U.S. Author Oren Harari’s short book distills Powell’s insights about leadership. As a formidable leader who has managed battles, bureaucracies and humanitarian missions, Powell has firm ideas about how a good leader behaves. Refreshingly, some of his principles are modestly anti-authoritarian. However, Harari does not develop Powell’s background or explain how he implemented these principles during his long, varied career. Like the rules promulgated in similar books on leadership, many of these "lessons" seem arbitrary and redundant. Then again, it is interesting and useful to see how a leader of Powell’s caliber thinks. Truncated as it may be, recommends this short, concise collection to aspiring leaders. It is just about enough reading material for a short plane ride, but it provides a fair share of inspiration.

In this summary, you will learn

  • Colin Powell’s 24 key principles for leaders;
  • How these maxims can help your organization reach its goals; and
  • How to inspire others.

About the Author

Oren Harari, Ph.D., teaches in the M.B.A. programs at the University of San Francisco. He is an international consultant in transformational leadership and competitive advantage.



Becoming Victorious
The child of immigrants, Bronx, N.Y. native Colin Powell became a four-star general in the U.S. Army and worked under four U.S. presidents. His service culminated in his tenure as Secretary of State. Powell has commanded groups small and large under circumstances ranging...

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