It worked for me

by Colin Powell and Tony Koltz (HarperCollins) ISBN: 9780062135124


When I picked up this book by Colin Powell about Life and Leadership, I wondered how relevant four-star general Colin Powell still was, and just then a breaking news story of Powell endorsing Barack Obama again, interrupted my thoughts. I think Powell has earned a place in history and because of that, his book is important.


The book is set up in six parts. In the first part he explains his famous thirteen guidelines, like get mad, then get over it, followed by four parts full of advice: kindness works, potential not just performance and mutual respect, and the last part with his reflections. I think most of his advice is something everyone already knows, but it is useful to be reminded of now and then.


It is a good book, full of anecdotes, personal stories and experiences of growing up as a black kid in New York, his life in the army and as Secretary of State. He mentions his regrets and writes about the achievements he is most proud of. He admits that he should have listened to more people with ground truth experience in the region and fewer idea-heavy, big egos in Washington. Maybe a lesson for the leaders of this country?


Pauline Vijverberg


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