Monday, May 6, 2013

Rules To Remember

I pulled Colin Powell's autobiography, My American Journey, off the shelf the other day.  It has been a few years since I've read it.  I didn't reread it this time, but something had reminded me of one of my favorites parts of his book, namely, his 13 rules of leadership. I decided to find them and reread them.  The ones I have been reminded of at work these past few years are #3 and #8.  I laughed thinking about how old the book is now.  It isn't ancient, no, not by any means.  But now that I think about it, some of the junior officers in the military were 6 or 7 years old when General Powell was still in uniform.  I first read his book in my early twenties; my parents had a copy sitting on the shelf that stayed put for many, many years.  I devoured the book.  And I would say hands down that General Powell's biography is the best military biography in the past 20 years.  For the uninitiated, below are his 13 rules of leadership to live by:

Rule 1: It Ain’t as Bad as You Think! It Will Look Better in the Morning

Rule 2: Get Mad Then Get Over It.

Rule 3: Avoid Having Your Ego so Close to your Position that When Your Position Falls, Your Ego Goes With It.

Rule 4: It Can be Done.

Rule 5: Be Careful Whom You Choose.

Rule 6: Don’t Let Adverse Facts Stand in the Way of a Good Decision.

Rule 7: You Can’t Make Someone Else’s Decisions. You Shouldn’t Let Someone Else Make Yours

Rule 8: Check Small Things.

Rule 9: Share Credit.

Rule 10: Remain calm. Be kind.

Rule 11: Have a Vision. Be Demanding.

Rule 12: Don’t take counsel of your fears or naysayers.

Rule 13: Perpetual optimism is a force multiplier.

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