Be the leader.
With all eyes on Trump and his approach to leading the United States through the coronavirus pandemic, systemic racism, and police brutality, Colin Powell’s quotes about Trump’s abilities as President have gone viral.
“We have a Constitution. And we have to follow that Constitution. And the President has drifted away from it,” Powell told CNN’s Jake Tapper.
As a former Republican Secretary of State with prominent leadership experience under six U.S. presidents, Powell has a deep understanding of the country and what makes it tick.
Throughout his political career, Powell has made many statements that double as inspirational quotes that inspire good leadership and strong loyalty.
The Most Inspirational Colin Powell Quotes
1. “Leadership is solving problems.”
2. “Surround yourself with people who take their work seriously, but not themselves, those who work hard and play hard.”
3. “Great leaders are almost always great simplifiers, who can cut through argument, debate, and doubt, to offer a solution everybody can understand.”
4. “It ain’t where you start in life, it’s where you end up, and what you did along the way.”
5. “A dream doesn’t become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination, and hard work.”
6. “Success is the result of perfection, hard work, learning from failure, loyalty, and persistence.”
7. “If you are going to achieve excellence in big things, you develop the habit in little matters. Excellence is not an exception; it is a prevailing attitude.”
8. “Don’t be afraid to challenge the pros, even in their own backyard.”
9. “Diplomacy is listening to what the other guy needs. Preserving your own position, but listening to the other guy. You have to develop relationships with other people so when the tough times come, you can work together.”
10. “My own experience is to use the tools that are out there. Use the digital world. But never lose sight of the need to reach out and talk to other people who don’t share your view. Listen to them and see if you can find a way to compromise.”
11. “Never neglect details. When everyone’s mind is dulled or distracted the leader must be doubly vigilant.”
12. “Always be looking for that which you do well and that which you love doing, and when you find those two things together — man, you got it.”
13. “Great leaders are almost always great simplifiers, who can cut through argument, debate, and doubt to offer a solution everybody can understand.”
14. “Perpetual optimism is a force multiplier.”
15. “Don’t just show kindness in passing or to be courteous. Show it in-depth, show it with passion, and expect nothing in return. Kindness is not just about being nice; it’s about recognizing another human being who deserves care and respect.”
16. “I think whether you’re having setbacks or not, the role of a leader is to always display a winning attitude.”
17. “Always show more kindness than seems necessary because the person receiving it needs it more than you will ever know.”
18. “It ain’t where you start in life, it’s where you end up, and what you did along the way.”
19. “There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure.”
20. “Trust is the glue that holds people together and is the lubricant that keeps an organization moving forward.”
21. “Whenever you start-give it your best. The opportunities are there to be anything you want to be. But wanting to be someone isn’t enough; dreaming about it isn’t enough; thinking about it isn’t enough. You’ve got to study for it, work for it, fight for it with all your heart and soul because nobody is going to hand it to you.”
22. “Look for intelligence and judgment and most critically, a capacity to anticipate, to see around corners. Also look for loyalty, integrity, a high energy drive, a balanced ego, and the drive to get things done.”
23. “The best method of overcoming obstacles is the team method.”
24. “Organization doesn’t really accomplish anything. Plans don’t accomplish anything, either. Theories of management don’t much matter. Endeavors succeed or fail because of the people involved. Only by attracting the best people will you accomplish great deeds.”
25. “In other words, don’t expect to always be great. Disappointments, failures, and setbacks are a normal part of the lifecycle of a unit or a company and what the leader has to do is constantly be up and say, we have a problem, let’s go and get it.”
26. “The freedom to be your best means nothing unless you are willing to do your best.”
27. “Fit no stereotypes. Don’t chase the latest management fads. The situation dictates which approach best accomplishes the team’s mission.”
28. “Good leaders set vision, missions, and goals. Great leaders inspire every follower at every level to internalize their purpose, and to understand that their purpose goes far beyond the mere details of their job. When everyone is united in purpose, a positive purpose that serves not only the organization but also, hopefully, the world beyond it, you have a winning team.”
29. “We need to understand that we as citizens and as a government in any community throughout this country have no more important obligation than to educate those who are going to replace us.”
30. “War should be the politics of last resort. And when we go to war, we should have a purpose that our people understand and support.”
31. “Have fun in your command. Don’t always run at a breakneck pace. Take leave when you’ve earned it, spend time with your families.”
32. “The healthiest competition occurs when average people win by putting above average effort.”
33. “Each of us is a product of all our experiences and all our interactions with other people.”
34. “If you get the dirty end of the stick, sharpen it and turn it into a useful tool.”
35. “The ties that bind us are stronger than the occasional stresses that separate us.”
36. “If you take the pay, earn it. Always do your very best. Even when no one else is looking, you always are. Don’t disappoint yourself.”
37. “When we are debating an issue, loyalty means giving me your honest opinion, whether you think I’ll like it or not. Disagreement, at this stage, stimulates me. But once a decision has been made, the debate ends. From that point on, loyalty means executing the decision as if it were your own.”
38. If you are going to achieve excellence in big things, you develop the habit in little matters. Excellence is not an exception,it is a prevailing attitude.
39. When we are debating an issue, loyalty means giving me your honest opinion, whether you think I’ll like it or not. Disagreement, at this stage, stimulates me. But once a decision has been made, the debate ends. From that point on, loyalty means executing the decision as if it were your own.
40. Procrastination in the name of reducing risk actually increases risk.