It Worked for Me is filled with vivid experiences and lessons learned that have shaped the legendary career of the four-star general and former Secretary of State Colin Powell. At its heart are Powell’s “Thirteen Rules”—notes he gathered over the years and that now form the basis of his leadership presentations. Powell’s short but sweet rules such as “Get mad, then get over it” and “Share credit” illustrate his emphasis on conviction, hard work, and, above all, respect for others.
A natural storyteller, Powell offers warm and engaging parables on succeeding in the workplace and beyond. Taken together, they comprise a powerful portrait of a reflective, self-effacing leader.
Thoughtful and revealing, Colin Powell’s It Worked for Me is a brilliant and original blueprint for leadership.
When he was secretary of state, Colin Powell took a walk through the parking garage of his building and asked the garage attendants how they determined whose cars were parked farthest back (and which drivers therefore had to wait the longest for their cars to be retrieved). The answer: the rudest drivers who ignored the attendants. This kind of unexpected anecdote makes Powell’s memoir-cum-leadership manual a pleasant departure from the usual gossip and fluff found in most celebrity-penned books. The majority of his advice is found in Part 1, where he explains his 13 Rules for personal conduct and leadership, gathered over his military career and experience in four presidential administrations. In the remaining five sections, Powell offers short chapters on the subjects of personal integrity, motivating others, keeping up with the digital times, as well as personal reflections. Even those who don’t agree with all of the advice here will appreciate the humility and humor with which it is offered. VERDICT Powell remains popular with readers (this book made the New York Times best-sellers list), and there’s plenty here to justify his appeal. [See Prepub Alert, 12/16/11.]—Sarah Cords, The Reader’s Advisor Online, Middleton, WI