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Wc_ldr_summit_07bJust finished the sixth session, an interview with Colin Powell.

I loved the chance to hear from him.

The title?  "Leading at the Highest Level."

The topic?  He was interviewed about his "Powell Principles" of leadership:

  1. Promote a clash of ideas — allow people to question & argue passionately with you; but once the decision is made, implement it as if it’s your own
  2. Plans/charts get nothing done; people do — leaders have the responsibility to put followers in a position to win (e.g. Give subordinate leaders the final 2/3 of amount of time for them to prepare)
  3. Probe your organization — by allowing anybody at any level to talk to you, and not requiring a chain-of-command-first conversation
  4. Check your ego at the door — people need you to exude perpetual optimism — it is infectious & multiplies your impact
  5. Get rid of your worst performers & reward your best — we need to prune an organization constantly by retraining poor performers or releasing them… otherwise your organization will be destroyed
  6. Have fun along the way — otherwise it will become more than you can bear
  7. Things look better in the morning — assume that it’s never as bad as when you are tired & in the middle of something…wait 1 day
  8. Avoid war if at all possible — because it’s a failure of politics & policy & of the terrible costs involved
  9. Be prepared to be lonely — Surround yourself with good people, but at the end of the day, you have to make a decision & be prepared to disappoint people