Just 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:
- 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
- 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)
- Probe your organization — by allowing anybody at any level to talk to you, and not requiring a chain-of-command-first conversation
- Check your ego at the door — people need you to exude perpetual optimism — it is infectious & multiplies your impact
- 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
- Have fun along the way — otherwise it will become more than you can bear
- 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
- Avoid war if at all possible — because it’s a failure of politics & policy & of the terrible costs involved
- 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