Secrets of Powell's Leadership Prowess Research Paper

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Colin Powell's Leadership Style

Colin Powell's Leadership Style

Born in 1937, Colin Luther Powell grew to become a great American public official. He retired from the American Army as a four-star general. Powell qualified as the 65th American Secretary of State who served in George W. Bush's period of between 2001 and 2005. He was the first African-American serving in the position. In his military career, he served within National Security Advisory between 1987 and 1989. He was Commander of the American Army Forces Command in 1989 and Chair of Joint Chiefs of Staff between 1989 and 1993. Powell held the position in Persian Gulf War and was the only African-American serving on Joint Chiefs of Staff. He was the first consecutive African-American office-holder holding key administration positions of American Secretary of State.

The chief role of Powell included garnering international support for multi-national coalition while mounting invasions. At this end, he addressed United Nations Security Council's plenary sessions in 2003 arguing in light of military actions (Harari, 2012). The citation of anonymous Iraqi defectors was an assertion of Powell that Saddam Hussein had biological weapons as well as the capacity to manufacture more rapidly. Powell stated that there were evident elements that Saddam was cooperating with others for purposes of obtaining critical components of producing nuclear weapons.

Powell's style of leadership involved taking responsibility towards achieving group welfare. The meaning is that more people would get upset at his actions and subsequent decisions. Powell held that such situations were inevitable especially if one was honorable. The aspect, of getting all people to agree with the leader, is an indication of mediocrity. Such leaders avoid the tough decisions and avoid confronting people requiring confrontation (O'Sullivan, 2009). In extreme cases, one may avoid presenting differential rewards through differential performance as some might become upset. On the other hand, procrastination for difficult choices in avoiding to make others mad requires the leader to treat all people equally regardless of the contributions (Powell, 2014). The leader has a responsibility of ensuring that the people who get angered are the most productive and creative people with the organization.

Powell illustrated that small start-ups and companies do not have the resources and time to acquire analytically detached experts. Such elements lack the monies of subsidizing lofty elites. While senior managers answer phone calls and make operations when necessary, all people within a payroll should visibly produce and contribute towards bottom-line outcomes or in respective histories. However, while the firms grow they forget the people who facilitated their growth. Elements of all-hands involvement, informality, egalitarianism, daring, market intimacy, risk, agility, and speed start arising. Policies emanating from head towers have adverse impacts on the people within the field bringing in…

Sources Used in Document:


Harari, O. (2012). The Leadership Secrets of Colin Powell. New Delhi: Gramedia Pustaka Utama

O'Sullivan, C.D. (2009). Colin Powell: American Power and Intervention From Vietnam to Iraq. New York: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers,

Powell, C. (2014). It Worked for Me: In Life and Leadership. New York: HarperCollins.

Powell, C.L., & Persico, J.E. (2010). My American Journey. New York: Random House Publishing Group.

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