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The power of Colin Powell’s 13 rules for leadership | Editorial
Read the late general’s excellent advice for leading — and for living.
Gen. Colin Powell speaks to Worcester Technical High School students at the Hanover Theater for the Performing Arts on March 27, 2014.
Gen. Colin Powell speaks to Worcester Technical High School students at the Hanover Theater for the Performing Arts on March 27, 2014.
This article represents the opinion of the Tampa Bay Times Editorial Board.
Published Oct. 20

Every weekday morning, our editorial board meets to discuss the issues of the day and decides when, how and whether to weigh in. One of our topics Wednesday morning was the groundswell of reaction to the passing of Colin Powell, an American statesman if ever there was one. In particular, we talked about a column on our own opinion pages by a former supreme allied commander of NATO, who was worried about the pressures of his new job and was advised to “go talk to Colin.” He did — the late secretary of state gave him two hours of his in-demand time — and relayed four of Powell’s “13 Rules of Leadership,” the ones that focused on optimism. What are the other nine? As is so often the case with great leaders, it’s best to get out of the way and let them speak for themselves. So here are the late Colin Powell’s “13 Rules.”

• It ain’t as bad as you think! It will look better in the morning.

• Get mad. Then get over it.

• Avoid having your ego so close to your position that when your position falls, your ego goes with it.

• It can be done.

• Be careful what you choose. You may get it.

• Don’t let adverse facts stand in the way of a good decision.

• You can’t make someone else’s choices. You shouldn’t let someone else make yours.

• Check small things.

• Share credit.

• Remain calm. Be kind.

• Have a vision. Be demanding.

• Don’t take counsel of your fears or naysayers.

• Perpetual optimism is a force multiplier.

What’s our editorial view? He had pretty good rules, and he set a marvelous example.

Editorials are the institutional voice of the Tampa Bay Times. The members of the Editorial Board are Editor of Editorials Graham Brink, Sherri Day, Sebastian Dortch, John Hill, Jim Verhulst and Chairman and CEO Paul Tash. Follow @TBTimes_Opinion on Twitter for more opinion news.