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The Powell Principles: 24 Lessons from Colin Powell, a Battle-Proven Leader (Mighty Managers Series) Hardcover – September 13, 2004

4.4 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Oren Harari is a professor of management at the McLaren Graduate School of Business, University of San Francisco, and author of the national bestseller Leadership Secrets of Colin Powell.

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Product Details

  • Series: Mighty Managers Series
  • Hardcover: 115 pages
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill; 1 edition (September 13, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0071444904
  • ISBN-13: 978-0071444903
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.5 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #728,422 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Oren Harari is a professor of management at the McLaren Graduate School of Business, University of San Francisco. A prominent author, speaker, and consultant in the areas of competitive advantage, organizational change, and transformational leadership, Harari writes a weekly column "Harari at Large" for the American Management Association's website, Mworld. He has contributed to Harvard Business Review, California Management Review, Industrial Relations, Small Business Reports, and other professional publications.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Retired four-star general and former Secretary of State Colin Powell is considered one of the most respected leaders in the U.S. Author Oren Harari's short book distills Powell's insights about leadership. As a formidable leader who has managed battles, bureaucracies and humanitarian missions, Powell has firm ideas about how a good leader behaves. Refreshingly, some of his principles are modestly anti-authoritarian. However, Harari does not develop Powell's background or explain how he implemented these principles during his long, varied career. Like the rules promulgated in similar books on leadership, many of these "lessons" seem arbitrary and redundant. Then again, it is interesting and useful to see how a leader of Powell's caliber thinks. Truncated as it may be, we recommend this short, concise collection to aspiring leaders. It is just about enough reading material for a short plane ride, but it provides a fair share of inspiration.
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Format: Hardcover
Business professor Oren Harari (1949-2010) encapsulated Colin Powell's lessons of leadership in 24 three-page chapters. "The Powell Principles constitute a clear, strategic, philosophical, value-based, and ethical blueprint. The blueprint guides Powell, but the blueprint has enormous flexibility and opportunism built into it." The 24 lessons are:

Promote a clash of ideas
Be prepared to piss people off
Establish trust
Walk the talk
Pick the right people
Listen
Be vigilant in details
Be a disorganizer
Check your ego at the door
Let change lead growth
Seek consensus (but don't be ruled by it)
Fit no stereotypes
Simplify
Let situation dictate strategy
Push the envelope
Close with the enemy
View People as partners
Challenge the pros
Don't rely on charts and title
Trust those in the trenches
Make optimism a top priority
Have fun in your command
Strive for balance
Prepare to be lonely

According to Powell, "the key attributes of a leader are competence, character, courage, loyalty, and confidence. These qualities build trust and credibility, which are essential in order to lead. Additionally, "a leader who doesn't have a sense of humor is unlikely to be effective over the long run."

Powell emphasizes attention to detail. "The Big Picture is made up of hundreds or thousands of details... If you are not the master of the details, you can't be the master of the Big Picture."

Powell says "the stewardship of people is a strategic priority" and adds "influence accomplishes as much as, if not more than, authority.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Book Review
THE POWELL PRINCIPLES

by Oren Harari

This book is a fantastic read for those of you who are or want to be critical thinkers. The size of the book is about 3 ½ x 8 inches; ½ inch thick. It is a great book for students, future leaders, and leaders to read - to help them lead. In fact, we all lead in some way. My father encouraged independence, to think on your own feet - because it is truly the only way you can be captain of your own ship.

Mr. Harari emphasizes right at the beginning that difference between managing and leading is, in leading, they make each person truly count. "The leader may well unleash a flood of interesting and provacative insights." (pg 5) He goes on to say, "But the ultimate goal is to inspire people in the organization - not just to voice problems, but also to figure out ways to solve problems." Everyone is important and everyone needs to make some sound. "Invest the necessary resources, and create the psychological climate in which information flowing freely over networks is seen as a resource rather than a threat."

The Contents of this book has 27 chapters - yet they are extraordinarily very small. He cuts to the chase. Each chapter, though very short, teaches you what matters - what works - and how to go home from your job knowing you really contributed, no matter what your position is.

Hon. Powell's process emphasizes thinking outside the box - the small stuff won't even matter to the average because they are really doing something worthwhile.

The author, Oren Harari, tells you why each chapter works. He clearly explains why no one should be afraid to speak.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As a history major in his junior year of college, Harari's book on Secretary Powell's leadership was vastly underwhelming. It failed to paint a picture of the man and his principles. Instead, it featured unsubstantial platitudes on leadership and effective communication. I wish I'd saved my money, or at least, found a reviewer that was also looking for substance.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Excellent reading for the 'new' as well as the 'experienced'person in a leadership position. Essential ideas and concepts are presented in a digestible form. It can also serve as a useful tool in the training room.
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