Friday, June 29, 2012

On a Walk with Colin Powell

"Solving problems is what leaders do. The day you are not solving problems or are not up to our butt in problems is probalby the day you are no longer leading." ~ Colin Powell
(Source: John Hess's website)
Throughout "It Worked for Me," Colin Powell stresses the need for leaders to get out of their offices and interact with their followers. Powell is known to do walkabouts to get to know his followers and hear their concerns. You could find Powell anywhere, including the parking garage and boiler room. He believes that "all followers need to feel they belong to a team, a tribe, a band."

The relationship between the leader and his/her followers should be one of mutual trust. Powell states, " If you want to respect your followers, you have to know them."
  • Do you know your followers?
  • Do you respect them?
  • Do they respect you?
In Chapter 13, Powell advises leaders to never walk past a mistake. He  states, "Leaders who do not have the guts to immediately correct minor errors or shortcomings cannot be counted on to have the guts to deal with the big things." He shares these points:
  1. Correcting a mistake shows attention to detail and reinforces stands within an organization.
  2. It teaches aspiring leaders to have the moral courage to speak out when standards are not being met.
  3. It shows the followers that you care about them, the unit, and its mission.
  4. You set the example for all of you subordinate leaers to act in the same manner.
  5. It keeps mistakes and screw-ups from moving to another level or, even worse, propagating.

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