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Good Leaders Are Made, Not Born, -Says Colin Powell

Posted by DiaNaj on 2:15 PM
COLIN POWELL

November 2005-Collin Powell told a Business School student audience (STANFORD GRADUATE SCHOOL OF BUSINESS) on how Good Leaders Are made, Not Born.

"Successful leaders know how to define their mission, convey it to their subordinates and ensure they have the right tools and training needed to get the job done," says Colin Powell, former U.S. secretary of state.

“I’m sure the time will come for you to transform the world,” he added.
Drawing on his broad experiences in military and civilian life, Powell said: “Leadership is all about people…and getting the most out of people.” It is about conveying a sense of purpose in a selfless manner and creating conditions of trust while displaying moral and physical courage. “Never show fear or anger,” he added. “You have to have a sense of optimism.”


A false leader is someone who fails to get the necessary resources for his or her staff to do their jobs, Powell said. “The first way you take care of the troops is to train them,” he said. “Then you have to trust them and let them get on with their work. The best leaders are those who can communicate upward the fears and desires of their subordinates, and are willing to fight for what is needed. If not, the organization will weaken and crumble.”

Effective leaders are made, not born, Powell said. They learn from trial and error, and from experience. When something fails, a true leader learns from the experience and puts it behind him. “You don’t get reruns in life,” he said. “Don’t worry about what happened in the past.”
 
Good leaders also must know how to reward those who succeed and know when to retrain, move, or fire ineffective staff. “When you get all these together the place starts to hum,” he said. “You know you’re a good leader when people follow you out of curiosity.”

Taken from www.gsb.stanford.edu

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