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If it worked for him, pay attention

American hero’s wisdom priceless

By Peggy Carlson

The Free Lance–Star

“IT  WORKED For Me: In Life and Leadership” by Colin Powell is a treasure-trove of memories, observations and advice  from one of the most respected and admired citizens in the country.  From his boyhood days working in a  toy shop

in the Bronx to his post as secretary of state, he accumulated a wealth of experience and ideas about working with people.

This book works because   it comes from the heart and reflects his optimism, modesty and sense of humor. It is the condensed life experience  of a man who sees the humanity and value in every person,  regardless of rank or position.

Much of the advice is based on lessons learned, sometimes the hard way,  in his  military career. The leadership tips could apply to any organization.

Powell’s work with young people through America’s Promise Alliance is inspiring. The program, which he founded,  stresses mentoring, safe places and education. He points out that the greatest thing of all to give a child is the gift of a good start.

Powell also offers clear reflections on Desert Storm and the  Iraq and Afghanistan wars,  and includes anecdotes about his time on the National Security Council and state department. There is a painfully honest chapter about his famous speech at  the United Nations before the Iraq war.

Reading this book just confirms what I already knew: The world would be  a better place if there were more men like Colin Powell.

Peggy Carlson  is on the newsroom staff of The Free Lance–Star.

IT WORKED FOR ME:  In Life and Leadership

By Colin Powell

(Harper, $27.99, 304 pp.)

Permalink: http://news.fredericksburg.com/books/2012/07/30/if-it-worked-for-him-pay-attention/

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