Colin Powell

Colin Powell

Colin Luther Powell (born April 5, 1937) is an American statesman and a retired four-star general in the United States Army. He was the 65th United States Secretary of State, serving under U.S. President George W. Bush from 2001 to 2005, the first African American to serve in that position.

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It ain't as bad as you think. It will look better in the morning.

No battle plan survives contact with the enemy.

Foe means enemy. Now will we have differences of opinion with the Russians? Yes. Will they get mad at us from time to time and we get mad at them? That's part of the normal diplomatic relations.

Experts often possess more data than judgment.

A dream doesn't become reality through magic, it takes sweat determination and hard work.

Leadership is solving problems. The day soldiers stop bringing you their problems is the day you have stopped leading them.

Don't bother people for help without first trying to solve the problem yourself.

The chief condition on which life health and vigor depend on is action. It is by action that an organism develops its faculties increases its energy and attains the fulfillment of its destiny.

Don't let your ego get too close to your position so that if your position gets shot down your ego doesn't go with it.

I respect the fact that many denominations have different points of view with respect to gay marriage and they can hold that in the sanctity in the place of their religion and not bless them or solemnize them.

But just as they did in Philadelphia when they were writing the constitution sooner or later you've got to compromise. You've got to start making the compromises that arrive at a consensus and move the country forward.

I always like to take my time and examine the two candidates see not only the two candidates but the policies they will bring in the people they will bring in who they might appoint to the Supreme Court and look at the whole range of issues before making a decision.

My own experience is use the tools that are out there. Use the digital world. But never lose sight of the need to reach out and talk to other people who don't share your view. Listen to them and see if you can find a way to compromise.

I was born in Harlem raised in the South Bronx went to public school got out of public college went into the Army and then I just stuck with it.

I don't think we handled the aftermath of the fall of Baghdad as well as we might have. But that's now history.

It was the Congress that imposed 'Don't Ask Don't Tell ' it was certainly my position my recommendation to get us out of an even worse outcome that could have occurred.

Organization charts and fancy titles count for next to nothing.

Surround yourself with people who take their work seriously but not themselves those who work hard and play hard.

The commander in the field is always right and the rear echelon is wrong unless proved otherwise.

Today I can declare my hope and declare it from the bottom of my heart that we will eventually see the time when that number of nuclear weapons is down to zero and the world is a much better place.

Economy's got to get moving we've got to get the unemployment rate down. That may be the defining issue of the campaign.

Too often we act - ask our schools to be truant officers our teachers to be truant officers because we're giving them children who have you know they're not ready to learn. And if they're not ready to learn by the third grade they know they're behind.

In other words don't expect to always be great. Disappointments failures and setbacks are a normal part of the lifecycle of a unit or a company and what the leader has to do is constantly be up and say 'we have a problem let's go and get it'.

What you're seeing with Occupy Wall Street and the others are people who are unhappy and they're directing their unhappiness now toward Wall Street and toward those they think are doing too well in our society.

We got rid of a terrible dictator. We gave the Iraqi people an opportunity for a new life under a representative form of government.

The purposes of the United States should not be doubted. The Security Council resolutions will be enforced - the just demands of peace and security will be met - or action will be unavoidable. And a regime that has lost its legitimacy will also lose its power.

Never neglect details. When everyone's mind is dulled or distracted the leader must be doubly vigilant.

Fit no stereotypes. Don't chase the latest management fads. The situation dictates which approach best accomplishes the team's mission.

Many interviewers when they come to talk to me think they're being progressive by not mentioning in their stories any longer that I'm black. I tell them 'Don't stop now. If I shot somebody you'd mention it.'

Never let your ego get so close to your position that when your position goes your ego goes with it.

So like any football or basketball coach you always always believe you're going to win.

Giving back involves a certain amount of giving up.

Have fun in your command. Don't always run at a breakneck pace. Take leave when you've earned it spend time with your families.

The United States is not stingy. We are the greatest contributor to international relief efforts in the world.

Bad news isn't wine. It doesn't improve with age.

I don't know that there is much the United States can do except work with the international community.

I think the Iranians are clearly determined to have a nuclear program. And we have to assume that with a nuclear program they have the capability and the will to create a nuclear weapon.

There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation hard work and learning from failure.

I think whether you're having setbacks or not the role of a leader is to always display a winning attitude.

It's a disgrace that we have millions of people who are uninsured.

We all hoped in 2001 that we could put in place an Afghan government under President Karzai that would be able to control the country make sure al-Qaeda didn't come back and make sure the Taliban wasn't resurging. It didn't work out.

Wouldn't it be great if we could look forward to a whole world in which no child will be left behind?

Just hit my 75th birthday I'm feeling great!

90 percent of my time is spent on 10 percent of the world.

The healthiest competition occurs when average people win by putting above average effort.

War should be the politics of last resort. And when we go to war we should have a purpose that our people understand and support.

Don't be afraid to challenge the pros even in their own backyard.

In terms of the legal matter of creating a contract between two people that's called marriage and allowing them to live together with the protection of law it seems to me is the way we should be moving in this country.

Some of the generals are saying 'We're making progress. We are clearing an area.' But you really don't defeat the Taliban by clearing an area. They move.

Perpetual optimism is a force multiplier.

You don't know what you can get away with until you try.

You should see what our Founding Fathers used to say to each other and in the early part of our nation. But what they were able to do especially in Philadelphia in 1787 four months they argued about what a House should be what a Senate should be the power of the president the Congress the Supreme Court. And they had to deal with slavery.

I don't want to spend the rest of my life giving speeches.

Get mad then get over it.

I consider myself a moderate Republican. I have very very moderate social views and I'm pretty strong on on defense matters.

Politics is not bean bags. It's serious tough stuff.

Success is the result of perfection hard work learning from failure loyalty and persistence.

There are lots of countries that are having these kinds of internal civil wars in other parts of the world and nobody is talking about intervening.

You can't just have slogans you can't just have catchy phrases. You have to have an agenda. And I think what the Republican Party has to do if it's going to incorporate the tea party efforts in it is to come up with an agenda that the American people can see touch and actually believe in and something they believe in.

I try to be the same person I was yesterday.

If you are going to achieve excellence in big things you develop the habit in little matters. Excellence is not an exception it is a prevailing attitude.

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

If a leader doesn't convey passion and intensity then there will be no passion and intensity within the organization and they'll start to fall down and get depressed.

It isn't enough just to scream at the Occupy Wall Street demonstrations. We need our political system to start reflect this anger back into 'How do we fix it? How do we get the economy going again?'

It's nice to say let's be bipartisan. But we're a partisan nation. We were raised as a partisan nation.

Great leaders are almost always great simplifiers who can cut through argument debate and doubt to offer a solution everybody can understand.

We need to understand that we as citizens and as a government in any community throughout this country have no more important obligation than to educate those who are going to replace us.

It's not just a matter of whether you support Obama or Romney. It's who they have coming with them. I always keep my powder dry as they say in the military.

Look at the world. There is no pure competitor to the United States of America.

When you decide to get involved in a military operation in a place like Syria you've got to be prepared, as we learned from Iraq and Afghanistan, to become the government, and I'm not sure any country either the United States or I don't hear of anyone else who's willing to take on that responsibility.

The only bipartisanship you ever see is when they finally sign a bill and everybody says 'Gee isn't that wonderful?'