Inspirational Quotes from Colin Powell

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

Colin Powell

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

Colin Powell

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

Colin Powell

Children need to get a high-quality education, avoid violence and the criminal-justice system, and gain jobs. But they deserve more. We want them to learn not only reading and math but fairness, caring, self-respect, family commitment, and civic duty.

Colin Powell

You’re not just voting for an individual, in my judgment, you’re voting for an agenda. You’re voting for a platform. You’re voting for a political philosophy.

Colin Powell

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.

Colin Powell

Leadership is solving problems. The day soldiers stop bringing you their problems is the day you have stopped leading them. They have either lost confidence that you can help or concluded you do not care. Either case is a failure of leadership.

Colin Powell

Perpetual optimism is a force multiplier.

Colin Powell

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

Colin Powell

As I have done in every election since I started voting so many years ago, 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.

Colin Powell

As I have done in every election since I started voting so many years ago, 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.

Colin Powell

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

Colin Powell

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

Colin Powell

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

Colin Powell

Giving back involves a certain amount of giving up.

Colin Powell

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

Colin Powell

Diplomacy is listening to what the other guy needs. Preserving your own position, but listening to the other guy. You have to develop relationships with other people so when the tough times come, you can work together.

Colin Powell

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

Colin Powell

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’.

Colin Powell

No battle plan survives contact with the enemy.

Colin Powell

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

Colin Powell

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

Colin Powell

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

Colin Powell

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

Colin Powell

Organization charts and fancy titles count for next to nothing.

Colin Powell

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

Colin Powell

Indeed, we’re strongest when the face of America isn’t only a soldier carrying a gun but also a diplomat negotiating peace, a Peace Corps volunteer bringing clean water to a village, or a relief worker stepping off a cargo plane as floodwaters rise.

Colin Powell

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.

Colin Powell

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

Colin Powell

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.

Colin Powell

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

Colin Powell

We have practiced diplomacy since the very beginning of the nation. Sometimes it has not worked, and we’ve had to go to war. I always believe you should try to find peace and reconciliation before conflict. That has been the approach I’ve taken.

Colin Powell

Drones are just another weapon, and they turn out to be a very effective weapon that puts no American troops at risk, and I don’t see why we shouldn’t use them against identified enemy targets.

Colin Powell

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.

Colin Powell

Get mad, then get over it.

Colin Powell

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

Colin Powell

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.

Colin Powell

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.

Colin Powell

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

Colin Powell

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.

Colin Powell

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.

Colin Powell

Is there something wrong with being a Muslim in this country? The answer’s no. That’s not America. Is there something wrong with some seven-year-old Muslim American kid believing that he or she could be president?

Colin Powell

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.

Colin Powell

Russia isn’t going to start a war. They can’t afford it. I think Mr. Putin can be dealt with if we stop screaming at him. You can work with the guy. You just have to know who he is.

Colin Powell

The country would be a lot better off if we stopped having comment sections. And if we got rid of Twitter.

Colin Powell

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

Colin Powell

Engineering didn’t take to me. And what saved me and kept me in college was I ran into ROTC cadets who were in a fraternity called The Persian Rifles. And I found my place. I found discipline. I found structure. I found people that were like me and I liked.

Colin Powell

Our diplomacy and development budget is not just about reducing spending and finding efficiencies. We need a frank conversation about what we stand for as that ‘shining city on a hill.’ And that conversation begins by acknowledging that we can’t do it on the cheap.

Colin Powell

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

Colin Powell

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.

Colin Powell

In 2008, I spoke out against calling the president a Muslim as if that was a curse. And then in 2012, once again, I was very disturbed about some of the intolerance I was seeing in the party, so I made a statement saying there’s a level of intolerance in some parts of the Republican Party. And there was, and I think there still is.

Colin Powell

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.

Colin Powell

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

Colin Powell