Letter: Colin Powell’s 13 rules to live by

Throughout our lives we often hear about things to live by to give support and meaning to our life and goals. Sometimes someone comes along and seeming says the right things that touch the depth of our spirit. General Colin Powell’s 13 rules of leadership were such a piece of the right things. I read two that seems to define him as a man, leader, concerned citizen, and teacher.

(3) Avoid Having Your Ego So Close to Your Position That When Your Position Falls, Your Ego Goes with It

The advice here is to remember that your position was faulty and not your ego. As Powell says, “Loyalty is disagreeing strongly, and loyalty is executing faithfully. The decision is not about you or your ego, it is about gathering all the information, analyzing it, and trying to get the right answer.” 1

(7) You Can’t Make Someone Else’s Choices. You Shouldn’t Let Someone Else Make Yours

If the ultimate responsibility for something is yours then you need to make the decision yourself. That is not to say you should not involve others or get their feedback. The idea is to make sure your decision is not based on the pressure or desire of other people.

Regardless of someone position or status in life, those Rules are solid bricks to stand on and live by. Whatever someone may say about your person or your beliefs, you can safely adapt the attributes of the General and make your life and this world a better place to live. Kathleen Parker’s article, “We trust no one today the way we trusted Powell”, has merit for us but the message should be applied to each of us.

Bob Proby,

Shawnee Township


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