November 2nd, 2021
[Portions of the following blog originally appeared as a post on Forbes.com that Edward Segal wrote as a Leadership Strategy contributor. His other posts on Forbes.com can be read at https://www.forbes.com/search/?q=Edward%20Segal&sh=696c69c8279f]
Colin Powell, a retired four-star general, former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and secretary of state who passed away today at age 84, leaves an important legacy of leadership that executives at companies can learn from and apply at their organizations.
In reporting his death today, The New York Times noted that, “By the time he retired from the military in 1993, Mr. Powell was one of the most popular public figures in America. In an interview with The New York Times in 2007, he analyzed himself: “Powell is a problem-solver. He was taught as a soldier to solve problems. So he has views, but he’s not an ideologue. He has passion, but he’s not a fanatic. He’s first and foremost a problem-solver.”
Not Without Critics
The Washington Post recalled that, “While hailed on his retirement from public service at the end of Bush’s first term as a figure of honor and distinction, Gen. Powell was also criticized for not pushing harder to block the Iraq War or quitting in protest.