It Worked for Me: In Life and Leadership

Colin Powell, with Tony Koltz. Harper, $27.99 (304p) ISBN 978-0-06-213512-4
Hard work, straight talk, respect for others, and thoughtful analysis—except during the Iraq War—worked for the former secretary of state and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, according to this plainspoken memoir–cum–leadership manifesto. Powell (My American Journey) distills aphoristic principles—“Get mad, then get over it”—out of anecdotes from adolescent summer jobs, military commands, diplomatic furors, and celebrity encounters. Shamelessly targeting the business audiences he entertains in public-speaking gigs—“I can pitch my speech at whatever level of sophistication the client wants,” he assures readers—his executive’s-eye view of leadership includes tips on hiring and firing subordinates, and soldierly metaphors for corporate strategizing. Unfortunately, leadership insights desert Powell in his substantial but inadequate account of the Iraq War. Though he frankly admits the war was based on false intelligence of Iraqi WMDs that he unwittingly deployed in his infamous U.N. speech justifying the invasion (a “blot” on his career), he offers “no answers” to questions surrounding Bush administration policy making. There’s much inspirational sense drawn from Powell’s matchless range of managerial and political experiences—but also a frustrating reticence on the great leadership crisis of his time. Agent: Martin Josephson. (May 22)
Reviewed on: 04/09/2012
Release date: 05/22/2012
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FORMATS
Book - 978-0-06-222895-6
Book - 978-0-06-213515-5
Paperback - 400 pages - 978-0-06-218406-1
Ebook - 304 pages - 978-0-06-213514-8
Paperback - 283 pages - 978-0-06-213513-1
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