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Colin Powell quotes (50)

90 percent of my time is spent on 10 percent of the world.
Colin Powell   Category: History

A dream doesn't become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination and hard work.
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Avoid having your ego so close to your position that when your position falls, your ego goes with it.
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Bad news isn't wine. It doesn't improve with age.
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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.
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Don't be afraid to challenge the pros, even in their own backyard.
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Don't bother people for help without first trying to solve the problem yourself.
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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.
Colin Powell   Category: Business

Experts often possess more data than judgment.
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Fit no stereotypes. Don't chase the latest management fads. The situation dictates which approach best accomplishes the team's mission.
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Get mad, then get over it.
Colin Powell   Category: Anger

Giving back involves a certain amount of giving up.
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Great leaders are almost always great simplifiers, who can cut through argument, debate and doubt, to offer a solution everybody can understand.
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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.
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I consider myself a moderate Republican. I have very, very moderate social views, and I'm pretty strong on, on defense matters.
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I don't think we handled the aftermath of the fall of Baghdad as well as we might have. But that's now history.
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I don't want to spend the rest of my life giving speeches.
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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.
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I try to be the same person I was yesterday.
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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.
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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.
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It ain't as bad as you think. It will look better in the morning.
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It's a disgrace that we have millions of people who are uninsured, but at the same time too - in the eyes of the American people, in my judgment, it looked as if that somehow become more important than the main attack which was to fix the economy and get the Americans working again.
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It's nice to say let's be bipartisan. But we're a partisan nation. We were raised as a partisan nation.
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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.
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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.'
Colin Powell   Category:

Never let your ego get so close to your position that when your position goes, your ego goes with it.
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Never neglect details. When everyone's mind is dulled or distracted the leader must be doubly vigilant.
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No battle plan survives contact with the enemy.
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Organization charts and fancy titles count for next to nothing.
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Perpetual optimism is a force multiplier.
Colin Powell   Category: Business

Politics is not bean bags. It's serious, tough stuff.
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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.
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Success is the result of perfection, hard work, learning from failure, loyalty, and persistence.
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Surround yourself with people who take their work seriously, but not themselves, those who work hard and play hard.
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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   Category: History

The commander in the field is always right and the rear echelon is wrong, unless proved otherwise.
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The healthiest competition occurs when average people win by putting above average effort.
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The only bipartisanship you ever see is when they finally sign a bill and everybody says, 'Gee, isn't that wonderful?'
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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.
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The United States is not stingy. We are the greatest contributor to international relief efforts in the world.
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There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure.
Colin Powell   Category: Business

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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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We got rid of a terrible dictator. We gave the Iraqi people an opportunity for a new life under a representative form of government.
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Wouldn't it be great if we could look forward to a whole world in which no child will be left behind?
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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.
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You don't know what you can get away with until you try.
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