"Colin Luther Powell" is an American statesman and a retired four-star General (United States)/general in the United States Army. He was the List of Secretaries of State of the United States#List of Secretaries of State/65th United States Secretary of State, serving under President of the United States/U.S. President George W. Bush from 2001 to 2005, the List of African-American firsts#21st century/first African American to serve in that position. During his military career, Powell also served as National Security Advisor (United States)/National Security Advisor (1987–1989), as Commander of the United States Army Forces Command/U.S. Army Forces Command (1989) and as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (1989–1993), holding the latter position during the Persian Gulf War. He was the first, and so far the only, African American to serve on the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and was the first of two consecutive African American office-holders to hold the key administration position of United States Secretary of State/U.S. Secretary of State.

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Perpetual optimism is a force multiplier.

Have a vision. Be demanding.

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

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

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 them or concluded that you do not care. Either case is a failure of leadership.

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.

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

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

If it ain't broke, don't fix it' is the slogan of the complacent, the arrogant or the scared. It's an excuse for inaction, a call to non-arms.

No battle plan survives contact with the enemy.

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

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