Colin Powell Article and Being A Class Act

I’m going to change pace today. I want to refer you to an article I saw by retired General Colin Powell in a supplement to my Sunday paper on May 20, 2012.

General Powell’s article is titled, ‘Kindness Works’. It’s a great article. It’s adopted from his new book, ‘It Worked For Me’, published by Harper Collins.

I quoted General Powell several times in my book ‘Surviving & Thriving in the HR World’ when I gave examples of those who I saw as having a leader image. I did so because he was a leader and he always knew he was on display wherever he went. He knew he had an image that was being watched. He knew the people he led expected him to act like a leader.

In his article, Powell described how important it was to reach out to people around him, including the parking attendants in his office building when he was in Washington.

He said this, “I believe that if you develop a reputation for kindness, even the most unpleasant decisions go down easier. People will realize that your decision must be necessary and is not arbitrary or made without empathy. As the old saying goes, ’To the world, you may be one person, but to one person you may be the world.’

As in my book, I tell anyone who is in any of my training sessions, you have an image that you earned. It’s your choice whether that image is good or bad. I remember the class act leaders in my life. My Marine Drill instructor was Sgt. Lyons. One tough damn Marine, but he became our friend by the time we graduated from boot camp. He made us Marines and he became our “Class Act” for life.

What’s your image? Anybody going to remember you?

More next time. Semper Fi.

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