Great Throughts Treasury

This site is dedicated to the memory of Dr. Alan William Smolowe who gave birth to the creation of this database.

Colin Powell, fully Colin Luther Powell

American Four Star General, Secretary of State, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, National Security Advisor, Commander of the U.S. Army Forces Command

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

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

"Don't bother people for help without first trying to solve the problem yourself. "

"Experts often possess more data than judgment. "

"Great leaders are almost always great simplifiers, who can cut through argument, debate and doubt, to offer a solution everybody can understand. "

"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. "

"The healthiest competition occurs when average people win by putting above average effort. "

"Free speech is intended to protect the controversial and even outrageous word; and not just comforting platitudes too mundane to need protection."

"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. "

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

"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. "

"You don't know what you can get away with until you try. "