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Colin Powell’s Leadership Legacy

An Institutionalist in an Individualist Moment

By | James Strock |

How will history view Colin Powell?

In our time, Powell is universally admired. He is a glittering exception to the ceaseless levelling of reputations that mars our moment. His methodically crafted personal character readily withstands the malicious narcissism of toxic mediocrities, assiduously panning for nuggets of unexpected flaws and missteps amid the turgid eddies of social media.

An American Journey

Powell’s life story lends itself to mythmaking. A child of immigrants, raised in modest circumstances, he ascended to the pinnacle of the military, political, corporate, and not-for-profit establishments.

He titled his autobiography, My American Journey. Focusing on the path he took, Powell expressed gratitude to those who came before him, those who beckoned him forward, and those who were at his side or had his back. He inspired others to undertake the same journey, so that they, too, might go further than they or anyone else might initially imagine.

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