It Worked for Me: In Life and Leadership by Colin Powell is not the typical leadership book most of us are used to. Put simply, It Worked for Me is a compilation of experiences from Colin Powell’s life and career—both good and bad. For most books in the leadership genre, a reader can almost always expect to be sold to during the book, meaning the author always seems to have a seminar or coaching program to sell on the back-end; however, this book doesn’t come across that way. Rather, it’s packed full of content and real experiences that we all can somewhat relate to.
The lessons in this book are easy to understand and apply to any situation. In fact, Powell begins the book by reviewing his 13 Rules of Leadership, which include statements such as “Get mad, then get over it,” “You can’t make someone else’s choices,” and “Remain calm. Be kind.” The statements are intuitive and casually written in an approachable manner. It’s easy to connect with Powell’s Rules.
Throughout the book, Powell makes reference to his time and experience as a leader in government as a four-star general and former Secretary of State; however, the principles are clearly applicable to business, too, as he provides vivid examples of their real life application to his readers.
It Worked for Me does not come across quite as polished as other leadership books, likely due to its informal tone. Readers gain a sense that Powell is speaking directly to you, sending the message that “Here is what I’ve done and here’s what I learned along the way…feel free to take what I’ve learned and apply it to your own life; or don’t.” The stories he tells from his life always have a lesson at the end of it, which makes them very personal, where other books lack this particular attribute. The Xenium Book Club read and enjoyed this book in that it allowed us to step out of the box and read something a little less corporate feeling and more experience-based.
It Worked for Me: In Life and Leadership by Colin Powell is a simple read and a very quick and easy listen (for you audio book listeners out there).
Xenium Book Club Rating: 7/10