Elissa Slotkin’s Remembrance of General Colin Powell

It’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day drama of Washington D.C. The political infighting and petty squabbles are enough to drive anyone insane. Trust me, I have a front row seat.

Recently, I’ve found myself thinking a lot about Colin Powell. He was one of our very best; a true soldier-statesman who embodied lifelong service.

When he passed away a few weeks ago, I read his 13 Rules of Leadership, as delivered at his funeral, and thought they had great relevance for a time when our differences seem so serious.

So here they are:

  1. It ain’t as bad as you think! It will look better in the morning.
  2. Get mad and then get over it.
  3. Avoid having your ego so close to your position that when your position falls, your ego goes with it.
  4. It can be done.
  5. Be careful what you choose. You may get it.
  6. Don’t let adverse facts stand in the way of a good decision.
  7. You can’t make someone else’s choices. You shouldn’t let someone else make yours.
  8. Check small things.
  9. Share credit.
  10. Remain calm. Be kind.
  11. Have a vision. Be demanding.
  12. Don’t take counsel of your fears or naysayers.
  13. Perpetual optimism is a force multiplier.

I decided to run for office because I wanted to solve problems.

I’ve found that when we’re able to embody these principles — to check our egos, set aside our small differences, and keep a sense of optimism — that we can deliver the best results for the American people.

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