What it Takes to Become a General

When asked what the best advice he had ever received was, Colin Powell said, “The best advice I have ever received was to focus on performance, not power.”

He then told this story to explain how he learned this principle:

There was a brand new second lieutenant who was very ambition and wanted to be a general. One night at the officer’s club the young officer spotted his old general sitting at the bar and went up to him and said, “How do I become a general?”

The general answered, “Son, you’ve got to work like a dog, you’ve got to have moral and physical courage, there may be days your tired, but you must never show fatigue, you’ll be afraid, but you must never show fear, you must always be the leader.”

The young office was so excited by this advice, he said, “Thank you Sir, so this is how I become a general?”

“No” said the general.  “That’s how you become a First Lieutenant. Then you keep doing that over and over and over and over again and someday you may be a General.”

Colin Powell said, “Throughout my career, I’ve always tried to do my best today, think about tomorrow, and dream a little bit about the future, but doing your best in the present has to be the rule. You won’t become a General unless you become a good first Lieutenant.”

That is great advice isn’t it?

Are you doing the best you can where you are? Are you handling the present well? Are you making the most of today?

I’m convinced that if we’ll handle today correctly, tomorrow will take care of itself!





Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *