Books by Colin Powell

One of my favorite Army Generals of all time is Colin Powell.  He was a brilliant tactician and leader.  After finishing a very successful military career as the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, he went on to serve as the Secretary of State for the United States.  He also held several other important duties with charities and served on the board of numerous organizations.  In addition, he went on to write several books.  In the paragraphs below I want share a list of books by Colin Powell.

To the best of my knowledge, Colin Powell authored four books of his own, to include:

  1. It Worked for Me: In Life and Leadership
  2. My American Journey
  3. A Soldier’s Way: An Autobiography
  4. In His Own Words: Colin Powell

Most of his books are either stories about his life or helpful leadership lessons.  I have not read any of the four books mentioned above, but I intend on reading My American Journey this year (2013).  Once I finish that one, I will check out some of his other books.

There are also many books about Colin Powell by different authors.  Some of those books include:

  1. The Powell Principles: 24 Lessons from Colin Powell, a Battle-Proven Leader by Orren Harari
  2. The Leadership Secrets of Colin Powell by Orren Harari
  3. Soldier: The Life of Colin Powell by Karen DeYoung
  4. The Powell principles by Orren Harari
  5. Colin Powell: A Political Biography by Christopher O’Sullivan
  6. Colin Powell by Howard Means

Of these six books, I have only read The Powell Principles: 24 Lessons from Colin Powell, a Battle-Proven Leader.  I’ve read that book twice and really enjoyed it both times.

I’ve always believed that we can learn a lot by studying other successful people.  If you’re trying to advance your career, and learn how to be a better military leader, I highly suggest you read some books by Colin Powell.  The most powerful thing is that you can spend 20-30 hours reading a book and learning lessons that it took him a lifetime to learn!  That’s why I enjoy reading biographies and auto-biographies of successful military leaders.

In conclusion, there are many books by Colin Powell available anywhere books are sold.  Colin Powell was one of the most successful and respected Army Generals and politicians of all time.  If you are an Army Officer, you might want to read a few of his books so you can learn from his wisdom and experience.

chuck holmes

Chuck Holmes
Former Army Major (resigned)

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12 thoughts on “Books by Colin Powell”

  1. I absolutely love to read. In fact, I often get made fun of for the large stack of books always sitting on my night stand. I always loved Colin Powell’s leadership skills and felt he had so much wisdom to glean! He came and spoke at my school and shortly after that I picked up two of his books! I could not put “In His Own Words: Colin Powell” down. He was so honest and transparent with his story and I believe it is a must read for everyone, but specifically for those that have an interest in leadership.

  2. I think that if you want to read ANY book about leadership, being a motivated person, etc. then you HAVE to read about Teddy Roosevelt. That man had more accomplished by age 42 (when he became President) than most of us will in 2 lifetimes. He is truly an inspiring individual…

  3. Amy Skalicky

    “It Worked for Me: In Life and Leadership” belongs at the top of everyone’s must-read list, in my opinion. My respect for Colin Powell increased ten-fold when I read this book. This particular book focuses more on people and relationships, and he structured it around his famous 13 Rules, simple statements that reflect his leadership and his road to success. “You can’t make someone else’s choices” and “Share credit” are two that stand out for me, evidence of his profound value and appreciation for the people with whom he has crossed paths throughout his career. Short and sweet lessons learned, woven with experiential wisdom and heartfelt sincerity, and shared through stories from his distinguished career mark each chapter of this remarkable book.

    1. “It Worked for Me: In Life and Leadership” is a great book: a must read for any new or experienced leader.

      I’ve learned a lot by studying Colin Powell. He is truly a fascinating leader.

      Thanks for the comment.


  4. It has always been a mystery to me why he never put his hat into the presidential ring. The standard cover story is that his wife fears for his safety if he were to get the presidency. That sounds too pat to me and I just wonder if he doesn’t have the taste for politics. Many former military greats had no interest in running for office and maybe Powell just likes being a player on the periphery. Or, he could surprise us and run in 2016!

    1. Colin Powell is a great leader. He wasn’t the traditional politician. I’m sure he would make a great Commander in Chief, but I doubt he would ever actually run for office.

  5. I have never read a book by Colin Powell. Looking back, it’s probably something I should have done a long time ago because Colin Powell was a commander and leader that everyone should look up to. Not only was he an amazing general but he was one of the leaders of our great nation during a very tumultuous period of time in American history.

    1. So true, Chad. Of all the Army Generals in office since I’ve been alive, Colin Powell is definitely my favorite. He was intelligent, calm, cool and collected. He’s a great speaker and thinker. He’s the type of guy I would love to see run for President!

  6. I read My American Journey a few years ago and loved it. I was praying in 2000 that Powell would seek the presidency. Years ago I found a copy of the Powell Principles and put them in my business portfolio that went with me everywhere. My favorite principle is still “The commander in the field is always right and the rear echelon is wrong, unless proved otherwise.” Particularly in the business world, the people to ask are the ones who do the work day in and day out. If you want to know what works, what doesn’t, and what should be changed, and definitely before you decide to change anything, you had better talk to them.

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