2013年5月15日 星期三


Thirteen Rules:
  1. It ain't as bad as you think. It will look better in the morning.
  2. Get mad, 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.

BOOK REVIEW: ‘It Worked For Me’

By Colin Powell with Tony Koltz
Harper, $27.99 283 pages
Colin Powell is an uncommon man with the common touch. He likes to give speeches because he’s very good at it and he doesn’t mind traveling. Also, he likes meeting people who have paid to hear some of his considerable wisdom and perhaps to shake the hand that has shaken the hand of every important world leader of the past quarter-century.
In this book, the distinguished general and former secretary of state and national security adviser distills the ideas and anecdotes that he has honed before flocks of well-fed listeners who work for organizations like the Bradford White waterheater company, Safelite AutoGlass and International Housewares Association (honest). Since the author provided an autobiography long ago - his rather impersonal “My American Journey” - he feels free here to muse, to list aphorisms for leaders to live by and even to ramble a bit. Gen. Powell has had an only-in-America life, and this is an entertaining read from a charming, accomplished man. (Alas, his publisher didn”t provide an index so you’ll have to read the book to see if you’re mentioned.)
One could dine out on his stories for quite a while. One of my favorites concerns the woman “in a local mall” who approached him in the parking lot, saying, “I recognize you. You’re? …” After giving her a while to bring his name to mind, he thought to take her out of her misery with, “Ma’am, I’m Colin Powell,” to which she said, “No, that’s not it” and drove off.
In a more serious vein, though, once Gen. Powell gets his pep talk to the troops out of the way - “Thirteen Rules,” from “It will look better in the morning” to “Share credit” - he ruminates on all sorts of things. A persistent theme is how “Kindness Works” (a chapter title), in which he endorses a clergyman’s advice, “Always show more kindness than seems necessary, because the person receiving it needs it more than you will ever know.”
A second theme concerns how important it is for leaders to listen to the ranks. He notes without elaboration how, on three occasions during his time at the State Department, he had to act on information he had received through informal channels to remove an ambassador quietly “before formal channels woke up to the problem.”
A third theme is the importance of family or “tribe”: “Children need to be taught early in life what is expected of them and how they must never shame their family. They must be taught to mind their adults. If a kid isn’t spoken to properly, read to, taught numbers, colors, time, how to behave, how to tie his shoelaces, play nice, share, respect others, and know the difference between right and wrong, he will be miles behind by the time he reaches the second grade.”
Gen. Powell devotes one chapter to explaining, for the first time in print, he says, how he came to give that now-infamous presentation to the United Nations justifying the invasion of Iraq on the basis of what proved to be faulty intelligence about weapons of mass destruction. He and his team had only four days to rework Lewis “Scooter” Libby’s legal brief into the presentation Gen. Powell made at the U.N. He still broods about bloggers who accuse him of “knowing the information was false. I didn’t. And yes, a blot, a failure, will always be attached to me and my UN presentation. But I am mad mostly at myself for not having smelled the problem. My instincts failed me.”
He also notes that, four months after the fall of Baghdad, “even as their sources collapsed and no WMDs had been found, the CIA continued to formally report that based on what they knew and believed at the time they were made, they stood by their original judgments.”
The author continues, “When we went in, we had a plan, which the President approved. We would not break up and disband the Iraqi army. We would use the reconstituted army with purged leadership to help us secure and maintain order throughout the country. We would dissolve the Baath party, the ruling political party, but we would not throw every party member out on the street. …
“The plan the President had approved was not implemented. Instead, [Defense] Secretary [Ronald] Rumsfeld and Ambassador L. Paul Bremer, our man in charge in Iraq… disbanded the Iraqi army and fired Baath party members, right down to teachers. We eliminated the very officials and institutions we should have been building on and left thousands of the most highly skilled people in the country jobless and angry - prime recruits for insurgency…. We broke it, we owned it, but we didn’t take charge.”
The lesson he draws: Learn from your mistakes and move on.
A moving section of his book concerns celebrity, and how British Princess Diana’s treatment at the hands of the press evoked deep empathy in him. Their paths crossed a number of times. “Standing in a receiving line next to Diana, I got a sense of how hard it must be for her to endure the smothering public life she led. I almost tossed one guy out of the line when he shoved himself between us, draped his arm around her, and shot a self-portrait with a pocket camera.” (Gen. Powell says he himself has been the victim of invasive photography to the extent that he always uses a stall in the restroom.)
When a London newspaper suggested that Princess Diana and Gen. Powell shared a genealogy that could be traced back to the Earl of Coote in the 1500s, Gen. Powell “pocketed the news immediately” for future use. He subsequently had occasion to claim, at a charity gathering where Henry Kissinger was also appearing, “a relationship” with the princess. Whereupon Diana began her remarks, “Dr. Kissinger, ladies and gentlemen and Cousin Colin, good evening.”
If you choose to give this delightful book to your high school or college graduate, tell the recipient it’s not necessary to start at the beginning with the “Thirteen Rules” - just pick it up anywhere and enjoy.
• Priscilla S. Taylor is a writer and critic in McLean.

Colin L. Powell: By the Book



大衛·O·斯圖爾特(David O. Stewart)的《1787年之夏》(The Summer of 1787)。隨着年紀漸長,我日漸對我們的開國元勛產生濃厚的興趣。他們為創立一個國家而面對的挑戰和所作的妥協,無論好的壞的,一直鼓舞我們和全世界的 人。我希望今天的政壇領袖,特別是華盛頓的,能拿出勇氣和幹勁,為他們的信仰而奮鬥,但亦要懂得,解決國家的問題,需要妥協。他們都應停下來,讀一讀 《1787年之夏》這本書。
  • 檢視大圖 科林·L·鮑威爾
    Illustration by Jillian Tamaki

有一本書,我已經擁有了50多年,它叫《武裝部隊的軍官》 (The Armed Forces Officer),是陸軍准將SLA馬歇爾(S.L.A. Marshall,外號“Slam”)寫的。第二次世界大戰後,他奉命評估戰士的表現,為軍隊長官提供一本以歷史為基礎的指導書。這是我讀過最精湛的關於 領導學的書之一。當時,每個軍官都分到一本。我一直帶在身邊,此刻它就在我面前。它曾一度絕版,我說服五角大樓將它再版,配以新的封面,補充了新的內容。 這本書經過多次更新,現在連亞馬遜上也能找到。
接下來的一本是莫里斯·詹諾維茨(Morris Janowitz)的《職業軍人》(The Professional Soilder)。它出版於1960年,也就是我當上軍官的兩年後。書里對那時的部隊軍官做了社會學分析。我當時從書里知道,一個標準的高級軍官,他通常 是白人、畢業於西點軍校、來自農村、是南卡羅來納人、新教聖公會教徒。我總算佔了這五條中的一條(鮑威爾信仰聖公會教)。入伍前幾年,我專註於認識和理解 我選擇的職業。我學習怎麼當一名優秀的中尉。當然,也研習聖經。
我到高中時才被要求真正認真地讀書。我想不起是怎麼回事或 為什麼,不過,我選的第一本大部頭的嚴肅成人讀物是詹姆斯·米契納(James Michener)的《南太平洋的故事》(Tales of the South Pacific)。浪漫的歷險、神秘的世界、地理、地質、文化、歷史、語言、動物,全都糅雜在一本令人迷醉的書里。我迫不及待地想去看米契納接下來的《重 返天堂》(Return to Paradise)。我把他的每一本書都讀了,直至沒有新著再出來。在部隊期間,我大部分時間讀的是有關歷史、領導學、管理學理論的書和軍事、政治方面的 自傳及傳記。尤利西斯·S·格蘭特(Ulysses S. Grant)和迪安·艾奇遜(Dean Acheson)的回憶錄是可供汲取養料的範本。對我們這些在肯尼迪總統顧問的首波影響下前往越南的人而言,伯納德·福爾(Bernard Fall)的《無歡的街道》(Street Without Joy)是教科書。T·R·費倫巴赫(T.R. Fehrenbach)的《這類戰爭》(This Kind of War)論述了韓戰和準備不足下付出的代價,是一本經典歷史著作。
大衛·哈伯斯塔姆(David Halberstam)的《出類拔萃之輩》(The Best and the Brightest)。理論和遠大的想法固然重要,但它們很少照計劃而展開。人——一切都關乎人。
我家裡有數百本書;我的太太阿爾瑪(Alma)嗜愛讀書。 我們一年清理一次,把理出的書送去美國外交服務協會(Associates of the American Foreign Service Worldwide)在國務院舉辦的年度書市。這樣,我們清空幾個書架,等待買新的書。我收藏了一大批美國非裔歷史的書,特別是軍事史方面的。這些書我從 不外送,等我死了、無人問津後,將把它們捐給圖書館。
我清晰記得的只有一本:薇拉·凱瑟(Willa Cather)的《我的安東尼婭》(My Antonia)。我在紐約南布朗克斯區長大,對於我來說,一對與我年紀相仿的小孩在內布拉斯加州廣袤大草原上的成長故事確實激動人心,把我帶到一個和離 《布朗克斯,阿帕奇要塞》(Fort Apache, the Bronx)相去甚遠地方。我喜歡兜兜轉轉、回到原點的人生故事,觸及愛、困境、悲劇、希望和樂觀主義。
絕大部分的當代政治回憶錄,包括我自己的《我的美國之路》 (My American Journey)。一旦你對自己或一個特定議題進行索引檢索時,事情就會變得乏味無趣。以我自己為例子,講完在紐約長大、早期在軍隊服役的故事後,便該講 述我擔任美國參謀長聯席會議主席的事。一路講到冷戰結束、蘇聯解體、入侵巴拿馬和沙漠風暴行動,有一天,我的合著者喬·波西科(Joe Persico)望着我說:“你知道這些素材有多無聊嗎?我們把它略去吧。這快變成一本‘接下來,我和某某共進午餐’的書。這些事大家都知道、都經歷過, 沒有人會有興趣。”
我拒不接受,花了200多頁把這些東西都寫了下來。在出版 後的17年里,人們很少問我這方面的問題,倒是對該書前半部分依舊懷有莫大的興趣。現在,仍有人買這本書。我得到教訓,在新書《我贏定了》(It Worked for Me: In Life and Leadership)里,全是獨一無二的故事,篇幅相當於普通政治回憶錄的一半。遺憾的是,我覺得這類書在近年內很難有改善。
我想和J·K·羅琳(J.K. Rowling)共進午餐。我想探測她的想像力,問她是怎麼做到如此自如地面對成功、面對千萬富翁的名人身份。在擔任美國參謀長聯席會議主席期間,我讀了 史蒂芬·安布洛斯(Stephen Ambrose)寫二戰中506團E連的傑作《兄弟連》(Band of Brothers),給他寫了一封信。我就這本書對他大加讚賞,並自豪地告訴他,70年代506團收編在我任旅長的旅下。我還給你們的語言專家比爾·薩菲 爾(Bill Safire)寫過信,就他專欄“論語言”(On Language)里的一個發音提出不同看法。我們互不相讓。
支票本。在領了35年軍餉、培養三個小孩完成大學學業後, 我需要改善自己的經濟狀況。同時,好友諾曼·施瓦茨科普夫(Norm Schwarzkopf)將軍的書——《身先士卒》(It Doesn't Take a Hero)取得成功,這觸動了我。不過真正將此實現的是我的經紀人馬文·約瑟夫森(Marvin Josephson)和編輯哈里·伊文思(Harry Evans),他們說服我相信自己有個精彩的故事可以講給別人聽。聽人稱我為作家,我自己都還會感到奇怪。我現在主要的身份應是演講家。
沒有,我不想誤導任何人。從政要求的是豐富的訓練和經驗。即便博覽群書,依舊需要在職培訓(On-the-Job Training,簡稱OJT)。政治學本質上是人的學問,你必須先了解人,才能懂得他們、管理他們、領導他們。

What book is on your night stand now?
“The Summer of 1787,” by David O. Stewart. As I grow older, I am increasingly fascinated by our founding fathers. The challenges they faced and the compromises they made, good and bad, to create a nation have inspired us and people around the world. I wish today’s political leaders, especially in Washington, would show the courage and willingness to fight for what they believe in, but possess an understanding of the need to compromise to solve the nation’s problems. They all need to go off and read “1787.”

When and where do you like to read?
On a plane. No phones, e-mails or meetings to interfere. I used to read in bed, until I started to fall asleep after two minutes of reading anything. 
What was the last truly great book you read?
Sorry, can’t answer. I find some greatness in almost every book. It’s like asking which is my greatest kid.
Are you a re-reader? What book do you read over and over again?
It’s a book I’ve had for over 50 years called “The Armed Forces Officer.” It was written by Brigadier S. L. A. (Slam) Marshall. After World War II he was commissioned to review the actions of our soldiers and provide a historically based book of guidance for Army officers. It is one of the finest leadership books I’ve ever read and was given to every officer back then. It was always with me and is right in front of me now. It once went out of print, and I was able to persuade the Pentagon to reissue it with a new cover and an update. The book has received more updates and can now even be found on Amazon.
Right next to it is “The Professional Soldier,” by Morris Janowitz. It was published in 1960, two years after I became an officer. It is a sociological analysis of the military officer at that time. I learned that the average senior Army officer was white, a West Pointer, rural and an Episcopalian from South Carolina. I nailed one out of five. In my early years in the Army, my focus was on learning about and understanding my chosen profession. I was studying to be a good lieutenant. And, of course, the Bible.
What was the best book you read as a student? What books over the years have most influenced your thinking?
In high school, I finally was required to do serious reading. I don’t recall how or why, but the first big, serious adult book I picked up was “Tales of the South Pacific,” by James Michener. Romance, mystery, geography, geology, culture, history, language and fauna, all blended together in one hypnotic book. I couldn’t wait for “Return to Paradise.” And I read every single one until there were no new ones. For most of my military career, my reading was historical, leadership, management theory, and military and political autobiographies and biographies. Ulysses S. Grant’s memoirs and Dean Acheson’s were standards to be inhaled. “Street Without Joy,” by Bernard Fall, was a textbook for those of us going to Vietnam in the first wave of President Kennedy’s advisers. “This Kind of War,” by T. R. Fehrenbach, was a classic history of the Korean War and the cost of unpreparedness. 
If you could require the president to read one book, what would it be? What book would you require all heads of state to read? 
“The Best and the Brightest,” by David Halberstam. Theories and grand ideas are important. But they seldom unfold as planned. People — it is all about people. 
Do you tend to hold on to books or give them away? 
We have hundreds of books in our home; my wife, Alma, is a voracious reader. We purge them once a year and give the purged ones to the annual book fair at the State Department conducted by the Associates of the American Foreign Service Worldwide. We purge until we have several empty bookshelves waiting for new books. I have a pretty good collection of books on African-American history, especially military history. I never purge those, and they will be sent to a library after I’ve passed on to the remainder table. 
What were your favorite books as a child? Did you have a favorite character or hero? 
There is only one that I remember vividly, “My Antonia,” by Willa Cather. Growing up in the South Bronx, the story of a couple of kids my age growing up on the great prairie of Nebraska was exciting and took me to a place far away from “Fort Apache, the Bronx.” I loved the story of life in a full circle touching on love, adversity, tragedy, hope and optimism.
Disappointing, overrated, just not good: What book did you feel you were supposed to like, and didn’t? 
Most contemporary political memoirs, including mine, “My American Journey.” Once you do the index search on yourself or a particular issue, they tend to become uninteresting. In my case, after telling the story of my growing up in New York and my early years in the Army, it was time to tell the story of my chairmanship of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. As we worked our way through the end of the cold war and the Soviet Union, the invasion of Panama and Desert Storm, my collaborator, Joe Persico, looked over at me one day and said: “Do you know how boring this stuff is? Let’s drop it. It’s becoming a ‘Then I had lunch with . . . ’ book. Everyone knows this stuff, lived through it and won’t be interested.”
I refused and wrote it all out for 200 more pages. Joe was right. In the 17 years since it was published, I’ve gotten very few questions about any of that stuff, but there is still a lot of interest in the first half of the book. It is still selling. I learned my lesson, and my new book, “It Worked for Me: In Life and Leadership,” consists of just stand-alone stories and is half the size of the usual political memoir. Unfortunately, I don’t believe the genre has improved in recent years. 
If you could meet any writer, dead or alive, who would it be? What would you want to know? Have you ever written to an author? 
I would enjoy having lunch with J. K. Rowling. I’d probe her imagination and ask how she is dealing so well with her success and multimillionaire celebrity status. When I was chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, I wrote a letter to Stephen Ambrose after I read his classic “Band of Brothers,” about E Company, 506th Infantry in World War II. I complimented him on the book and shared with him my pride in having a battalion of the 506th Infantry under my brigade command in the 1970s. I also once wrote your language expert Bill Safire, disagreeing with one of his “On Language” pronouncements. He met me more than halfway.
Electronic or paper?
I do both.
What book made you want to become a writer?
My checkbook. After 35 years of military pay and educating three kids through college, I needed to improve my finances. I was also moved by the success of my buddy Gen. Norm Schwarzkopf’s book, “It Doesn’t Take a Hero.” But what really did it was my agent, Marvin Josephson, and editor, Harry Evans, convincing me I had a good story to tell. I still feel strange being called a writer. I’m mostly a speaker.
If somebody walked into your office while you were writing, what would they see?
Three computers running, paper strewn all about, a television on behind me, a sense of chaos.
If you had to recommend one book to a student of government, what would it be?
There is none, and I wouldn’t want to mislead anyone. Government requires many disciplines and experiences. And even if you are widely read, it is still O.J.T., On-the-Job Training. Government is people, and until you know the people you can’t follow, govern or lead them. 
What do you plan to read next? 
Sigh. That’s a problem. I keep sending new books to my e-reader, and I don’t know which one I’ll read next. Electronic books have become such an impulse and instinct purchase that I buy them constantly and can’t remember what’s on my e-shelf. When I do look, I often see titles I don’t recognize or don’t remember wanting or buying. I’ll get to some of them.



我在美國首都華盛頓生活過五年,其間聽過各界名人演講。相 較而言,我不大喜歡政要講話,因為他們的演講內容總是重複。一日無事,我跑到某智庫參與一項青年活動,美國前任國務卿科林·盧瑟·鮑威爾(Colin Luther Powell)將在此作主題發言。我想他行伍出身,談話必定中規中矩。誰想這位老將軍一張口,就談起YouTube和網絡曝光,馬上吸引了台下的年輕聽 眾。
其實,鮑威爾與時俱進,深諳信息時代的管理技術。在新著 《我贏定了》(It worked for me, 2013年2月由湖南文藝出版社引進中文版)一書中,他專設一章討論“快節奏信息時代的領導力”。擔任國務卿期間,他要求國務院官方網站搶在其他媒體之前 發佈有關外交資訊。這位前四星上將鬥志昂揚地寫道:“我們也許不能總是打敗維基百科或谷歌,但我們不妨嘗試去打敗他們。”
  • 檢視大圖 美國前國務卿鮑威爾的新著《我贏定了》(It worked for me)中文版,2013年2月由湖南文藝出版社引進。
    美國前國務卿鮑威爾的新著《我贏定了》(It worked for me)中文版,2013年2月由湖南文藝出版社引進。

儘管為了振奮士氣,鮑威爾有時會唱唱高調,這位領袖的工作作風可謂謙虛謹慎,勤奮務實,不驕不躁。《我贏定了》的英文書名直譯應為“這招對我管用”(It worked for me),意即僅供讀者參考——你們學來不靈,可別怪我。
鮑威爾在書中解讀了他的十三條成功法則,可謂“治道”。其 中像“有志者事竟成”之類的格言人盡皆知,鮑威爾卻有着自己的理解:“這句話也不能絕對化,只能作為一種態度。……最重要的是你要有努力就能辦成事的態 度。”他少年時讀書成績不是很好,但總是竭盡全力完成自己的任務。對於有人總結的“鮑氏兵法”,他認為其核心在於“運用一切必要手段獲得決定性的勝利”。
鮑威爾成長在美國種族主義盛行的年代,後來成為第一位黑人 國務卿。他始終保持着不卑不亢的平和心態,這一點難能可貴。他一方面不怨天尤人,將自己只看作“黑膚色”的美國戰士,而不是美國的“黑人”戰士——“讓別 人去操心種族問題吧,我可不想陷在這裡。”另一方面,他也不驕傲自滿,以為自己無所不能。當投資銀行請鮑威爾出任高層經理,他十分清楚自己的“使用價 值”,知道那些人“不過想讓我去做迎賓和司儀”,於是拒絕了金融界的高薪職位。有人提議他參選總統,他反思之後即認定自己“不是搞政治的料”。頗有自知之 明的鮑威爾提醒公眾人物:“永遠記住名聲是公眾給予的,要將名聲帶來的影響力用於有價值的目標上,而不要自我膨脹。”
早在1973年,作為年輕武官的鮑威爾即跟隨“白宮顧問 團”訪問中國,他似乎非常熟悉社會主義國家提倡的價值觀。比如,在書中他的有些觀點同“雷鋒精神”高度一致:“不管你從事的是什麼工作,你都是在為人民服 務。無論是在政府、軍隊、工商界或者其他部門工作都一樣,都要無私奉獻,不能追求一己私利。”在中文版序言結尾處,他還活學活用毛語錄:“從這本書中我想 表達的信念就是:生活和領導的藝術就在於全心全意為人民服務。”
鮑威爾在書中強調:“評價一個人不是看他職位有多高,官銜 有多大,主要是看他對集體做出了多大的貢獻。”我們就來看看鮑威爾如何當好美國領導人的。在他看來,偉大的領袖人物具有如下能力:確立目標、解決問題和關 注外部環境。確立目標不同於設立目標,前者要求從上到下培養使命感,使每位員工了解其工作之於整體任務的意義。對於達到目標過程中的種種困難,鮑威爾堅 稱,“做領導就是要解決問題,否則這領導就做到頭兒了。”用中國俗話說,沒有金剛鑽,就別攬這瓷器活兒;或者更時髦的話“打鐵還需自身硬”。除了確立目標 和解決問題,高層領導還須放眼四周,看看其他機構都在忙些什麼,這樣才能使組織的發展趨勢與整個社會的前進方向保持一致。
他雖平易近人,卻吸取《伊索寓言》中的教訓“太過熟悉,滋 生輕蔑”,同下屬始終保持着一定距離。他為人正直坦率,有時也表現出外交家的圓滑,比如挑選能幹的副手唱黑臉,自己唱紅臉。為了提升“信息時代的領導 力”,他大力推動美國使領館網絡系統升級,每到一處便要查看電子郵件,以檢測連接速度和運行狀況。像清宮戲中的乾隆爺一樣,鮑威爾還喜歡微服私訪,向基層 群眾了解情況。當然,他那張富有官威的臉龐常常“暴露身份”。
作為美國外交界的頭號人物,鮑威爾每天會收到大量情報,對 這些信息的篩選、判斷和查證,成為他的主要工作之一。為保證情報可靠有效,鮑威爾為下屬制定了四條規則:“告訴我你知道的;告訴我你不知道的;然後告訴我 你是怎麼想的;務必將想法與事實區分開來。”他在擔任里根政府的官員時,大概也是依照這些原則向總統彙報的。里根曾贈給鮑威爾一張簽名照,上面寫着:“科 林(鮑威爾的名字),只要是你的看法,我都會認為是對的。”
行事小心,出言謹慎的鮑威爾,卻在十年前的伊拉克戰爭期間 栽了個大跟頭。這位將軍並非好戰分子,他相信“一切炫耀武力的手段都不如含而不發更具威力”。這正體現了孫子“不戰而屈人之兵”的軍事思想。然 而,2003年2月5日,他卻在聯合國指責伊拉克存在大規模殺傷性武器,為布殊政府的“先發制人”戰略作了強力辯護。事後他才得知,副總統切尼的下屬編寫 了他演講引用的材料,並得出毫無根據的結論。那些材料更像律師訴狀,而非情報評估報告。
聯合國演講事件可謂鮑威爾從政生涯中最大的污點,他自稱那 天令他“像生日一樣銘記”。鮑威爾在書中花了相當篇幅為自己辯解。他批評當時的國防部長唐納德·亨利·拉姆斯菲爾德(Donald Henry Rumsfeld)和駐伊大使保羅·布雷默(Paul Bremer)自行其是,解散了伊拉克的軍隊和國家機構,致使戰後亂局持續多年。他對自己背上這口黑鍋感到憤憤不平。國會議員們聲稱因他的演講而投票贊成 發動戰爭,其實早在三月前他們已經通過了有關決議。一些情報官員也將責任推給國務卿,鮑威爾則對這幫傢伙發出了強烈質問。
對於西方近年出現的政治經濟危機,人們多從制度背景進行分 析,而忽視了領袖品質的重要作用。鮑威爾堅信民主領袖必須具備民主素質,抱着為民眾服務的高尚精神,否則華盛頓會充滿美劇《紙牌屋》中的那些弄權小人。他 在此書結尾處引用了前海軍上將李高佛的話:“光有機構無法完成任務,光有計劃和大綱也無法完成任務,真正能完成任務的是人。機構、計劃和大綱的好壞只能促 進或阻礙人們完成任務的進程。”

 海曼·G.·李高佛Hyman G. Rickover,1900年1月27日-1986年7月8日) ,人稱「核動力海軍之父」(Father of the Nuclear Navy),是美國海軍上將美國海軍學院畢業,於美國海軍研究所(Naval Postgraduate School)得物理碩士,並曾於哥倫比亞大學研究物理學。