How Colin Powell became a four-star general. Best practices indiversity management

Colin Powell's promotion did not just happen.

Clifford Alexander, who was Secretary of the US Army from 1977 to 1981, explains how he held up a list of proposed generals because of lack of diversity. He then gave instructions to look at all records of eligible colonels to ensure ratings were based only on fair and equitable criteria.

His board followed his directives and .... Colin Powell emerged on the candidate list.

As he explains in the NY Times article Colin Powell's Promotion: The Real Story "He did not get anything extra and his white colleagues did not get anything extra either. The rise of Colin Powell through the ranks of the United States Army to brigadier general had to do with his performance as a soldier”.

This is a great success story of a good diversity practice. I had heard about it a long time ago and today I mentioned it to some friends. Then I googled it and I was lucky to find this excellent article published in the NY TImes.