Colin Powell on The Craft of Diplomacy

Don Jarrell writes, “I recently read Sec of State Colin Powell’s essay “The Craft of Diplomacy” (Wilson Quarterly, Summer 2004) and think he nailed the point: “diplomacy is a craft more than it is either a science or an art. In science, both material and method are beyond the free choice of the scientist. In art, neither the material nor method are beyond the free choice of the artist. A craft lies in between: The material is given in the world as we find it, but the methods by which the statesman can shape that material offer wide, if not unbounded choice.”

Aside from the fact that there is a lot of diplomacy in Product Management, his definition of a craft, as seen in diplomacy, is very applicable to Product Management, where our “material” is the available technologies and competencies.

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  • Steve Johnson was a founding instructor at Pragmatic Institute, a role he held for more than 15 years before he left to start Under10 Playbook. In his return to Pragmatic Institute, Steve supports the complete learning path for product teams, ensuring they are fully armed for success.  Over the course of his career, Steve has helped thousands of companies and tens of thousands of product professionals implement product management processes. He has worked in the high-tech arena since 1981, rising through the ranks from product manager to chief marketing officer. Steve has experience in technical, sales and marketing management positions at companies that specialize in both hardware and software. In addition, he is an author, speaker and advisor on product strategy and product management.

Steve Johnson

Steve Johnson

Steve Johnson was a founding instructor at Pragmatic Institute, a role he held for more than 15 years before he left to start Under10 Playbook. In his return to Pragmatic Institute, Steve supports the complete learning path for product teams, ensuring they are fully armed for success.  Over the course of his career, Steve has helped thousands of companies and tens of thousands of product professionals implement product management processes. He has worked in the high-tech arena since 1981, rising through the ranks from product manager to chief marketing officer. Steve has experience in technical, sales and marketing management positions at companies that specialize in both hardware and software. In addition, he is an author, speaker and advisor on product strategy and product management.

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