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Colin Powell Addresses Con Edison’s Business Conference

General Colin Powell, former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, addressed employees of Consolidated Edison Inc. this afternoon at the company’s annual business conference held in Greenwich, Conn. The annual conference is attended by a cross- section of management employees from all company organizations for the purpose of stimulating thinking about the challenges facing the company, finding creative ways to meet those challenges, and identifying points of focus for both the near- and far-terms.

In bringing his particular message of leadership to the conference General Powell drew parallels to the business world, “As a soldier, I was taught to think about mission and people, and to make sure everyone understands the mission. Remember that people get things done. A leader takes care of the troops, gives them the tools and training they need and they get the mission accomplished.” General Powell went on to say that a leader gains trust when people believe the leader cares as much about their well-being as his own.

General Powell noted that with the end of the Cold War and with the rise of information technologies, world economic strength will be more important than military strength. “The new order will be defined by trade relations, by the flow of information, capital, technology, and goods, and not by conflicting ideologies.”

Powell talked about his current position as chairman of America’s Promise: The Alliance for Youth, for which he is working to give at-risk children the kind of adult encouragement that he had as a child growing up in the South Bronx. He called for corporate support for such efforts, especially through mentoring and youth programs.

Con Edison held this year’s conference outside of its traditional service area of New York City and Westchester County for the first time to emphasize the regional nature of the company following the recent merger with Orange and Rockland utilities and the pending merger with Northeast Utilities.

Consolidated Edison Inc. is one of the nation’s largest investor-owned energy companies, with more than $7 billion in annual revenues and more than $15 billion in assets. The company provides a wide range of energy-related products and services to its customers through two regulated utility subsidiaries and four unregulated energy and telecommunications businesses. For additional financial, operations and customer service information, visit the Consolidated Edison Inc. web site at

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