Former Commander of U.S. and International Forces in Afghanistan
Senior Fellow at Yale University’s Jackson Institute for Global Affairs
A one-of-a-kind commander with a remarkable record of achievement, General Stan McChrystal is widely praised for creating a revolution in warfare that fused intelligence and operations. He is also known for developing and implementing the counter-insurgency strategy in Afghanistan and for creating a comprehensive counter-terrorism organization that revolutionized the way military agencies interact and operate.
A four-star general, he is the former commander of U.S. and international forces in Afghanistan and the former leader of Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC), which oversees the military’s most sensitive forces. His leadership of JSOC is credited with the 2003 capture of Saddam Hussein and the 2006 location and killing of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the leader of al-Qaeda in Iraq. He is also the author of the best-selling leadership book, My Share of the Task: A Memoir. Exclusively represented by Leading Authorities speakers bureau, McChrystal, a former Green Beret, is known for his candor, innovative leadership, and going the distance. Called “one of America’s greatest warriors” by Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, few can speak about leadership, teamwork, and international affairs with as much insight as he can.
Thirty-Four Years of Service. The son and grandson of Army officers, McChrystal graduated from West Point in 1976 and trained at the Special Forces School in Fort Bragg, North Carolina. He was later commissioned as an infantry officer and spent much of his career commanding special operations and airborne infantry units. During the Persian Gulf War, McChrystal served in a Joint Special Operations Task Force and commanded the 75th Ranger Regiment. He also completed year-long fellowships at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government in 1997 and at the Council on Foreign Relations in 2000. He was promoted to brigadier general in 2001.
In 2002, he was appointed chief of staff of military operations in Afghanistan. Two years later, McChrystal was selected to deliver the nationally televised Pentagon briefings about military operations in Iraq. From 2003–2008, he commanded JSOC and was responsible for leading the nation’s deployed military counter-terrorism efforts around the globe, assuming command of all international forces in Afghanistan in June 2009. President Obama’s order for an additional 30,000 troops to Afghanistan was based on McChrystal’s assessment of the war.
Supporting Military Families and Higher Education. McChrystal retired from the military in 2010. He now serves on the board of directors for JetBlue Airways, Navistar, and the Yellow Ribbon Fund. He is also the chairman of the board for Siemens Government Technologies. In 2011, McChrystal returned to public service after the Obama administration invited him to oversee Joining Forces, a high-profile initiative that supports military families. McChrystal is a part of its three-member advisory board. He is also a senior fellow at Yale University’s Jackson Institute for Global Affairs, where he teaches a popular course on leadership.
General McChrystal co-founded the McChrystal Group in January 2011. Its mission is to deliver innovative leadership solutions to organizations which help them transform and succeed in challenging and dynamic environments. To do this, the group teaches McChrystal’s leadership methodology CrossLead, whose principles and operational structure are based on his military successes. CrossLead also addresses key leadership principles such as transparency and inclusion, leveraging the power of teams, and sharing a clear vision.
Four-Star Strategy Lessons. A dynamic, powerful speaker, McChrystal impresses audiences with field-tested leadership lessons, stressing a uniquely inclusive model that focuses on building teams capable of relentlessly pursuing results. When old systems fall short, he believes true leaders must look for ways to innovate and change. Citing stories from his career, McChrystal reveals a four-star management strategy, concentrating on openness, teamwork, and forward-thinking.
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Lessons in Leadership: Adapting to a Dynamic World. In this dynamic presentation on leadership, General Stanley McChrystal, (USA, Ret.) shows how modern warfare, business, and politics demand no-nonsense leadership that is as good at implementing change as talking about it. He reveals the power of culture, communication, and relationships, sharing stories, experiences, and principals that make his points. McChrystal addresses such key leadership principles as transparency and inclusion, leveraging the power of teams through shared ownership, evolutionary change vs. revolutionary change, relentless mission focus, and sharing a clear vision with everyone who must execute against it.
Lessons from the Field: Navigating a Dynamic World. Few people have as much insight on the current state of military and global affairs as General McChrystal (USA, Ret.). In this insightful presentation, General McChrystal discusses the new challenges facing America in a globalized world, the proliferation of non-state actors, and the advance of information technology and instantaneous communication. He shares a thorough assessment of U.S. security and what the future will hold.
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"I just wanted to state the obvious: General McChrystal's speech at the Inc. 500 conference was beyond terrific. As he did for everyone else in the audience, he gave me much to think about--the metaphor of plywood leadership is fresh and interesting - and much to aspire to." - Inc. Magazine
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