General McChrystal On Breakthrough Leadership
Before the tech boom of the early 2000's, most organizations had the same standard leadership model that had been in place for decades. And it worked. It went something like this: The leader of the company was given information by their team and then made the decisions.
But the problems of today, and especially the problems of tomorrow, require the opposite. Breakthrough, disruptive corporations demand open and transparent leadership that gets the information to the team and empowers them to make the calls quickly on the ground level.
General Stanley McChrystal is the world’s leading mind on this transformative organizational change. He developed this model as the Commander of U.S. and International Forces in Afghanistan. It was the only organizational structure capable of combating al-Qaeda’s always shifting and non-traditional style.
General McChrystal’s revolutionary thoughts on leadership have been the subject of:
- A TED Talk that’s been translated into 33 languages and viewed more than 2 ½ million times
- His New York Times best-selling books Team of Teams: New Rules of Engagement for a Complex World, One Mission: How Leaders Build a Team of Teams, and Leaders: Myth and Reality
- His popular leadership course at Yale’s Jackson Institute for Global Affairs
- Countless articles including this Forbes piece from explaining why Evernote’s CEO believes in and uses this model
McChrystal's newest book, Leaders: Myth and Reality, co-authored with Jeff Eggers, looks at what effective leadership really is about by studying thirteen great leaders throughout history. The book proves that, oftentimes, the lessons we pull from the lives of famous business tycoons, leaders of cultural movements, and even war generals are not the right ones.
In engaging and thought-provoking presentations, McChrystal separates fact from fiction when it comes to leadership. For example:
- Leadership can’t be reduced to a checklist of attributes—it’s less about you and more about your ability to collaborate
- Leadership isn’t a top-down system—it’s an ecosystem
- Letting go of power can at times be the most empowering thing you do
There’s nothing quite like hearing McChrystal talk about leadership and teamwork. In fact, Wired magazine said that to hear McChrystal speak about leadership is “like hearing Steve Jobs talk about innovation or Henry Ford talk about productivity.”
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