David Silverman

Founder & CEO of CrossLead & Peak Performance Expert
David Silverman
  • Experienced, combat-decorated veteran with six operational deployments worldwide, including Iraq, Afghanistan, and Southeast Asia
  • Responsible for McChrystal Group’s dramatic transformation from a small, fledgling company to a leading consulting and technology firm with nearly 100 employees
  • Uses entrepreneurial and military experience to help businesses continuously adapt and work their way to success

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Leadership expert and best-selling author David Silverman has paved the way in transforming groups into high-performing, agile, and adaptable teams that drive success. David continues to bring out the best in people as CEO and Founder of CrossLead. A graduate of the United States Naval Academy, David served in the US Navy as a SEAL Officer for 12 years. Building off of his collective leadership experiences, David created CrossLead as a holistic leadership and management solution for the digital economy. CrossLead is designed to empower leaders, teams, and organizations to scale the adaptability of elite small teams to the entire enterprise.

David previously cofounded McChrystal Group with General Stanley McChrystal and led the company as CEO. During his time at McChrystal Group, David laid out the framework for CrossLead as a co-author in the New York Times bestseller Team of Teams: New Rules of Engagement for a Complex World.

Team of Teams. Silverman is the co-author of Team of Teams: New Rules of Engagement for an Interconnected World. He shows organizations how to break down silos, work across departments, and master the flexible response that organizations need. He shares stories about the traits that make small teams adaptable and explains why structures based on planning rather than adaptation to changing circumstances are no longer suited to today’s challenges.

Successful Entrepreneur. Silverman’s entrepreneurial vision has been responsible for CrossLead’s dramatic transformation, starting from the company’s founding at a kitchen table and growing to its present state as a leading consulting and technology firm with nearly 100 employees. Under his tenure as CEO, CrossLead has doubled every year for the last four years. Through Silverman’s leadership and vision, the CrossLead management system is being implemented successfully inside Fortune 1000 companies across business sectors.

Special Operations Background. Silverman is an experienced and combat-decorated veteran with six operational deployments worldwide. He has conducted and planned hundreds of operations against high value targets all around the world. At the height of the war in Iraq, Silverman served as the task unit commander for all the SEALs in Baghdad and was responsible for our country’s most elite troops in one of the most strategically important and dangerous areas. He then worked on defense policy and international security issues at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). Afterwards, he served as the Navy SEAL liaison to Congress for two years. Here Silverman saw firsthand how important building trust and relationships is to leading dispersed organizations.

Silverman was then hand selected by General McChrystal to return to Afghanistan and serve as his military assistant for ISAF operations and plans where he gained a deep understanding of how leaders can best have strategic impact on their organizations. He served in this position until he left the military to found McChrystal Group. Silverman was an integral part of General McChrystal’s efforts to transform Special Operations into the agile network, fusing operations and intelligence to create a team of teams that could adapt and reconfigure in real-time.

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CrossLead: Lessons on Leadership from a Warrior, Statesman, and Scholar. In this dynamic presentation on leadership, David Silverman 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. Silverman 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.

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