Episode 15 – Part 2: Leadership Lessons from a Four-Star General

Featuring: Stanley McChrystal, Former Commander of U.S. and International Forces in Afghanistan, Bestselling Author, and Founder of the McChrystal Group

Published: January 10, 2019

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Key Takeaways

In part two of this podcast episode, Stanley McChrystal, Former Commander of U.S. and International Forces in Afghanistan, Bestselling Author, and Founder of the McChrystal Group, dives into personal stories and experiences on leadership growth and evolution.

[0:43] – Where and how Stan found his unique voice and value.

[3:29] – As a leader, it’s important to effectively communicate your strategy and how to achieve your desired outcomes. What approaches ensure the proper alignment and execution of strategies to outcomes?

[6:14] – How radical transparency engenders trust and provides more value and why leaders should openly share information.

[9:26] – To constantly adapt and adjust to new information, it is critical for leaders to learn “how to learn.”

[11:53] – On reframing leadership, what are the unintended negative consequence on who’s accountable and responsible for the team?

[14:06] – When early indicators are not pointing to success, how do you have the stamina to continue and move forward through failures?

[16:27] – What are overarching attributes that leaders should have?

[18:29] – Why a great leader needs to constantly grow and evolve. A personal story on viewing Robert E. Lee as a heroic leader.

[22:27] – The leadership advice Stan would give himself when he first started his military career: Take the long view.

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Loved this conversation, authentic, reflecting and to the point. Leaders always have to demonstrate the ability to adjust their strategies, behaviors and actions to changed, complex and new situations.

– Tamara Schenk, Research Director, CSO Insights, The Research Division of Miller Heiman Group 

Most reflective. What is most endearing is that our General self reflected, gained new insights, admitted a flaw in himself, and others, and rose above to make the right decision. Such an authentic interview. All leaders will glean much from your intimate interview with a legend in my mind.

– Jay Tyler, CEO, Jay Tyler Consulting

“McChrystal has it totally right. Leaders are just human—we all make mistakes in our careers. But it’s what we learn from those mistakes and how we internalize that learning that sets apart great leaders from others.”

– Lori Mitchell-Keller, Co-President Industries at SAP

What a powerful and eloquent explanation of how he thought and reached a conclusion that changed a lifelong belief. One of the things I’ve always look for in leaders is their ability—or lack of one—to change strongly held beliefs when presented with new facts. Looking forward to the rest of the interview.

– George Estrada, Chief Technology Officer, CWPS