Episode 13: Gen. Stanley McChrystal, Retired Commander of Joint Special Operations Command (Part 1 of 2)
Gen. Stanley McChrystal is best known for his command of Joint Special Operations in the mid-2000s, in the context of the war in Iraq and Afghanistan. He is a nationally and internationally known speaker and thinker on the subject of leadership, with multiple best-selling books, including a new book, Leaders: Myth and Reality. In 2011, he founded McChrystal Group, a leadership advisory services firm that helps organizations navigate leadership challenges.
In this episode of The Culture Gap — the first of two episodes featuring Gen. McChrystal — he shares his definition of leadership, and its relationship to vision, strategy, and culture. He also highlights the role of followers as part of the leadership equation, and why the concept of agency is so powerful and important in leadership. Gen. McChrystal shares examples from his own experiences, including deconstructing a famous vision statement from President Trump. He also speaks to the role of corporate culture as it relates to leadership and agency within an organization. Welcome to The Culture Gap.
[:41] Daniel introduces his guest for this episode — Gen. Stanley McChrystal.
[1:45] Who is Gen. Stanley McChrystal?
[2:22] What are Gen. McChrystal’s core values? Was it nature or nurture that brought them forth?
[4:36] Can leadership be defined? What is Gen. McChrystal’s definition of leadership?
[6:24] What is the chemistry for followers in the formula of leadership?
[8:51] Gen. McChrystal shares some insights on vision, and how leaders can bring vision to even chaotic situations.
[11:28] Gen. McChrystal highlights why President Trump’s vision in 2016 was so effective.
[14:36] How does the concept of “agency” relate to leadership?
[18:06] What is the connection between corporate culture, leadership, and agency?
[24:11] What would Gen. McChrystal’s approach be going into a company in an uncomfortable and difficult situation?
[27:17] How does Gen. McChrystal see closing the gap between strategy and culture?
[29:39] CEO turnover is becoming a bit of a national crisis. Why is CEO turnover at an all-time high, and how can this trend be reversed?
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