One of the advantages of travelling to the US is the buying of books that are not available yet, or much more expensive than in Europe.
So I just bought an interesting book “My Share of the Task” by general Stanley McChrystal, who wrote down his memoirs of his dynamic career, especially as the leader of Taskforce 714. The taskforce that successfully destroyed the organization Al Qaida in Iraq and its terrorist leader Al Zarqawi.
But McChrystal was a special leader who practiced what he preached and came up with a lot of out-of-box concepts for counteracting terrorism, concepts that worked! A general he was not only innovative, raised the bar high for his team, and also for himself, but did not have a lot of respect for politicians and people that lack integrity. And he was not afraid to show and tell. Of course that caused his downfall when a journalist from the Rolling Stone published an interview, after travelling with McChrystal and his team, that mainly highlighted this attitude. Considered being politically incorrect, and showing a sense of humour and self-criticism that most politicians lack,he was fired.
Well, a tremendous loss for the global war against terrorism, but hopefully a step forward for Stanley Mc Chrystal.
In his book his innovative concepts becomes clear and the last chapter he dedicates to leadership. Not leadership from the armchair, the theoretical, the book, or the two-day course, but leadership from the trenches and from the heart as well as the head.
If you doubt about buying this book , take a look at the TED-talk McChrystal presented, called Listen, Learn ,…… then Lead, and you know what you can expect.
TED talk Stanley McChystal: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FmpIMt95ndU
Book: Stanley McChrystal: My Share of the Task; Portfolio/Penguin, 2013, ISBN 978-1-591-84-475-4