Home > Uncategorized > Leadership and the fate of General McChrystal

Leadership and the fate of General McChrystal

Leadership brings with it many levels of responsibility. The recent fall from grace of our field commander in Afghanistan demonstrates, in my view, that the inability to effectively carry out every aspect of a leadership role, despite your talent of prior accomplishments, is what separates successful and effective leaders from others. In other words, it is meeting peak performance requirements that makes the difference.

General McChrystal had a long and distinguished record as a military leader, and deserves praise for all he has done to defend our coubtry and enhance our national security. Yet, in the end, he did not meet the fullrequirements as a member of the national security team to respect and support his peers, his bosses and team agreements. He also dis not fully carry out his military oath to respect civilian control of policy once it h as been decided. This does not mean he is/was a terrible leader. For many years and through many situations his derring do, full speed ahead, take charge attitude and behavior made him a top performer, which is why he had four stars on his shoulder.

But peak performance in his most recent assignment required more focus on ambiguity, patience with non-military personnel, and the ability to bite your tongue in certain situations. So, in my view, the general failed to meet peak performance requirements, and sealed his own fate.

Please help discuss whether this notion of coming up short in the full job requirements means limited opportunities for remaining a leader, or if there may be other criteria for successful, long-term leadership than always meeting peak performance requirements.

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