Magazine article Army

Leadership Practices of Unconventional Figures

Magazine article Army

Leadership Practices of Unconventional Figures

Article excerpt

Leadership Practices of Unconventional Figures Leaders: Myth and Reality. Gen. Stanley McChrystal, Jeff Eggers and Jason Mangone. Portfolio/Penguin Random House. 480pages. $30

Former Joint Special Operations Command commander Gen. Stanley McChrystal, once described by former Defense Secretary Robert Gates as "perhaps the finest warrior and leader of men in combat I had ever met," has turned to some unlikely sources for inspiration in a new book about leadership.

His memoir, My Share ofthe Task, spoke of how leadership at every level of the military had changed since his formal U.S. Military Academy education. "I had to forego the model of leadership I'd grown up learning to emulate," he wrote.

In his new book, rather than Pershing, Patton and Petraeus, or Hannibal, Napoleon and Zhuge Liang if you prefer a foreign twist to your strategic lessons, McChrystal looks at nonmilitary entrepreneurs, geniuses, power brokers, reformers and even zealots to find new leadership models, saying these are human stories where people succeeded based on talent, extraordinary drive or even good luck.

That's how you end up with a leadership book that studies Walter Elias Disney, known to the world as Walt, an art school student who was too young to enlist in the Army but nonetheless benefited from the post-World War II boom in the American economy. Describing Disney as both "inspirational and maddening," the business worked because it was led by someone with fresh ideas who also had some level-headed guides like his brother and business partner, Roy. …

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