Even though I like to think of myself as not a rush to judgment type of person and a recurring theme in my posts has been, “Get to know people, not about people”, which almost always comes from sources other than the people in question.”, this past week I read General Stanley McChrystal’s new book, “Team of Teams: New Rules of Engagement for a Complex World”, beginning with some negative preconceived notions about General McChyrstal. The Rolling Stones article, “The Runaway General” years ago left me with a vastly different impression of him as a leader than I hold now after reading his truly fascinating and brilliant book. He’s well on his way to winning my heart and mind and that’s no exaggeration!
I began reading his new book, expecting the usual, boring leadership prescriptions and a whole lot of detailed daring war stories to stir patriotic fervor, but instead General McChrystal offers some of the most brilliant, innovative, bold, and I might even say, radical, ideas ever put forth by an American general. Every chapter left me rethinking some of my cherished beliefs and considering new ways of approaching old problems. This book puts me in mind of sitting down and pondering Malcolm Gladwell’s books, where even if you don’t accept all of his conclusions, just exploring his fascinating ideas, forcing you to look at things differently, leaves you better off than when you started.
So far on amazon.com the book has a 5 star rating and I’d give it 6 stars if I could. In fact, I liked it so much, that I’m going to order his previous book, “My Share of the Task: A Memoir”, which I skipped over last year, because of opinions I formed from news reporting years ago.