Management lessons from an American general

After war war, jaw jaw

STANLEY MCCHRYSTAL’S voice is hoarse as he addresses a packed arena in Helsinki. His audience, mostly businessmen in dark suits, is rapt. The American former general tells thrilling battlefield stories of leading the Joint Special Operations Command in Iraq, which captured Saddam Hussein and killed Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, al-Qaeda’s local chief. He explains how his outfit adapted against an unexpectedly difficult enemy. A change in management style let his group go from conducting a handful of raids each month to hundreds, achieving better results against insurgents.

Neither America’s occupation of Iraq nor Mr McChrystal’s military career ended well. He went on to lead Western forces in Afghanistan, but stood down in 2010 after falling out with his political bosses. He reinvented himself as a management consultant. His McChrystal Group employs 65 people. It draws on its founder’s experience hunting insurgents to advise businesses,…Continue reading

This post was originally published in the Economist.

Management lessons from an American general

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