How to Lead With Empathy Like a Four-star General
Lead with open lines of communication and integrity
As the COVID-19 pandemic intensified its assault at home and abroad, retired four-star general Stanley McChrystal found himself in pressing demand. Since 2011, McChrystal--who, as commander of U.S. special operations in Iraq after 9/11, had orchestrated the capture of Saddam Hussein--has applied his military acumen to building a business consultancy, McChrystal Group, with former Navy SEAL Chris Fussell. The pair codified their leadership insights in a best-selling book, Team of Teams: New Rules of Engagement for a Complex World.
When the country shifted, perhaps too gradually, to war footing against a new and unseen viral enemy, McChrystal emerged as an authority for the authorities, a motivator for the motivators--and wrote an impassioned call to arms for The New York Times. He's provided advice to executives at companies such as Deutsche Bank and Verizon, and became manager of the Covid-19 response strategy for the city of Boston.
Still, McChrystal generously took time to speak with Inc. and share his wisdom about motivating teams when the world seems on the verge of derailing. He stresses empathy, authenticity and leading by example.
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