By Peter High. Published in Forbes.
It has been eight and a half years since General Stanley McChrystal retired from the United States Army. Since then, he has been busy. He has built a thriving consulting firm, The McChrystal Group, which focuses on leadership consulting. He has lectured at Yale University. He has spoken at conferences around the world, and he has written three books, including the best seller, Team of Teams: New Rules of Engagement for a Complex World.
His most recent book is Leaders: Myth and Reality. General McChrystal and his co-authors, Jeff Eggers and Jay Mangone, explore a variety of different genres of leaders from geniuses, founders, politicians, reformers, heroes, and zealots. While he asserts that a group’s performance is less about the leaders ability and more about the surrounding factors, General McChrystal claims that the best leaders are those who are empathetic to the group’s position at a given time and are able to constantly adapt. Throughout our conversation, we also discuss General McChrystal’s evolving opinions on Robert E. Lee, his experience with his nemesis in Al Qaeda Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, and why he dedicated his book to John McCain and John Lewis.