[February 05, 2015] The winter months bring more time for indoor activities and reading is something that naturally lends itself to the warm comfort of an overstuffed chair and crackling fireplace. I don’t have a fireplace but the comfy chair is mine and indispensible. Today I’ll be providing a short review on a longer-than-typical book on leadership – 439 pages in my paperback including endnotes. Lesson for leaders … always read the footnotes and endnotes!
My Share of the Task: A Memoir, General Stanley McChrystal, 2013.
This is a darn good book. Anyone interested in either the Global War on Terrorism (do we still use that description anymore?) or leadership will immensely enjoy this book. Stock full of some tremendous lessons on leader successes and failures, it quickly gets to the heart of what were the makings of General Stanley McChrystal. Yes, it is a memoir but reads more like a book about how to be better in leading and managing. For those without military experience, it will require only a little more effort to read it; no there is not military jargon but the concepts are best understood by those who have spent their lives in the military. The book is about the real heroes of the military; from the great generals, to the best NCOs, to ancient leaders, and the lessons they provided McChrystal. I specifically found his writing about his personal struggle to transition from an operational to a strategic leader. This is the stuff that makes reading McChrystal all the more helpful. The book does not glorify McChrystal but does show how loyalty is a key ingredient in successful leadership. The book is highly recommended.
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