[October 3, 2019] Summer is on the wane and my family is gearing up as we look forward to the autumn season; changing of the leaves, cooler weather, and great ways to travel this great country. Change is what the world is about, and that is one of the threads running through the book by Jim Mattis and Bing West. Anyone who agrees that we live in an imperfect world and that the mission of all nations is to live peacefully but to protect the weak against tyranny should read this book. I’ve read some great books over the past six years as I write my leadership blog but Mattis and West’s book is among the best. I look forward to great reading of this sort throughout the autumn.
Call Sign Chaos: Learning to Lead, Jim Mattis and Bing West, 2019
I preordered this book because of the respect and admiration I have for USMC General (Retired) James Mattis. During my time in combat and at home, I heard many great things about him, his philosophy of leadership, and his leadership traits. I couldn’t wait to jump right into the book, and I was not disappointed. The book begins with some background of Mattis growing up, and I thought that maybe I could skip this part of the book; wrong. Read the entire book, cover to cover and you will be pleased by the ways that Mattis and West write about learning to lead.
One short story about Mattis’ call sign “chaos.” While stationed in the desert of the west part of the U.S., then Colonel Mattis noted the word written on the operations officer’s whiteboard. When he asked about it, he was told that it means the “Colonel Has An Outstanding Solution.” There never was a “Mad Dog” according to Mattis. The book is about how to lead in a chaotic world. It’s about how individuals should act and the importance of building your reputation, integrity, hard work, and the three Cs (competence, caring, and conviction). For more on this, see my article a few weeks ago (link here). Mattis is all for allies. He believes deeply that a robust internationalism of nations with shared values is in the best interest of us all. This is best illustrated in this quote, “nations with allies thrive, nations without allies wither.”
Overall, an outstanding book and, of course, highly recommended.
To go to the full Professional Reading list, click on this direct link: www.theleadermaker.com/reading-list/
Side Note: Please remember and take a look at Tom Copeland’s reading blog. His website, which I highly recommend, can be found here: https://militaryreadinglists.com/map