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What a Volleyball Coach Can Learn From a Four Star General

Four-star general Stanley McChrystal shares what he learned about leadership over his decades in the military. How can you build a sense of shared purpose among people of many ages and skill sets? By listening and learning — and addressing the possibility of failure.


Live, learn…then Lead

“Leaders can let you fail, and yet, not let you be a failure.”

“A leader isn’t good because they’re right.  They’re good because they are willing to learn and trust.”

“Instead of giving orders, you’re now building consensus.  Building a sense of shared purpose.”

Inversion of Expertise

“How does a person stay credible when a person hasn’t done the things done by the people they are leading?  By being transparent, willing to listen, willing to be reverse mentored from lower rank or younger age.”

“Relationships are the sinew that holds the force together.”

Every Ranger promises every other Ranger:

“If you need me, I’m coming.”

– They’ve lived up to it, which gives it special power, potentially stronger than a marriage vow.

“The people you’ve counted on will help you out.  The people that count on you will need you on your feet.”

More on Stanley A. McChrystal’s insight: It Takes a Network, Foreign Policy Magazine.

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