Episode 15:

Episode 15: Part 1: Leadership Lessons from a Four-Star General

Key Takeaways

In part one of this podcast episode, Stanley McChrystal, Former Commander of U.S. and International Forces in Afghanistan, Bestselling Author, and Founder of the McChrystal Group, shared with us invaluable lessons on what leadership is and how to manage imminent transformational changes in your sales organization.

[0:40] – Stan explains why the topic of leadership is so poorly understood.

[2:17] – The three myths of leadership: Formulaic, Attribution, Results

[7:33] – How Stan defines leadership and reframes what it means to be a leader.

[12:52] – For sales organizations going through a transformation, how do you break down the thought process of creating a successful change? Stan shares his personal experience on implementing change to figure out what you have to do in order to win

[18:24] – As a leader, it’s okay to say, “I don’t know.”

[19:02] – How do you know if you’re on the right track when you’re in the throes of leading a sales transformation?

[21:58] – Change is difficult. How do you break the status quo bias to change the mindset of your team?

[24:32] – How do you get your team onboard to change? The status quo is not acceptable. You can’t steer until it’s moving.

[25:55] – How to keep your team motivated and focused on the greater mission when changes are at odds with their self-interest.

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What a powerful and eloquent explanation of how he thought and reached a conclusion that changed a lifelong belief. One of the things I’ve always look for in leaders is their ability—or lack of one—to change strongly held beliefs when presented with new facts. Looking forward to the rest of the interview.

– George Estrada, Chief Technology Officer, CWPS

Loved this conversation, authentic, reflecting and to the point. Leaders always have to demonstrate the ability to adjust their strategies, behaviors and actions to changed, complex and new situations.

– Tamara Schenk, Research Director, CSO Insights, The Research Division of Miller Heiman Group 

Most reflective. What is most endearing is that our General self reflected, gained new insights, admitted a flaw in himself, and others, and rose above to make the right decision. Such an authentic interview. All leaders will glean much from your intimate interview with a legend in my mind.

– Jay Tyler, CEO, Jay Tyler Consulting

“McChrystal has it totally right. Leaders are just human—we all make mistakes in our careers. But it’s what we learn from those mistakes and how we internalize that learning that sets apart great leaders from others.”

– Lori Mitchell-Keller, Co-President Industries at SAP