Paula Broadwell says U.S. Army Gen. David Petraeus is a man of drive with a desire to serve his country. His proven leadership record on the battlefield offers up lessons for anyone to practice – no matter what business or field they are in.
Paula Broadwell had great access to Petraeus in writing her book, which she described as not only a war chronicle, but a “strategic leadership portrait, so that leaders from any industry could extract from it.”
“His philosophy is, ‘leaders have to get the big ideas right,’” she continued. “Whether that’s in education – it’s maybe not about No Child Left Behind – maybe it’s about every child college-ready. So we have to frame the problem right. For him, in Iraq, we had to focus on protecting the population.”
Petraeus would recommend: Get the big ideas right, communicate those ideas effectively to your workers so they understand what you’re trying to do – down to the lowest guy on the totem pole, whether that be the soldier in the foxhole or the newest administrative assistant in your company – and oversee implementation to make sure those ideas are being executed. Another tip: stop worst practices and make sure to adopt best practices.
“If you don’t learn the right lessons and encourage your organization to learn and grow and share those practices across the force, then, again, the enemy may adapt faster,” Broadwell said.
Before the CIA, Petraeus served 37 years in the U.S. Army; he was a four-star general. His last assignments in the Army were as commander of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) and Commander, U.S. Forces Afghanistan, from July 4, 2010 to July 18, 2011. His also served as the 10th Commander of U.S. Central Command, and as Commanding General of the Multi-National Force in Iraq, during which time he oversaw all coalition forces.
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