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Publisher's Summary

The retired four-star general and best-selling author of My Share of the Task shares a powerful new leadership model

Former general Stanley McChrystal held a key position for much of the War on Terror, as head of the Joint Special Operations Command. In Iraq he found that despite the vastly superior resources, manpower, and training of the US military, Al Qaeda had an advantage because of its structure as a loose network of small, independent cells. Those cells wreaked havoc by always staying one step ahead, sharing knowledge with each other via high-tech communications.

To defeat such an agile enemy, JSOC had to change its focus from efficiency to adaptability. McChrystal led the transformation of his forces into a network that combined robust centralized communication ("shared consciousness") with decentralized managerial authority ("empowered execution").

Now he shows not only how the military made that transition but also how similar shifts are possible in all kinds of organizations, from large companies to startups to charities to government agencies. In a world of rapid change, the best organizations think and act like a team of teams, embracing small groups that combine the freedom to experiment with a relentless drive to share what they've learned.

McChrystal and his colleagues explain their process for helping organizations embrace this model. They also share fascinating research and examples from settings as diverse as emergency rooms and NASA's mission control center.

Read by Paul Michael. Introduction and recaps read by General Stanley McChrystal.

©2015 Penguin Audio (P)2015 General Stanley McChrystal, Chris Fussell, Tantum Collins, David Silverman

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Brilliant

Brilliant compilation of history, personal and collective experience, application of theory, and all fused together with wisdom. Excellent clarity, wonderful humility, and thought provoking perspective. How often the "system" responses to "error" events are inappropriate over-simplifications of the complexity of the process involved. The higher the complexity, the greater the necessity for nimbleness of the empowered team members who all share the same vision of the goal.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

excellent book, very informative.

great book, started listening and could not stop. listened to the book 5 times and learned something new every time. the author breaks down the book in step by step sequence which makes it an easy read

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars

great storytelling along with business relevance

we have a small organization but we want to grow larger. This book helped me understand a little bit more about the path forward to Ward scaling up. My fears are always around losing control and the book helped me understand that I can't keep control. I also really enjoyed the storytelling aspect of all the ancient battles and War history.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Very business relevant

Many of the lessons here are extremely relevant to modern business behemoths being assaulted in all profit centres by highly mobile, capital light, target specific competitors.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Fantastic book on leadership

A well written review on leadership over the years and how much its changed. Then a great look at how much we have to adapt to the changes in technology information and overall corporate structures to advance in our own personal leadership.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Great book - A must read for leaders of orgs

Was not sure how this book would go and I must say I loved it. General McChrystal does a fantastic job of laying out his experiences in the military and relating them to leading any organization. He combines the past, present, and future of leadership styles. The most disappointing thing is my organization is one stuck in the past and this book made it much clearer how behind the times we are.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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21st century team leadership

Great insights that apply to leading Agile Development teams of all scales. Leaders can truly lead an adaptive organization if they can let go of their "heroic leader" tendencies.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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great information about the change in business

loved hearing the historical references of the industrial revolution, how it changed business and the military and how the same rules don't necessarily apply today

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Information age leadership at its best

Stanley McChrystal does a great job explaining the interconnectedness of shared Consciousness and empowered execution through anecdotes and examples. I was impressed with the use of other Industries and projects to highlight military leadership Concepts

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Leading in a networked world

Well written, fascinating tour de force of how we will lead and manage in our enveloping age of complexity. Any leader or manager who ignores the lessons so clearly explained here does so at her own risk. As a bonus, the lesson reads like a 'page turner' novel.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Maeve
  • 11-01-17

Love this!

A must read for anyone in a team, managing teams, establishing teams... so many eureka moments!

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  • Richard
  • 09-03-17

Once up and running good ideas an examples

Found this a little difficult to get into in the early chapters, but the ideas presented are more than valid and well argued. The supporting examples fit perfectly with the message and, whilst rooted in their military origins, are equally relevant to all complex projects that we find ourselves in.

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  • Russell
  • 08-07-17

Good management read

Good read, also goodnifnyou are managing a team. This alines to what DevOps is about in some ways also, from a technical read. Performance clear and easy to understand.

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  • willow
  • 03-12-17

Absolutely excellent book

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I would totally recommend this book

What did you like best about this story?

This book is clever innovative and well written

Have you listened to any of Paul Michael’s other performances? How does this one compare?

no

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

This book certainly made me think

Any additional comments?

Absolutely excellent book

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  • L. Allen
  • 12-25-16

Excellent

An excellent analysis and explanation of the challenges of working in a much more complex world. Highly compelling and actionable

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  • George L.
  • 10-22-16

Loved it

I could never imagine a US Army General could teach all of us in enterprises that many lessons in organization

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  • Al
  • 09-21-16

Excellent management approach in a complex world

Narration was good with nice recapping by the author. Excellent subject matter and an interesting development in military ways of working which align well with civilian organisations. Lessons to be learned all around.

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  • Umashin
  • 07-19-16

very interesting

well performed and very insightful. gave tips and reasoning behind changing your organisational structure to be more adaptive

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  • Andrew Wilson
  • 04-22-16

An excellent book for our times

I found I took more notes from this book than any other I listened to. Really rang a bell for me. Excellent and highly recommended reading for those struggling to explain their need to work a different system to the norm.

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  • Paul
  • 02-20-16

Definately worth a listen

Any additional comments?

The concept of shared conscience was really interesting. I felt the book was a lot longer than it needed to be and I didn't take anything very practical away from the book. But it was a really interesting story of how the US had to create a team of teams and there is a lot to be learnt.

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  • Michael
  • 08-23-17

outstanding in every way!

extraordinary narrative of how to lead in the 21st century in an age where change is only accelerating at a rate never seen before. Highly recommended for anyone who leads in any situation. It will completely rewire the way that you have been taught to think about leadership

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  • Anonymous User
  • 06-06-17

Brilliant

I will listen to this over and over. This book is a gold mine for any human that has to function within an organisation civilian or military. Thanks to General Stanley McChrystal and the other co authors for sharing your wisdom. I really needed this.

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  • John
  • 08-23-16

Worth It

This audiobook was definitely worth the listen, it utilises various real life examples that you could resonate with and provides good summary towards the end of each chapter.

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  • clinton
  • 02-21-16

I listened to the end.....that's a first

Well referenced book with good examples to highlight key points. I would suggest the author is writing this book as his PhD.
The audio was well read and easy to listen to I thoroughly enjoyed it.

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  • Darren
  • 11-02-15

Management redefined

While most of us probably think this book is common sense, we absolutely need to hear these messages over and over again. I loved this book, and I read a lot of management books!!!!

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  • Josh
  • 08-28-15

Well worth the time

After hearing the General talk on Tim Ferriss podcast I promptly bought this book.

Thought provoking and eye opening.

Recommend.

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  • Steve
  • 08-22-15

12 hours of my life I won't get back

12 hours to say what could be said in 30 minutes. disappointing, had hoped for so much more

0 of 1 people found this review helpful