6ers, getting the big ideas right have the power to shape your strategy and direction. They serve as the foundation upon which everything is built but getting it right requires a process of building an environment where it is constantly refined, adopted by the people because it is inclusive, and be successfully implemented across the whole organization.
GEN (R) David Petraeus is a former CIA director, retired US Army general, professor, and business executive. GEN Petraeus was named one of America’s 25 Best Leaders by US News and World Report (2005), and a runner-up for Time magazine’s Person of the Year (2007. He served as commander of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), commander of the US Forces in Afghanistan, commander of the US Central Command, and commanding general of Multi-National Force – Iraq, where he oversaw all coalition forces. He earned his doctorate degree in international relations and economics from Princeton University. Throughout his career, he earned numerous honors and awards, including the Bronze Star Medal for Valor, among others.
You will know about the four tasks that strategic leaders must be great at, getting the big ideas right, communicating those ideas effectively, overseeing the implementation of ideas, and determining how to refine the big ideas.
As such, you will learn that these have a structured process. What happens is that we may get hit with an idea like Newton’s apple during moments of reflection but those are just seeds. The reality is big ideas are formed in a more structured process.
00:40 - His experience throwing out the opening pitch at the World Series and conducting the coin flip at the Super Bowl
02:28 - Growing up with his own sailboat and seven miles from West Point
04:22 - Building foundational military leadership experience with infrastructure projects and reconciliation programs in Iraq
08:29 - GEN (R) Petraeus shares what he did as a strategic leader understanding, communicating, overseeing, and refining the big ideas and getting them right
11:40 - Building a culture that welcomes constructive dissent and why it needs to be an iterative process
14:57 - The importance of repetition in the leadership process, promoting initiative, and implementing counterinsurgency guidance
17:24 - Culture of open communication within the chain of command and his rigorous physical fitness programs to enhance competitiveness
24:03 - How GEN (R) Petraeus faced major mistakes and setbacks, both at individual and unit levels
25:44 - The leadership qualities of GEN Grant as being brilliant in combat at the tactical, operational, and strategic levels
31:45 - Announcing goal to others to hold oneself accountable is a crucial factor in the success
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