I happened to catch General Tony Zinni on The Daily Show a few weeks ago. This was the first time I’d seen him talk, and I found him to be an incredibly creative, thoughtful man. So this weekend, I sat down and read his recently published leadership book Leading the Charge: Leadership Lessons from the Battlefield to the Boardroom. If you want to learn more about General Zinni’s long list of accomplishments, both inside and outside the military, there is a really good Wikipedia profile of him here.
In this book, General Zinni describes an introspective, creative, and rapidly changing American military mindset. After reading, I’m convinced the subtitle should have been something like “Lessons from the New Military for a Corporate America Totally Blowing It.”
This book provides a crisp analysis of the failures of the 20th century leadership model still prevalent in most businesses today. It is an indictment of the post-economic-meltdown-state of American business, which he believes was caused in large part by a systemic failure of this traditional leadership model.
Like a true man of action, General Zinni brings his own ideas and experience of leadership methods that work in the high-pressure, high-risk world of the military to the table. He provides a vision for how we can fix what is broken, and shows what the leadership model for the 21st century organization could be.