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Doug McMillon (CEO / Walmart)
Here's a list of the top books that taught and inspired me this year. I go back to Sam Walton's book frequently and was struck, this year, by some common principles between Sam and General McChrystal. It seems they learned some similar things about what works when it comes to leading teams. For example, fostering a shared consciousness and empowering execution delivers results. Greg Foran shared The Good Jobs Strategy with me and I see a connection to Tim Brown's Change by Design. We are making progress in designing a "system" for our associates that results in opportunities for them and an even better work environment.
When General Stanley McChrystal took command of the Joint Special Operations Task Force in Iraq in 2003, he quickly realized that conventional military tactics were failing. The allied forces had a huge advantage in numbers, equipment and training - but none of the enemy's speed and flexibility. McChrystal and his colleagues discarded a century of conventional wisdom to create a 'team of teams' that combined extremely transparent communication with decentralized decision-making authority.
Faster, flatter and more flexible, the task force beat back al-Qaeda. In this powerful book, McChrystal and his colleagues show how the challenges they faced in Iraq can be relevant to any leader. Through compelling examples, the authors demonstrate that the 'team of teams' strategy has worked everywhere from hospital emergency rooms to NASA and has the potential to transform organizations large and small.
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