7 Leadership Lessons From the Battlefield To the Boardroom

Battlefield Photo

The demands of business leadership are changing as globalization and a growing flood of information make the jobs of leadership teams more complex. Can the old hierarchical style of leadership keep up? What should take its place?

A recent WSJ article interviewed retired Generals Stan McChrystal and Mike Flynn about their experiences on the battlefield and how to apply those lessons towards business. While the meaning of competition may be different for business versus the military, the principles of defeating the competition through a focused strategy and great execution are the same. Here are their seven leadership takeaways from the battlefield for the boardroom.

How Do You Stay Great? #1 Way Executives Fail


“If you watch sports, you know that world-class athletes don’t stay world-class for long. While executives and leaders don’t age nearly as fast as athletes do, companies, markets and technology change 1,000 times faster than football. As a result, the executive who is spectacular in this year’s 100-person startup may be washed up in next year’s version when the company has 400 people and $100 million in revenue.”

This quote is by Ben Horowitz, a cofounder and Partner of the venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz based in Menlo Park. It really started me thinking. After all, what do we base our company’s future on but that of an A Class team? And how do we keep our team great?

The 4Ps Are Out, the 4Es Are In

experience conceptual meter

The significant transformation of customer behavior continues at full speed today. I have written about this topic in the past, and I think it is time to put it at the forefront again. “Today’s consumer has seized control. Audiences have shattered into fragments and slices. Product differences can last minutes, not years. The new ecosystem is millions and billions of unstructured one-to-one and peer-to-peer conversations.”

The four “P’s” of marketing (Product, Price, Place, and Promotion) are old news. They’ve been replaced with the four “E’s” — Experience, Exchange, Everyplace, Evangelism. Brian Fetherstonhaugh from Ogilvy & Mather introduced a new framework almost 5 years ago – and I think it is still very relevant today. It’s a new tool kit. They advise to throw away the Four Ps and embrace the Four Es …

7 Marketing Truths Every Business Leader Should Know


If you ask 20 business leaders to define marketing, you’ll get many different answers. Yet it plays a pivotal role in your business. In a recent Entrepreneur column Steve Tobak, managing partner of Silicon Valley based Invisor Consulting, asks why is marketing so hard to pin down and how do great marketers learn about marketing?

So how do great marketers learn about marketing? Tobak contends it’s on the job. Here are 7 truths Steve Tobak has learned along the way that every business leader should know.

Can You Do Less, But Better?


We can have it all! In our work, play and relationship worlds, technology, Google and unprecedented accessibility often lead to our relentless pursuit of more. Author Greg McKeown states, “Our whole society has become consumed by the undisciplined pursuit of more.”

This can lead to: Finding yourself too busy to plan. Trying to fit it all in. Everything seems important to you. When things don’t fit, you try to force it. You sometimes feel overworked and underutilized. And you are drunk with possibilities. Here is how to do less, but better …