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Team of Teams: New Rules of Engagement for a Complex World Hardcover – May 12, 2015

4.7 out of 5 stars 307 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“In addition to being a fascinating and colorful read, this book is an indispensable guide to organizational change.” –Walter Isaacson, from the foreword
 
“This is a bold argument that leaders can help teams become greater than the sum of their parts.” —Charles Duhigg, author of The Power of Habit
 
Team of Teams is erudite, elegant, and insightful. An unexpected and surprising wealth of information and wonder, it provides a blueprint for how to cope with increasing complexity in the world. A must read for anyone who cares about the future—and that means all of us.” —Daniel Levitin, author of The Organized Mind
 
Team of Teams is a compelling, pragmatic argument for a more information-rich, decentral­ized approach to management from a leader who has successfully weathered storms with higher stakes than most business leaders will ever encounter. A must-read book for anyone serious about taking their leadership further, faster.”—John Venhuizen, president & CEO, Ace Hardware Corporation
 
“General Stan McChrystal’s Team of Teams is an instant classic. Best leadership book I have read in many a decade, by one of our nation’s most gifted and iconic general officers.”—Admiral James Stavridis, USN (Ret), Supreme Allied Commander at NATO 2009–2013; dean, The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University
 
“The lessons and concepts outlined in Team of Teams provide a valuable blueprint for leader­ship across any industry or domain. The principles of classical leadership struggle to deal with today’s pace of change, free-flow of information, and the entrepreneurial spirit of the digital generation. Team of Teams harnesses these new realities as assets, providing a leader­ship framework to produce the inclusiveness and adaptability of a fast-moving start-up, at the scale of any size organization.” —Brad Smith, president and CEO, Intuit
 
“In Team of Teams, General Stanley McChrystal, who won some of our most striking victories in the great war between nations and terrorist networks, shares insights for all in this lucid, persuasive, and sometimes wrenching account of our troubled yet transformational times.” —John Arquilla, professor, Defense Analysis United States Naval Postgraduate School
 
“In the fast-moving world of today and tomorrow, organizations that don’t adapt will sim­ply fade. Team of Teams makes this case in compelling ways. I literally could not put the book down.” —Peter Bergen, author of Manhunt: The Ten-Year Search for Bin Laden from 9/11 to Abbottabad”

About the Author

Stanley McChrystal retired from the U.S. Army as a four-star general after more than thirty-four years of service. His last assignment was as the commander of all American and coalition forces in Afghanistan. His memoir, My Share of the Task, was a New York Times bestseller. He is a senior fellow at Yale University’s Jackson Institute for Global Affairs and the cofounder of CrossLead, a leadership consulting firm. Tantum Collins is currently studying international relations at Cambridge University as a Marshall Scholar. David Silverman and Chris Fussell are senior execu­tives at CrossLead and former U.S. Navy SEAL officers.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Portfolio (May 12, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1591847486
  • ISBN-13: 978-1591847489
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (307 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,177 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Jason C. Howk on May 12, 2015
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Team of Teams offers insights into the modern practice of leadership and management required to navigate and succeed in this complex world. The book is not a military history, but instead a concise and exceptionally “fun to read” collection of insightful ideas told through entertaining stories ranging from industry to hospital emergency rooms. I recommend it for leaders and associates from all types of organizations who need to break down the effects of siloed teams in which information flow and decision making is ineffective in today’s increasingly complex environment. If you are working your teams harder and putting more resources against a problem that isn’t improving, READ this book and be prepared to look closely in the mirror.

The discussions in the book are grounded in organizational management theory and leadership methods, but along the way gives a once in a lifetime look at the inside of the most storied Special Operations Forces (SOF) unit in existence today. This is not a book about the latest way to become a great leader. In fact it’s about becoming the kind of senior leader that can develop and sustain an entire workforce of great leaders. The lessons the authors put forward to challenge the typical (and often failing) organizational models and leadership approaches were paid for in blood over the last decade.

I do not come at this review as a scholar of organizational management but rather as a participant and recipient of the Team of Teams approach in the military where I was a leader for over 20 years. I have known the author for more than 2 decades having served as a front line Soldier and leader in his unit and also as his assistant/confidante/advisor during his most senior command.
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Format: Hardcover
I am writing this review from the perspective of a surgeon in an administrative leadership role at a large health system in the Midwest. I have no military background but found the details of military operations in Iraq riveting. The book is extremely well-written and easy to read, even for the militarily naive. In Team of Teams: New Rules of Engagement for a Complex World, General Stanley McChrystal does a masterful job of weaving war stories and business lessons into an instructional manual for business leaders today. He charges leaders to create organizations that are nimble, transparent, horizontal rather than hierarchical, and which empower their people to execute based on the concept of ‘shared consciousness’. Teach them and allow them to trust their gut and use their best judgement based on their training and knowledge of organizational goals. Just as the military needed to adapt to overcome the changing landscape of battle in Afghanistan and Iraq in order to be successful, so must organizations in the ever-changing landscape of corporate America. This book should be read by leaders of organizations both large and small so they can get the most out of their workforce and thrive in today’s ever-changing business climate.
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Format: Hardcover
Team of Teams is a fantastic read on navigating the complexities of today's world using lessons learned from the best this nation has to offer. This book takes the reader on a journey that outlines the origins of modern management practices, with its traditional focus on efficiency and scientific management; reveals the shortcomings of this type of thinking in today's increasingly complex world; and provides principles for effective leadership derived from lessons learned in Iraq and Afghanistan.

To say that this book, however, is one derived from - and intended for - military endeavors would be to miss the point. Much of the content reflects a diverse treatment of management and analysis principles. For example, the authors' treatment of traditional, efficiency-minded management practices is derived largely from a historical analysis of Frederick Taylor's "The Principles of Scientific Management." Taylor's principles were born out of efforts to streamline the construction of hydraulic machinery and culminated in a widespread belief that "an effective enterprise is created by commitment to efficiency, and that the role of the manager is to break things apart and plan 'the one best way'" (McChrystal et al., 46). His practices rapidly spread and, despite attacks on his treatment of individual workers, Taylor's influence is still seen today in our understanding of business management and military discipline.

This book, however, presents a compelling interpretation of today's world that calls for a fundamentally different approach to management and leadership.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Although I have no military experience, I found that the stories, examples, and concepts were very accessible when weaved together in the context of the private sector challenges that anyone faces. As a human resource professional, I work for a private investment company that struggles with getting the managers of international offices, located in several countries, to work together intelligently. Our challenge is to achieve transparency when working on projects although we are on different time zones and have different organizational cultures. The theory presented in this book to work toward leading leaders is helpful for this context. I recommend this novel to anyone because it is not only engaging, but also helpful for any group looking to achieve organizational change.
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