Stanley McChrystal (@stanmcchrystal) retired from the U.S. Army as a four-star general after more than 34 years of service. Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates described McChrystal as “perhaps the finest warrior and leader of men in combat I ever met.”
From 2003 to 2008, McChrystal served as Commander of Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC), where he was credited with the death of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, leader of Al-Qaeda in Iraq.
His last assignment was as the commander of all American and coalition forces in Afghanistan. He is a senior fellow at Yale University’s Jackson Institute for Global Affairs and the co-founder of CrossLead, a leadership consulting firm.
In this episode, we discuss everything imaginable, including:
– Why he only eats one meal per day, and what he eats
– His exact exercise regimen
– Tactical and psychological lessons of combat
– Self-talk used before and after difficult missions
– The development of mental toughness
– Favorite books, documentaries, etc.
– And much, much more
Chris Fussell (@FussellChris), who also joins the conversation, is a former U.S. Navy SEAL officer, former Aide-de-Camp for General McChrystal, and a current senior executive at CrossLead.
- Listen to it on iTunes.
- Stream by clicking here.
- Download as an MP3 by right-clicking here and choosing “save as”.
Want to hear a podcast related to personal security in the digital age? — Listen to my conversation with Marc Goodman, a former FBI futurist focused on defeating high-tech crime. Learn how not to be an easy target — stream below or right-click here to download:
Also, don’t miss my interview with hacker Samy Kamkar. — Listen to our conversation on conquering online dating, opening locked cars, and his story of accidentally taking down MySpace with the fastest-growing “worm” of all time (stream below or right-click here to download):
This episode is sponsored by Athletic Greens. I get asked all the time, “If you could only use one supplement, what would it be?” My answer is, inevitably, Athletic Greens. It is my all-in-one nutritional insurance. I recommended it in the The 4-Hour Body and did not get paid to do so. Get 50% off your order at Athletic Greens.com/Tim
This podcast is also brought to you by 99Designs, the world’s largest marketplace of graphic designers. Did you know I used 99Designs to rapid prototype the cover for The 4-Hour Body? Here are some of the impressive results. Click this link and get a free $99 upgrade. Give it a test run..
QUESTION(S) OF THE DAY: In your opinion, what makes a good leader, and who exemplifies those qualities? Please share in the comments.
Scroll below for links and show notes…
Selected Links from the Episode
- Please say hello to the guests on Twitter – @StanMcChrystal and @FussellChris
- Team of Teams – Stan and Chris’s New York Times bestseller
- Read the article 10,000 Hours with Reid Hoffman by Ben Casnocha
- Gates of Fire by Steven Pressfield
- Once an Eagle by Anton Myrer
- Mental Toughness Training for Sports by James Loehr
- Do you know the Naval officer who championed the development of aircraft carriers between WWI and WWII? Please let me know in the comments. I’m fairly certain that Stan is referencing Rear Admiral William Moffett, but can anyone confirm?
- Steve Jobs, The Innovators and Benjamin Franklin by Walter Isaacson
- Learn more about The War Room, a documentary about Bill Clinton’s presidential campaign
- Learn more about the McChrystal Group and Team of Teams:
- Why eat one meal per day? [5:36]
- Understanding SOCOM and JSOC [9:21]
- On the role of an aide-de-camp (ADC) [13:21]
- How Chris Fussell reduced friction as Stanley McChrystal’s ADC [15:46]
- Stanley McChrystal’s daily exercise habits and why they’re important [19:36]
- Most gifted books for those entering combat situations [28:21]
- On West Point: Slugs and Area Tours [31:01]
- On mischief in school and success in the Army [34:11]
- How peer reviews worked at West Point [35:11]
- On vetting applicants for important positions [38:11]
- Stanley McChrystal’s selection criteria for candidates [47:11]
- Why Chris Fussell left the service early and defining “intelligence fusion cells” [53:21]
- The most underrated military leaders? [57:36]
- Fanatical audiobook listening habits and book selection [59:36]
- Why Stanley McChrystal personally attended battlefield operations [1:06:21]
- Hopeless dilemmas and managing self-talk in high-pressure environments [1:14:31]
- Who comes to mind when Chris Fussell thinks of “successful”? [1:20:21]
- Common organizational misperceptions between civilians and military personnel [1:24:21]
- Meditation practices [1:29:11]
- The “Red Team” concept in the military [1:31:11]
- What are good ways for the average citizens to practice military strategy? Games? Activities? [1:36:06]
- Stanley McChrystal on chess vs. backgammon and the complexities of modern day leadership [1:38:51]
- What surprised Stanley McChrystal about Yale University [1:41:21]
- The story behind Team of Teams and modern leadership challenges [1:44:01]
- Stanley McChrystal’s advice to his thirty-year old self [1:55:06]
Posted on: July 5, 2015.
Watch The Tim Ferriss Experiment, the new #1-rated TV show with "the world's best human guinea pig" (Newsweek), Tim Ferriss. It's Mythbusters meets Jackass. Shot and edited by the Emmy-award winning team behind Anthony Bourdain's No Reservations and Parts Unknown. Here's the trailer.