Leading the Charge: Leadership Lessons from the Battlefield to the Boardroom


“What’s happened to our leaders and to our leadership?”

Based on General Zinni’s leadership experiences from the battlefield to the boardroom, Leading the Charge shows a new way through the significant leadership challenges of the 21st century.

The times are changing at an ever-increasing velocity. Old systems, organizations, and ways of operating no longer work in our dynamic, complex and increasingly unstable new environment. Out of this ...

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Leading the Charge: Leadership Lessons from the Battlefield to the Boardroom

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“What’s happened to our leaders and to our leadership?”

Based on General Zinni’s leadership experiences from the battlefield to the boardroom, Leading the Charge shows a new way through the significant leadership challenges of the 21st century.

The times are changing at an ever-increasing velocity. Old systems, organizations, and ways of operating no longer work in our dynamic, complex and increasingly unstable new environment. Out of this chaos and confusion, a new and different leader must emerge. Old systems and methods will no longer work.

Leading the Charge is a visionary leadership book that examines the trends that have reshaped our world and the ways in which visionary leaders and organizations can effectively respond. Tomorrow’s successful leaders—in all fields, including the military, academia, politics, and business—must know how to create, operate, and thrive in very fluid, flattened, and integrated structures that are remarkably different from the traditional organizations we are used to seeing. They will have to manage rapidly changing technology and flows of information, and create faster and more far-reaching spans of control.

Leading the Charge shows the way, and is an incisive and compelling guide to the new world of leadership, one that will prove indispensable for years to come.

Organized around “Leading a New World,” a revolutionary leadership course General Zinni developed and taught at the Terry Sanford Institute of Public Policy at Duke University, Leading the Charge makes a convincing case that leaders must . . .

- change with the times to be relevant.

- be ready for crisis mode at any given time.

- have a moral compass and the ability to steer the company in the right direction.

- be forward thinking, not reactive, to provide innovation and creativity.

- develop great leaders.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Gen. Anthony Zinni (Ret.) in drawing upon a lifetime of competition on the battlefield and in corporate boardrooms has issued a call to action to restore American leadership and greatness. This is a must read for anyone who is concerned about what has happened to our country." —William Cohen, former Secretary of Defense


"From one of America’s most respected and experienced military leaders and strategic thinkers comes a real, unvarnished, thorough examination of leadership.  General Zinni lays out not only lessons of leadership but the leadership that will be required for America’s future.  This book should be high on the list of important reading for our citizens, educators, leaders in every sphere of our society… and especially our next generation of leaders." —Senator Chuck Hagel


 "As only a true leader can, Tony Zinni goes straight to the root of our challenges today. For too long, leadership and its attendant qualities have been undervalued. Tony’s clear-eyed observations and advice on this topic come at a time when they are sorely needed and certainly from a person who well understands the necessary elements of leadership – vision, execution, and accountability. —Richard L. Armitage, former Deputy Secretary of State


Leading the Charge is a thoughtful and evocative lesson plan on leadership which is equally applicable to business leaders as well as military and political leaders. In today’s ‘briar patch’ complex environment where borders do not exist and politics, economics, and military and social issues intertwine, he has artfully detailed the strategy, tactics and logistics that are required for leaders to be successful. From ‘knowing the sea you swim in’ to the importance of balance to building a good organization, General Zinni methodically takes today’s and tomorrow’s leaders through a self reflective, inspiring exercise.” – Thomas J. Campbell, President, DC Capital Partners


"General Zinni lays out a comprehensive approach to leadership which is insightful and forward looking. He highlights key lessons which should be invaluable for professionals in all walks of life. He is a powerful role model and his philosophy reminds us of the critical difference that great leadership can make."—Robert Kaplan, Professor of Management Practice, Harvard Business School and former Vice Chairman, Goldman Sachs


 "Leading the Charge is an insightful, highly useful guide to meeting the challenges in today’s world. We highly recommend that readers put Leading the Charge on their 'must read-must buy' list and add it to their personal libraries. This former 4-star Marine general’s outstanding book is a ‘5-star’ guide to leadership — we rate this book '5 STARS,' our highest rating." — Col. Jerry D. Morelock (ret.), Armchair General


“Dispenses practical guidelines with particular relevance and resonance.”—Publishers Weekly


"This book makes it clear that General Zinni not only has absorbed good leadership traits from his multifaceted life, but also has studied it deeply. He has tried to share that deep understanding with others, in the Marines, in business and in academic settings. This may be the best of all examples of true leadership."—Semper Fi, the Magazine of the Marine Corps League



Praise for The Battle for Peace:

"A warning that deserves serious consideration."—The New York Times

"[Zinni] is a distinctly non-ideological man in an era when ideology is running rampant both home and abroad."—Michael Abramowitz, The Washington Post

"Zinni is one of the more interesting men produced by the American military, with a supple mind that quickly adjusted to the new realities brought about by the collapse of the Soviet empire."—Philip Caputo, New York Times Book Review

"The intellectual complement to Zinni and Clancy's bestselling Battle Ready...This volume provides the former Central Command chief's analysis of America's current global position...Zinni's pragmatic, low key approach merits serious condiseration."—Publishers Weekly

"Refreshingly contrarian, and perfectly commonsensical."—Kirkus Reviews

"[Zinni and Koltz] provide a clear analysis and plan for the future of America that challenges all—policy wonks, soldiers, and citizens alike—to rethink how we use our power to influence the global community."—Library Journal

"Provocative, insightful, and straight-from-the-shoulder blunt."—William S. Cohen, U.S. Secretary of Defense, 1997-2001

"Tony Zinni's writing is straightforward and to the point...a primer to guide us in the 21st century. Well done."—Richard L. Armitage, U.S. Deputy Secretary of State, 2001-2005

"Sensible and deserve[s] wide support."—James Fallows, national correspondent of The Atlantic Monthly, author of National Defense.

Publishers Weekly

Zinni, former special envoy to the Middle East, and Koltz (coauthors of The Battle for Peace) turn their focus to what they regard as a profound leadership crisis in America. Leaders-in politics, the military and business-have failed to evolve with the times, say the authors, who identify 11 core elements of new (and effective) managers, including developing a strong ethical sense and honing listening and decision-making skills. The authors dedicate entire chapters to each of these elements and explore what it takes to shepherd nations, companies and families in times of crisis as well as how to nurture and train future leaders. Zinni's principles of governance-applicable to parents as well as presidents-touches everything from the Spitzer scandal to U.S. policies in the Middle East and dispenses practical guidelines with particular relevance and resonance. (Aug.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780230612655
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 8/4/2009
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 332,199
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 9.40 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

General Tony Zinni (Ret.) was commander in chief of CENTCOM and special envoy to the Middle East. He has appeared on The Daily Show and Meet the Press among others. He is currently chairman of the board at BAE Systems, Inc.

Tony Koltz co-authored Tom Clancy’s Into the Storm and Battle Ready as well as The Battle for Peace, a New York Times bestseller.

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Table of Contents

Prologue 1

1 The Crisis in Leadership 3

2 The Failure to Adapt 21

3 The New Leader 37

4 Self-Knowledge 63

5 Ethics 79

6 The Led 95

7 Environment 113

8 The Enterprise 129

9 Speed 151

10 Knowledge 163

11 Communication 179

12 Decision 187

13 Crisis 205

14 Vision 219

Afterword 235

Index 237

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