Why Leaders Need to Listen, Learn then Lead




This is a great TED video featuring retired General Stanley McChrystal who was the top commander of the US forces in Afghanistan.

Now whether you agree with the politics involved or not, this relatively short (15 minute) video is well worth watching for the following reasons:

  • McChrystal lead a force with people spread over 20 countries that led to very challenging communication issues. As he said he couldn’t get them in the same room and look them in the eye.
  • He had to learn to lead a team with a wide age range and vastly different communication styles.
  • Why he believes leaders need to listen, learn and then lead and why leaders need to be able to cope with reverse mentoring.
I loved the quote he uses “Leaders can let you fail, but not let you be a failure.” How important is this when we want our teams to step up and take initiative and ownership.

He also talks in depth about why relationships are the sinew that holds the force together.

Hope you enjoy the video.

Roger Simpson


Roger Simpson – CEO, The Retail Solution and Author of “The Retail Solution” With over 35 years’ industry experience, Roger Simpson is recognized as Australia’s #1 Authority on customer ROI in the retail industry and as a global expert on staff coaching, customer service and selling skills.