Retired four-star Gen. Stanley McChrystal has decided on a tentative syllabus for the graduate-level seminar he is teaching this semester.

Eric L. Robinson GRD ’11, a research assistant for the course, sent out the following course outline Thursday afternoon to students enrolled in the class, “Leadership in Operation” (INRL 690). Note the Nov. 16 seminar theme, “Communicating the Story — the Media Environment.”

  • 7th September 2010: “The Importance of Leading Differently – The Changing Operating Environment”
  • 14th September 2010: “Case Study: The Changing Military 1972-2010”
  • 21st September 2010: “Role of a Leader”
  • 27th September 2010 (6-8pm): “Coping With Failure”
  • 28th September 2010 (Assignment 1 Due): “Building Teams – What Makes Some Great”
  • 5th October 2010: “Driving Change and Operating Differently”
  • 12th October 2010: “Navigating Politics”
  • 19th October 2010: “Making Difficult Decisions Pt. 1 – How We Decide”
  • 26th October 2010 (Assignment 2 Due): “Making Difficult Decisions Pt. 2 – Dealing With Risk”
  • 2nd November 2010: “Loyalty, Trust and Relationships”
  • 9th November 2010: “Dealing With Cultural Differences”
  • 16th November 2010: “Communicating the Story – the Media Environment”
  • 30th November 2010 (Assignment 3 Due): “The Leader – the Personal Impact of Responsibility, Notoriety and Other Realities”
  • 7th December 2010: “The Future Leader”

Robinson also included details about the first class:

7th September 2010 – Seminar 1: The Importance of Leading Differently: The Changing Operating Environment

Description: A description of how changes in our operating environment over the 34 years of my service have demanded changes in how organizations operate – and how leaders lead them. For the military, focus often falls too narrowly – on technological advances in weaponry and armor. But like most organizations, truly significant changes in technology, politics, media, and society overall have driven change to almost every aspect of leading. Increasingly, the product of a failure to change – is failure.

Historical Examples:

  • Case Study 1: The career of Stanley McChrystal
  • Case Study 3: The 2002-2003 decision to invade Iraq
  • Case Study 3: The United States Civil War
  • Case Study 4: German Grand Strategy of World War 2

Primary Reading

  • Filkins, Dexter. Stanley McChrystal’s Long War. The New York Times Magazine.
  • 18th October 2009. P. 36.

Supplemental Reading

  1. FM 6-22 Army Leadership, Chapter 10: Influences on Leadership (Operating Environment, Stress in Combat, Stress in Training, Dealing with the Stress of Change, Tools for Adaptability).
  2. Coutu, Diane L., “How Resilience Works,” Harvard Business Review on Leading in Turbulent Times. Harvard Business School Press. 2003.
  3. Gehler, Christopher P. Agile Leaders, Agile Institutions: Educating Adaptive and Innovative Leaders for Today and Tomorrow. Strategy Research Project.
  4. Carlisle Barracks, PA: U.S. Army War College, 2005. 26pp.
  5. Wong, Leonard. Developing Adaptive Leaders: The Crucible Experience of Operation Iraqi Free-dom. Carlisle Barracks, PA: U.S. Army War College, Strategic Studies Institute, 2004. 23pp.
  6. Doyle, Michele Erina and Mark K. Smith, “Classical Leadership: theories of leadership” article (ILE materials)
  7. Reed, George E., ”Warrior Ethos” (ILE materials)
  8. Gardener, John. On Leadership. New York: Free Press. 1990., Chapters 1-3.

Robinson also explained that while students enrolled in the class are free to talk with the media about their impressions of the class, the seminar itself will be off the record. The class meets on Tuesdays at 9:25 a.m., but the Jackson Institute for Global Affairs has yet to release the meeting location.