In October of 2007, I sat with Frances Hesselbein in an enclosed conference room—no windows, maps on the wall, literally bombproof. We'd come together to spend time with the general officers of the 82nd Airborne at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. At the other end of the table sat the commander, General Lloyd J. Austin III, six-foot-four, a muscular two-hundred-plus pounds, winner of a Silver Star for gallantry in combat, responsible for thirty-five thousand soldiers, the power of the man amplified by his calm and quiet. On either side of Austin sat about a dozen one- and two-star generals, along with some colonels, in Army fatigues, all with on-the-ground experience in places like Iraq and Afghanistan.

General Austin had thought hard about ...

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