Leading from the Future

In 1993, I was invited by the Army Chief of Staff, General Gordon R. Sullivan, to be his “scout.” The Army, under his leadership, was focused on bringing the force out of its worst period of decline, the Vietnam War era, and preparing it for the twenty-first century. For the next two years, and many times thereafter, I got to know the military. It was where I learned about dedication, service, and warriorship. It was my introduction to a rare form of leadership, vigilantly focused on the future, rapidly absorbing and making sense of information, with no room for failure.

General Sullivan remains one of the most extraordinary leaders I’ve known. When he asked me to be his scout, at first I thought this was a cute metaphor, ...

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