Two views on McChrystal’s firing – through the eyes of business leaders

Clint Greenleaf, Founder and CEO, Greenleaf Book Group

“First off, lets be honest. It’s not accepting a resignation, it’s firing the general for one specific comment made (and several from unnamed sources who work for him).

The specific comment wasn’t bad. It was what McChrystal thought was accurate — that the president doesn’t know as much as he should about the war. True or not, I don’t think he was out of line at all. In fact, he tried to make the same point to Obama during their first meeting.

I have the highest respect for our military and think the president made a huge mistake. It makes him look petty and insecure that he can’t handle someone who disagrees with him.

“As a CEO, I relish an opportunity to hear what my staff really thinks. Especially when it comes from a respected person who is good at what they do.

Anyone who has met me knows I’m not perfect — and my staff isn’t there to hide my flaws from me. They work with me to show me where I can improve, and if that means calling me out when I make a mistake, I want to hear about it. Even if it’s in public, and even if it makes me look like I made a mistake.

“The real question is, what is more important? To make the right decisions for the country or to try to protect the image of our leader?”

Rob Adams, Director, Global Moot Corp Program at the University of Texas

“I think the context needs to be set here — this is a military organization with an established chain of command that follows orders from the top.

All the commentary on the situation pointed to those in the military understanding this and expecting severe action, and those more on the commercial side expecting lass harsh action.

The real question is, What would McChrystal have done to those reporting to him in the same situation? I suspect similar treatment to what Obama did.”

The bottom line for President Obama was, “I welcome debate among my team, but I won’t tolerate division.”

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