Soundview Executive Book Summaries

Tackling the Tough Questions

The past week proves that even the highest levels of our government and military experience the same problems that plague the modern workplace. While not every office has embedded journalists tracking their movements from the desk to the copier, some aspects of the dust-up between President Barack Obama and General Stanley McChrystal are easy to relate. Imagine if your human resources representative came to your office to report that an employee was posting insulting messages about you on his or her Facebook page during work hours. The fact that Obama holds the highest office in the land doesn’t change the fact that he needed to follow through with a disciplinary review. McChrystal faced the same long walk to the boss’s office that many employees have taken over the years. The difference is that his trip ended in the Oval Office.

I can’t help but marvel at the coincidence of this event coming directly on the heels of our recent Influencing for Change Webinar series featuring the authors of VitalSmarts. Attendees of the last event were able to see an informative video presentation on the VitalSmarts’ title Crucial Confrontations, a book that won Soundview’s Harold Longman Award as Best Business Book of the Year in 2004. When you consider the book’s title, the situation between McChrystal and President Obama meets the ultimate definition of a Crucial Confrontation, doesn’t it?

While the meeting took place behind closed doors, the result of General David Petraeus replacing McChrystal’s command in Afghanistan continues to stir up debate. It’s also excellent fodder for conversation among people who study management. What are your thoughts on the change of command from a management standpoint? Leave politics aside for a moment and let us know if you think the infraction merited the result.

And for those of you want more information on Crucial Confrontations, you have THREE options:

1. Follow this link to find out how you can watch the archived video Webinar with Al Switzler.

2. Visit us at to hear a previous audio Webinar featuring Joseph Grenny and Kerry Patterson.

3. Download a copy of the original summary in the format you prefer.


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