Former Navy SEAL & NY Times Bestselling Author Chris Fussell on his new book "One Mission"

Chris Fussell, Episode #153

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Chris Fussell is a Partner at the McChrystal Group Leadership Institute and co-author of Team of Teams, a New York Times bestseller and the first book in the Team of Teams series. He was commissioned as a Naval Officer in 1997 and spent the next 15 years on U.S. Navy SEAL Teams around the globe. He then served as Aide-de-Camp to Lieutenant General Stanley McChrystal during McChrystal’s final year commanding a Joint Special Operations Task Force fighting Al Qaeda around the globe.

Since leaving active duty in 2012, Fussell has also served as a Senior Fellow for National Security at New America, sits on the Board of Directors for the Navy SEAL Foundation, is a life member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and teaches at Yale University’s Jackson Institute. He lives in Washington, D.C. with his family.

One Mission:

How could we be so highly competent at the small team level, yet incapable of moving with the same agility as an enterprise? If we did not align behind one mission, our individual capabilities would prove insufficient. We could all be great and still lose.

This problem—which former Navy SEAL Chris Fussell observed as part of General Stanley McChrystal’s Special Operations Task Force—doesn’t keep just military commanders up at night. It plagues leaders of countless organizations in today’s complex and fast-moving world. Too often, well-built companies end up with teams stuck in their own silos, pursuing goals and metrics in isolation. Their traditional bureaucratic structures create stability, scalability, and predictability; but in a world that demands constant adaptation, this traditional model fails.

In One Mission, Fussell offers powerful practical insights about the changes that took place within the Special Operations community, when previously isolated and distrustful tribes became part of a culture that was bigger than any team. By committing to one, higher mission, the community’s overall capability far exceeded the sum of its parts.

McChrystal and Fussell wrote about their experiences on the battlefield in their New York Times bestseller Team of Teams. It has been widely embraced in the business world as a roadmap for combining the agility, adaptability, and cohesion of a small team with the power and resources of a giant organization. Since then, as a Partner at McChrystal Group, Fussell has helped companies in many fields implement the Team of Teams approach to tear down their silos, improve collaboration, and avoid turf wars.

Now, he has channeled all his experiences, both military and corporate, into One Mission. This practical guide will help leaders in any field:

  • Build a single aligning narrative for all of your teams, no matter how complicated your org chart, defining your organization, not just what the organization does.
  • Eliminate excessive bureaucracy by fostering interconnectionoutside of normal lines of authority.
  • Create liaison networks that help people from different silos collaborate quickly and effectively.
  • Define decision spaces that allow teams to have clear autonomy within the context of the greater mission.

Fussell shows how a wide range of companies, from Silicon Valley software giant Intuit to a government agency on the plains of Oklahoma, have used these methods to unite their people around a single compelling vision, resulting in superior performance.

Moreover, you’ll see how he partnered with Under Armour to synchronize its expanding supply chain, and a Texan emergency medical service organization to navigate a changing regulatory landscape. One Mission will help you follow their example to a more agile and resilient future.