Army Gen. David Petraeus said effective strategic leaders — military or civilian — have to execute four fundamental tasks.
“First, you have to get the big ideas right,” Petraeus said. “Then you have to communicate the big ideas, oversee the execution of those big ideas. Finally you have to identify lessons and best practices.”
Petraeus was the final speaker Tuesday at the Jim Blanchard Leadership Forum at the Columbus Convention & Trade Center.
Petraeus, commander of the U.S. Central Command, is dealing with the execution of a lot of big ideas. The wars in Afghanistan and Iraq fall under his command.
He spent a good portion of his speech outlining the accomplishments and difficulties in the region he oversees. It was not political, but at one point Petraeus talked about American values.
“When we in fact did not live the values we have fought for all of these centuries and decades, we paid for it,” he said.
He did not elaborate.
But the trip to Columbus also offered Petraeus a chance to spend a little family time with his son, Lt. Steve Petraeus, who is stationed at Fort Benning. The general reported that his son schooled him in Tuesday morning’s “PT” run.
“It’s still hard to take,” Petraeus said.
‘Going the second mile’
Chick-fil-A President and Chief Operating Officer Dan Cathy pulled out his Blackberry Curve and said it was more a metaphor than a tool.
“But the question is am I retooling up here,” Cathy said as he pointed to his head, “as fast as the technology is changing.”
He said to win customers, the company is built on “going the second mile.”
“It’s all about making the second mile second nature,” Cathy said during his address at the Jim Blanchard Leadership Forum. “We want to give people a $15-$20 experience, even though they are only paying $6.
The chain, which has built its advertising campaign around crazy cows, has cultivated a cult following, Cathy said.
Advice from Paul Amos II
Aflac Inc. President and Chief Operating Officer Paul Amos II has heard the comments.
“Whippersnapper. Upstart. Over-achiever. Know-it-all.”
“Some good. Some bad. Some fair. Some not,” Amos said as the opening speaker to the Jim Blanchard Leadership Forum.
Amos, 34, talked to about 900 business, political and educational leaders from across the state and Southeast about the challenges of a young executive in today’s business world.
Amos spoke as his father, Aflac Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Dan Amos, and his grandfather, retired Aflac Chairman Paul Amos, were in the audience.
Amos’ advice was geared to young leaders.
Communication is one of the keys to success.
“Communicate, communicate, communicate,” Amos said. “Not only communicate, give the right information at the right time and at the right place.”
Other speakers included MSNBC chief Washington correspondent Norah O’Donnell and author, college professor and consultant Richard Florida.