Hoover Institution Davies Family Distinguished Fellow General James Mattis’s "Call Sign Chaos: Learning To Lead" Book Talk

Wednesday, November 20, 2019
Hoover Institution, Stanford University

General James Mattis, former defense secretary, retired four-star marine general, and Davies Family Distinguished Fellow, discussed his new book, Call Sign Chaos: Learning to Lead, at the Hoover Institution on November 15, 2019. General Mattis sat down with Hoover director Tom Gilligan to discuss the lessons learned from more than forty years in the Marines. Mattis responded to questions, delving deeper into the three parts of his book: direct leadership, executive leadership, and strategic leadership.

General Mattis described how a shift in control of Task Force 58 in November 2001 resulted in several missed opportunities, including the chance to capture Osama bin Laden in the hills of Tora Bora. He also discussed how leaders at all levels must hold people accountable for their performance, particularly when human actions have potentially mortal consequences. He asked whether we have emboldened adversaries and unnerved allies with our behavior in the Middle East by failing in the element of strategic leadership, which should both establish accountability and form a creditable deterrent for unacceptable behaviors on the part of our enemies.

To see this insightful sit-down with one of our nation’s most esteemed public figures and get a firsthand account into his journey learning to lead, watch the video below.