General McChrystal’s Fate Won’t Be Decided By Comments – Challenger

Commentary on Gen. McChrystal’s situation from workplace authority CEO John Challenger:

“In the corporate world, public comments by a senior executive that are critical of the CEO or other top executives would most likely result in that person’s removal. This type of second-guessing and backbiting is not uncommon in the corporate world, but once the behind-closed-doors infighting becomes public, someone usually pays the price,” said workplace expert John A. Challenger, chief executive officer of global outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.

“Of course, the biggest difference between the General McChrystal situation and anything in the corporate world is that he is in charge of a war. The other difference is that President Obama has embraced a team-of-rivals strategy throughout his presidency. He wants the best-of-the-best, even if they disagree. He would undoubtedly prefer that these disagreements not be aired in such a petty way on the national stage, but that is the risk a leader takes when he decides not to surround himself with ‘yes men.’

“The fact that Obama has not fired General McChrystal already is evidence of the measured approach he takes to problem solving. His calling for a face-to-face meeting demonstrates the graveness of the situation, but Obama does not seem like one who would make a decision about the leadership of a war because he may feel personally slighted,” Challenger continued.

“If General McChyrstal is removed from his position today by President Obama, it will not be because of his comments. If he believes that General McChyrstal is still the best person to manage the war in Afghanistan, then his job will be safe, regardless of any flip comments made in public.”


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