The Biggest Career Lesson This Navy SEAL Learned in Iraq

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Media Outlet: Fortune

In my former life as a Navy SEAL working under General Stan McChrystal in the Joint Special Operations Task Force, we ran into the same problem. It was 2004, we were stationed in Iraq, and we were losing the fight — our enemy was outmaneuvering us all. We were falling behind because our operations couldn’t keep up. While we were incredibly efficient, we weren’t being effective. There’s a difference between doing things right and doing the right thing. In order to drive the latter, we had to change the way we operated.


Christopher L. Fussell is a senior fellow with the International Security Program at New America. He spent 15 years as an officer in the Navy SEAL Teams, and is now a principal at the McChrystal Group.