Through the Storm with General David Petraeus: Navigating Leadership’s Toughest Challenges and the Crucial Intersection of Preparation and Opportunity

May 2, 2024
Travis Hearne

 

Joining Dr. Travis Hearne on Through the Storm is General ( U.S. Army Retired) David H. Petraeus for a wild discussion of how important leadership is and how important it is to get the “Big ideas” right. General Petreaus is one of the greatest strategic minds of our time and his conversation with Dr. Hearne dives deeply into wartime strategy and the importance of leading people well.

General Petreaus says, “Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.” Dr. Hearne has taken that opportunity to ask General Petreaus about the most difficult leadership storm he’s ever been through, how he made it through the storm, and what he learned from the storm. His responses will floor you.

Bio:

General David H. Petraeus (US Army, Ret.) is a Partner with the global investment firm KKR and Chairman of the KKR Global Institute, which he established in May 2013. He is also a member of the boards of directors of Optiv and FirstStream, a venture investor in more than 15 startups, and engaged in a variety of academic endeavors.

Before joining KKR, General Petraeus served over 37 years in the U.S. military, culminating his career with six consecutive commands, five of which were in combat, including command ofthe 101st Airborne Division during the fight to Baghdad and the first year in Iraq, command of the Multinational Security Transition Command in Iraq, command of coalition forces in Iraq during the Surge, command of U.S. Central Command, and command of coalition forces in Afghanistan.

Following retirement from the military and after Senate confirmation by a vote of 94-0, he served as Director of the CIA during a period of significant achievements in the global war on terror, the establishment of important Agency digital initiatives, and significant investments in the Agency’s most important asset, its human capital.

General Petraeus graduated with distinction from the U.S. Military Academy, and he is the only person in Army history to be the top graduate of both the demanding U.S. Army Ranger School and the U.S. Army’s Command and General Staff College. He also earned a Ph.D. from Princeton University’s School of Public and International Affairs. General Petraeus taught international relations and economics at the U.S. Military Academy in the mid-1980s. He was a Visiting Professor of Public Policy at the Honors College of the City University of New York from 2013 through 2016, and he was for six years a Judge Widney Professor at the University of Southern California and a Senior Fellow at Harvard University’s Belfer Center.

He is currently a Visiting Fellow at Yale University’s Jackson Institute, Co-Chairman of the Global Advisory Council of the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars, Senior Vice President of the Royal United Services Institute, a Member of the Trilateral Commission, and a member of the boards of the Atlantic Council, the Institute for the Study of War, and over a dozen veterans service organizations.

Over the past 15 years, General Petraeus was named one of America’s 25 Best Leaders by U.S. News and World Report, a runner-up for Time magazine’s Person of the Year, the Daily Telegraph Man of the Year, a Time 100 selectee, Princeton University’s Madison Medalist, and one of Foreign Policy magazine’s top 100 public intellectuals in three different years.

General Petraeus has earned numerous honors, awards, and decorations, including four Defense Distinguished Service Medals, the Bronze Star Medal for Valor, two NATO Meritorious Service Medals, the Combat Action Badge, the Ranger Tab, and Master Parachutist and Air Assault Badges. 13 foreign countries have also decorated him, and is believed to be the only person who, while in uniform, threw out the first pitch of a World Series game and did the coin toss at a Super Bowl.

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