An Online Master Class in Leadership with General (Ret.) David H. Petraeus

“Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.” That’s General David Petraeus, recalling the words of the Roman philosopher Seneca.

No one knows more about strategic leadership during crisis and war than Petraeus, arguably the best-known American general of the post-Vietman era. During his 37-year career in the United States Army, General Petraeus was widely recognized for his leadership of the organization that produced the U.S. Army’s counterinsurgency manual and overhauled all aspects of preparing U.S. Army leaders and units for deployment to combat; for his subsequent command of the Surge in Iraq that retrieved a desperate situation and dramatically reduced violence in the country; and for his command of coalition forces in Afghanistan as they reversed the momentum of the Taliban and enabled initial transition of tasks to Afghan forces and institutions. He culminated his military career with six consecutive commands as a general officer, five of which were in combat.

After General Petraeus’ retirement from the military, he served as Director of the CIA as the Agency played the central role in a number of important achievements in the global war on terror, established a strategic campaign plan for the Agency, and pursued investments in the Agency’s most important element, its human capital.

He is now is a Partner with the global investment firm KKR, where he is also Chairman of the firm’s Global Institute. Gen. Petraeus spent a lifetime preparing for the commands he held in the wake of the 9/11 attacks (including forays into academia after earning a Ph.D. at Princeton) and distilled lessons on leadership in the years after leaving government service, which he will discuss during this interview.

In this online master class, created exclusively for 92Y and building on the Strategic Leadership website General Petraeus created several years ago at Harvard’s Belfer Center, he draws on lessons learned from his successful military career and applies them to the current Covid-19 crisis. Petraeus is joined by Dr. Peter Mansoor, Petraeus’ Executive Officer during the Surge in Iraq, author of Surge: My Journey with General David Petraeus and the Remaking of the Iraq War (the most significant work to date on that effort), a brigade commander during the first year in Iraq, and now holder of the General Raymond E. Mason Jr. Chair of Military History at The Ohio State University, arguably the most prestigious military history chair in America. Dr. Mansoor earned his Ph.D. there before joining the History Department at West Point to teach military history in the early 1990s.

Together, they cover the four core tasks that a strategic leader has to perform correctly:

  • Get the big ideas right
  • Communicate the big ideas effectively throughout the breadth and depth of the organization
  • Oversee the implementation of the big ideas
  • Determine how the big ideas need to be refined — and then repeat the cycle

They will also address:

  • What makes a great leader?
  • Who can rise to the occasion?
  • What can we learn from military strategic thinking to inform today’s decisions?
  • What is the “surge” of new ideas needed to confront the current crisis?
  • How should leaders prepare for the next crisis, whatever it might be?

Join us for this unique opportunity to hear from two distinguished former combat leaders on military lessons and their applications in winning the war on Covid-19 and leading large organizations.











When: Wed., April 29, 2020 at 7:00 pm
Where: 92nd Street Y
1395 Lexington Ave.
212-415-5500
Price: $20
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“Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.” That’s General David Petraeus, recalling the words of the Roman philosopher Seneca.

No one knows more about strategic leadership during crisis and war than Petraeus, arguably the best-known American general of the post-Vietman era. During his 37-year career in the United States Army, General Petraeus was widely recognized for his leadership of the organization that produced the U.S. Army’s counterinsurgency manual and overhauled all aspects of preparing U.S. Army leaders and units for deployment to combat; for his subsequent command of the Surge in Iraq that retrieved a desperate situation and dramatically reduced violence in the country; and for his command of coalition forces in Afghanistan as they reversed the momentum of the Taliban and enabled initial transition of tasks to Afghan forces and institutions. He culminated his military career with six consecutive commands as a general officer, five of which were in combat.

After General Petraeus’ retirement from the military, he served as Director of the CIA as the Agency played the central role in a number of important achievements in the global war on terror, established a strategic campaign plan for the Agency, and pursued investments in the Agency’s most important element, its human capital.

He is now is a Partner with the global investment firm KKR, where he is also Chairman of the firm’s Global Institute. Gen. Petraeus spent a lifetime preparing for the commands he held in the wake of the 9/11 attacks (including forays into academia after earning a Ph.D. at Princeton) and distilled lessons on leadership in the years after leaving government service, which he will discuss during this interview.

In this online master class, created exclusively for 92Y and building on the Strategic Leadership website General Petraeus created several years ago at Harvard’s Belfer Center, he draws on lessons learned from his successful military career and applies them to the current Covid-19 crisis. Petraeus is joined by Dr. Peter Mansoor, Petraeus’ Executive Officer during the Surge in Iraq, author of Surge: My Journey with General David Petraeus and the Remaking of the Iraq War (the most significant work to date on that effort), a brigade commander during the first year in Iraq, and now holder of the General Raymond E. Mason Jr. Chair of Military History at The Ohio State University, arguably the most prestigious military history chair in America. Dr. Mansoor earned his Ph.D. there before joining the History Department at West Point to teach military history in the early 1990s.

Together, they cover the four core tasks that a strategic leader has to perform correctly:

  • Get the big ideas right
  • Communicate the big ideas effectively throughout the breadth and depth of the organization
  • Oversee the implementation of the big ideas
  • Determine how the big ideas need to be refined — and then repeat the cycle

They will also address:

  • What makes a great leader?
  • Who can rise to the occasion?
  • What can we learn from military strategic thinking to inform today’s decisions?
  • What is the “surge” of new ideas needed to confront the current crisis?
  • How should leaders prepare for the next crisis, whatever it might be?

Join us for this unique opportunity to hear from two distinguished former combat leaders on military lessons and their applications in winning the war on Covid-19 and leading large organizations.

Buy tickets/get more info now