Summary of Courage to Execute

What Elite US Military Units Can Teach Business About Leadership and Team Performance

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Courage to Execute book summary
The US military has no room for error. The business world can learn from its exacting standards.


7 Overall

8 Applicability

7 Innovation

7 Style


The US armed forces set out to execute their work flawlessly. Former US Air Force fighter pilot James D. Murphy explains how businesses can adapt the military’s time-tested organization, motivation, training and execution tactics. He cites some well-known examples of US military successes: the killing of Osama bin Laden by the Navy Seals; the Air Force’s amazing Thunderbird aerial acrobats; the Rangers, Green Berets and Delta Force special forces; and the amazing Silent Drill Platoon from the Marines. Although Murphy paints with a broad brush, and focuses only on military success, not failures, his work is clear, precise and unambiguous. getAbstract recommends his compelling military examples as lessons in strategic execution.

In this summary, you will learn

  • Why businesses often don’t execute well
  • How the US military executes
  • How businesses can apply the military’s “Flawless Execution” model


Execution Problem
Companies often execute poorly for a variety of reasons. Talented people who try hard to carry out excellent work in a variety of business functions often end up achieving substandard results, despite their dedication. Many different factors can hamper execution, including...
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About the Author

James D. Murphy, founder and CEO of the training and consulting firm Afterburner Inc., is a former US Air Force F-15 pilot. He also wrote Business is Combat and Flawless Execution.

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