Since the military kicked off its global campaigns in 2001, war has turned ordinary officers into heroes. Well, some of them anyway. The same can be said of the wars of HBO’s Game of Thrones. Over the course of seven seasons, we’ve seen war tear apart Westeros, making boys into men, enemies of brothers, and traitors of honorable soldiers. And winter is only just arriving. For the hundreds of thousands who have served in the Global War on Terror, much the same has happened, making the careers of some like James Mattis, and breaking the careers of others like Mike Flynn.

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I was privileged in my 23-year Army career to work directly with four very successful general officers. The lessons I learned from them can be applied to both military and civilian leadership at every level and I promised my peers that one day I would write down what I saw.

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