- Author Bio
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • A clear-eyed account of learning how to lead in a chaotic world, by General Jim Mattis—the former Secretary of Defense and one of the most formidable strategic thinkers of our time—and Bing West, a former assistant secretary of defense and combat Marine.
“A four-star general’s five-star memoir.”—The Wall Street Journal
Call Sign Chaos is the account of Jim Mattis’s storied career, from wide-ranging leadership roles in three wars to ultimately commanding a quarter of a million troops across the Middle East. Along the way, Mattis recounts his foundational experiences as a leader, extracting the lessons he has learned about the nature of warfighting and peacemaking, the importance of allies, and the strategic dilemmas—and short-sighted thinking—now facing our nation. He makes it clear why America must return to a strategic footing so as not to continue winning battles but fighting inconclusive wars.
Mattis divides his book into three parts: Direct Leadership, Executive Leadership, and Strategic Leadership. In the first part, Mattis recalls his early experiences leading Marines into battle, when he knew his troops as well as his own brothers. In the second part, he explores what it means to command thousands of troops and how to adapt your leadership style to ensure your intent is understood by your most junior troops so that they can own their mission. In the third part, Mattis describes the challenges and techniques of leadership at the strategic level, where military leaders reconcile war’s grim realities with political leaders’ human aspirations, where complexity reigns and the consequences of imprudence are severe, even catastrophic.
Call Sign Chaos is a memoir of a life of warfighting and lifelong learning, following along as Mattis rises from Marine recruit to four-star general. It is a journey about learning to lead and a story about how he, through constant study and action, developed a unique leadership philosophy, one relevant to us all.
Story Locale: Washington, D.C; Iran; Afghanistan; Iraq
EXTREMELY QUOTABLE: “Be polite, be professional, and have a plan to kill everyone you meet.”; “If you don’t read, you can’t lead.”; “PowerPoint makes us stupid.”; “Nothing substitutes for trust at high levels of leadership.”
FULL OF FRESH LEADERSHIP LESSONS: Mattis brings the listener onto the battlefields and into the halls of power, explaining what he learned about leading as he advanced in rank and responsibility. Among dozens of takeaways, the listener will learn: why nations with strong allies thrive, and those without wither; why decentralized operations (“command and feedback” versus “command and control”) are key to any successful organization; and the importance of conveying your intent - clearly and forcefully - to everyone in your organization.
CROSS PROMOTION: Simultaneous publication with the Random House hardcover.
Marketing: Pre-pub consumer outreach and review push
Online marketing outreach
Random House e-newsletters and websites
Targeted military history outreach
Publicity: Feature on PRH Audio website and in Audio e-newsletter
Tie in with Random House’s plans:
National media attention
National/local review and feature print attention
National/local radio attention
Online review and feature attention
Author tour: markets to come
Advance praise for Call Sign Chaos
“Combining simplicity and thoughtfulness, Jim Mattis has produced a classic account of a lifetime of service. Call Sign Chaos is a lesson in leadership and an evocation of humanity in the cause of peace.”—Henry Kissinger
“In this magnificent memoir, Jim Mattis details many important events in his career, but he also does much more: He explains how he is informed by his experiences in a way that teaches you how to learn from your own. Read, enjoy, and learn.”—George Shultz
“A portrait of Mattis’s life-defining love for the Marine Corps . . .His prose sings.”—David Brooks, The New York Times
“A riveting read . . . General Mattis has had a lot of fine hours, but this could be his finest.”—The New York Sun