On Sept. 1, 2010, Lloyd J. Austin, III became Commanding General of U.S. Forces-Iraq (USF-I). Just days before, James F. Jeffrey was confirmed as the new U.S. Ambassador to Iraq.

The United States had just completed Operation Iraqi Freedom which ceased combat operations and reduced U.S. troops in Iraq from a high of 115,000 to 50,000. Together, General Austin and Ambassador Jeffrey were now charged with leading Operation New Dawn and the United States’ transition from a military operation to a sustainable diplomatic and civilian role in Iraq. They had 15 months to accomplish the mission including the withdrawal of all U.S. forces.

If you follow news reports, you know the outline of events in Iraq. What you don’t know is the story of a leadership relationship characterized by an extraordinary commitment to working across boundaries—and how it applies to you.

Additional Contributing Authors:

Donna Chrobot-Mason is Associate Professor and Director of the Center for Organizational Leadership at the University of Cincinnati (UC). Her focus is on leadership across differences and strategies for creating organizational practices, policies, and a climate that supports diversity. She holds a PhD and an MA in applied psychology from the University of Georgia, and is an Adjunct Research Scholar at the Center for Creative Leadership (CCL®). She teaches graduate courses for UC’s Master of Human Resources program and undergraduate courses in Organizational Leadership. Her articles have appeared in the International Journal of Human Resource Management, Journal of CrossCultural Management, Journal of Organizational Behavior, Group and Organization Management, and International Journal of Conflict Management.

Chris Ernst is the Organizational Thought Leader in Residence at Juniper Networks in Silicon Valley and an Adjunct Faculty member at the Center for Creative Leadership (CCL®). His work centers on developing collaborative, boundary spanning capabilities so individuals and organizations can thrive in an interdependent world. He is co-author of the books, Boundary Spanning Leadership: Six Practices for Solving Problems, Driving Innovation, and Transforming Organizations (McGraw-Hill Professional) and Success for the New Global Manager: How to Work Across Distance, Countries and Cultures (JosseyBass/Wiley). Chris holds a PhD in Industrial and Organizational Psychology from North Carolina State University.

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