Editorial Reviews & Endorsements

What Gary does so beautifully in this book is combine all our reticles into one giant aperture, then analyze the reminiscences, and, finally, distill them down into a handful of precious categories.  No one else I know has both the boots-on-the-ground expertise and the intellectual and literary skills to do that.

Col(Ret) Alfred L. Dibella, Jr. Former commander of undefeated Task Force 4-68
Alfred L. Dibella, Jr.

Commanding Excellence accurately portrays an insider’s view from someone who knows all the agony, pain, and triumph from living through the gyrations of a Stryker experience.  It intimately relates how to be competitive and how to win.

John W. Brown Former Chairman, President & CEO Stryker Corp.
John W. Brown

Commanding Excellence highlights three simple proven concepts that are critical to success of a unit in combat or a business in the marketplace. Gary Morton has captured them perfectly. If you want success as a leader in a complex environment read Commanding Excellence and follow it!

General Bryan “Doug” BrownUS Army, Retired; former commander of US Special Operations Command (SOCOM)
Bryan (Doug) Brown

Convincing a team to believe in a vision takes sponsorship, commitment, and strong leadership. Commanding Excellence demonstrates how to create a culture that everyone commits to from the boardroom to the battlefield. A must read for anyone who works in a goal-oriented environment.

Dave JonesFormer Sr Vice President for Holiday Inn, created and launched Homewood Suites and Embassy Suites, President and CEO of the Hospitality division for Gaylord Entertainment
Dave Jones

A compelling read. Based on his personal experience, Gary Morton has analyzed two remarkable organizations and two equally remarkable leaders and served up a timeless story of leadership and how to accomplish that which is seemingly out of reach. If you are a leader or want to be one, this is Leadership 101—and 102.

General Scott WallaceUS Army, Retired; former commander of US Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) and, in 2003, V Corps, which comprised the main axis of advance from Kuwait to Baghdad
Scott Wallace

Many books have been penned about leadership. Commanding Excellence stands out as the best in its approach to define leadership skills and techniques. Morton parallels his experiences as a member of an extraordinary military unit as well as a successful company. His experiences as a team member gave him extraordinary examples of successful leaders. This book is a must-read and highly recommended for those seeking excellence in both personal and team leadership.

Lanny R. Copeland, MDFormer President of the American Academy of Family Physicians and Chief Medical Officer for LifePoint Health

Gary Morton hits the target in showing how two men took disparate, ordinary entities and lifted them to world-class excellence. Commanding Excellence is a primer on leadership. You'll see how these extraordinary men with vision, professionalism, charisma, intelligence, and integrity established operating environments that made their men and women buy into the established goals, take them as their own, and truly set the standards for their fields. Their personal dedication and drive coupled with their unquestioned respect for those who worked with and for them led to a tremendous force multiplier for one tank battalion and a medical manufacturing company. Teamwork is what made it all work, and Gary Morton, who saw it firsthand in both outfits, is the perfect one to tell the story of attained excellence. Read this outstanding story, and see how truly superb outfits can be formed and operate.

Lieutenant General Tom Griffin US Army, Retired; former commander of Berlin Brigade and 3rd Armored Division
Tom Griffin

I’ve had the good fortune to experience the leadership impact of John Brown firsthand. Without question, Gary captures John’s wisdom, clear direction, and unrelenting focus on results. Anyone who wants to understand the fundamentals of successful leadership needs to read this thought-provoking comparison of two inspiring leaders.

Jim “Coach” HeathFormer President, Stryker Instruments
Jim (Coach) Heath

Morton witnessed firsthand and has clearly described two examples of extraordinarily effective leadership in two entirely different types of organizations. The author captured specific examples of and portrayed keen insight into effective leaders solving common organizational problems and achieving unique results. The serious student of leadership will complete this entertaining and informative narrative with a handful of practical ideas and would gain even more with repeated study.

Major General Richard E. DavisUS Army, Retired.

Commanding Excellence reveals the secret sauce to building an organizational passion that wholeheartedly supports those closest to the customer in a business or those on the front lines in a military unit. Such alignment drives astounding success. If you want to deliver exceptional results at any level in an organization, pick up and read this powerful book!

Paul SpeigelmanAuthor of New York Times bestseller Patients Come Second, 2010 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year, founder and CEO of BerylHealth
Paul Speigelman

Gary Morton delivers innovative leadership lessons with entertaining insider stories that I wish I had access to when I started Ensighten. If you want to win, read Commanding Excellence and see the power of human energy and creativity focused on a common goal.

Josh ManionFounder and CEO of Ensighten and FIDE chess International Master
Josh Manion
Amazon Customer Reviews

Just finished Gary's amazing book. Extremely well written and so appreviative that he shared the insight he gleaned with us. John Brown and Fred Dibella were two incredible leaders, each with their own unique and winning style. Gary was fortunate to work with these two men and we were fortunate enough to have Gary share his experience and insight with us. Great read!!!!!

I had the pleasure of interviewing Gary for my Management Excellence blog, and as I state in the interview, I found his book, Commanding Excellence, to be a genuine page turner (rare in this genre). I loved the comparison and contrast he presents between his military and commercial experiences, and I appreciate the insights he gained working and serving under two remarkable individuals in very different cultures. Leadership wisdom oozes from the pages and the lessons and ideas are applicable in any environment. An enjoyable, inspirational, and eminently practical resource that has earned a permanent place on my leadership bookshelf!

I feel that I can verify how amazingly these units performed due to my background as a former Infantry Officer who has since become an Army physician. The National Training Center endeavors to give units an experience worse than what they will likely ever experience in combat, with the expectation that your unit will learn “through their defeats”. Stryker has taken the medical device world by storm, with various products now preferred in all areas of most American hospitals.

"Commanding Excellence" by Gary Morton is a brilliant parallel analysis of excellence in leadership in the military and in the business world. Over the course of his career as a tank officer in the Army, and as a medical device executive with Stryker, Morton had the privilege of serving under two extraordinary leaders. In the case of Task Force 4-68, the leader was Lt. Colonel Alfred L. Dibella. At Stryker, it was CEO John W. Brown. Mr. Morton, a distinguished graduate of West Point, does a very effective job of painting a clear picture of the leadership traits and techniques that allowed both Dibella and Brown to extract extraordinary levels of performance and achievement from the troops that they led.

I am a former Army officer who is now a business leader. Mr. Morton does an exceptional job of describing the similarities of leading in either environment. The lessons are timeless and invaluable, and the author's narrative makes the source material approachable, regardless of one's background.

''A must read for anyone that wants to drive excellence and deliver results! I've had the pleasure of working with Gary to see first hand how he builds organizational excellence which is at the core of our Stryker culture. This book gives great insights into the passion and commitment that Stryker employees are known for."

Commanding Excellence is a must read for anyone who leads. Gary's insights into leadership are compelling as well as vastly different from any other book on leadership/management that I have read. He describes how two unforgettable men who never met and lead in very different environments achieved the impossible by employing the same three core principles. There are lessons here for all. A truly inspiring read.

I cannot speak highly enough about this book and its author. The book provides two compelling accounts of leadership excellence. I had a very difficult time putting this book down. I highly recommend this book for anyone who likes to look behind the curtain and understand positive role models in leadership. Fantastic book!

Hello Gary

My Name is Eric Thompson I wanted to introduce myself and thank you for writing your book. Getting an inside look at how Stryker became such a great company has been worth every second I’ve spent reading the text.

I have read a lot of books by John Maxwell, Patrick Lencioni and Mark Sanborn. I enjoy this book more than any of them.

Thank you for sharing your experience in the service and at Stryker.

Media Reviews

"Commanding Excellence" by Gary Morton is a brilliant parallel analysis of excellence in leadership in the military and in the business world. Over the course of his career as a tank officer in the Army, and as a medical device executive with Stryker, Morton had the privilege of serving under two extraordinary leaders. In the case of Task Force 4-68, the leader was Lt. Colonel Alfred L. Dibella. At Stryker, it was CEO John W. Brown. Mr. Morton, a distinguished graduate of West Point, does a very effective job of painting a clear picture of the leadership traits and techniques that allowed both Dibella and Brown to extract extraordinary levels of performance and achievement from the troops that they led.

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