Win : Lose – Rolling Stone : McChrystal

In life and business, we strive for the win – win, but war is different. In war you’re fighting for your life.

The big winner in the Rolling Stone-McChrystal controversy is most definitely Rolling Stone. In an era where every media outlet is fighting for its life, the controversy is a gift to Rolling Stone. It reminds millions more potential readers that Rolling Stone is a home for serious journalism.

There’s nothing like a good controversy to raise your profile, one way or another.

As (former) leader of the U.S. forces in Afghanistan, McChrystal knows about fighting for your life, in a literal sense. But he is the big loser here. He forgot or never knew that reputation is a form of life, at least in a political sense.

Media can be a weapon in your arsenal to help you win the battle, but if you’re sloppy or cocky, it will blow you up.

Avoiding media is not advisable or feasible for anyone who needs or wants a high profile, but learning how to handle it will make sure your weapons are aimed in the right direction.