Behind the scenes of Petraeus's first year at the CIA

The bottom line is performance, and here Petraeus gets good marks both from his senior colleagues and the administration. One senior CIA officer who has served under 11 directors thinks performance is especially high now because Petraeus is driving the organization to produce — even at the cost of frustrating some subordinates.

An example is Petraeus’s reorganization of the CIA’s famously bad system of career development. In place of a tepid, in-house system, he wanted something closer to the Army’s mid-career training, which allowed Petraeus to earn a Ph.D. at Princeton. Soon after arriving at Langley, he set to work creating a similar opportunity for the CIA’s rising leaders…

Petraeus is also said to have pushed hard in Libya, rushing case officers there to work with the opposition. Making this surge work fell to John Bennett, the head of the operations directorate. A blunt, tough officer who had planned to leave with Panetta, Bennett is said to have complained that he occasionally felt he was in a “hostile work environment.” But Bennett was able to pull officers from Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and elsewhere.