Zbigniew Brzezinski: Lessons from a Life in Strategy

A conversation with former National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski reflecting on his career and his advice for aspiring policymakers.

In 2012, Dr. Jon B. Alterman interviewed Dr. Zbigniew Brzezinski about his career and the lessons it holds for aspiring policymakers. Alterman then distilled the conversation into key insights.

The interview provides a unique view into how Brzezinski transitioned from a successful academic career into the policy world, where he served as President Jimmy Carter’s national security adviser. Every answer is surprising in some way—Brzezinski is constantly challenging, relentlessly strategic, and consistently innovative.

The six videos and full audio reflect on Brzezinski’s experiences and accomplishments throughout his half-century career.



A Life in Policy

Dr. Brzezinski's experiences and accomplishments.


A Sense of Purpose

Ideas are central--the career follows.


Ideas into Action

A necessary departure from routine.



Engaging your boss in an ongoing dialogue.


Leading Teams

Connecting to your staff and connecting them to each other.


Historic Context

Grasping it is central to success.



Audio recording of full interview — Duration: 37:05


زبيجنيو بريجنسكي: دروس من حياة في الإستراتيجية
حوار مع مستشار الأمن القومي السابق زبيجنيو بريجنسكي للتأمل في حياته المهنية و
نصيحته لصناع القرار الطامحين