Extreme Ownership – How U.S. Navy Seals Lead and Win

| Authors: Jocko Willink and Leif Babin, 2015 |

What's it all About?

These guys just blew me away.  I consumed this book through audio; loved their voices and how they told their story.  The way they run the Navy Seals has so many basic principles that apply to business, and yes in my niche manufacturing!  It really comes down to how we do, or do not, take ownership to our issues and how we make the mission larger than the ego (like in my favorite quote).

Jocko and Leif are two US Navy Seal officers who were leaders in one of the highest decorated special operations unit of the Iraq War.  They demonstrate with engaging stories that are so real, and articulate it in such a way that makes you feel you were there.  When lives are depending on it, discipline does really come down to a position of life and death.

When they got back from their missions, they continued to contribute by training the team back home.  They then realized that business in general lacks this thinking, with most not taking an ownership in how they run operations; not knowing how important it is to success and profits.  They now run a company called https://echelonfront.com/ and Jocko has a great podcast called https://jockopodcast.com/. 

You can purchase here https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1250183863/ref=as_li_qf_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=jocko0c-20&creative=9325&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=1250183863&linkId=03517cc3a5301384b463facaeeac4f81 

Favourite Quote

“Our Egos don’t like to take blame, but it is on us as leaders to see where we fail to communicate effectively, and help our troops (people) clearly understand what their roles and responsibilities are and how their actions impact the bigger strategic picture”

Biggest Takeaway

Decision making.  Involving others and being open to feedback.  So often people do not get along and it leads to decisions in business being made based on power and positions, rather than curiosity and what is best for the organization.  They tell some great stories not only about war, but also their business situations.  You just know these are real stories because you can see these issues happening.

Making difficult decisions on letting people go get stalled.  When people cannot put the company’s goals above their own desires, it never works.  Yet so many top leaders are not willing to make the difficult decision to remove someone they perceive to have value to the company.  Taking the risk for a short-term loss of skill, in return for a long-term reward of creating that team culture.  You want engagement, you need to be willing to make the difficult decisions.  These guys are not only great leaders, they are great coaches which rings true to my style and values.  They believe in helping others to succeed, yet they also know when it is not the right fit!

Reviewed by: Trevor Blondeel, July 7,  2020