Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win by Jocko Wilink and Leif Babin.
“Implementing Extreme Ownership requires checking your ego and operating with a high degree of humility. Admitting mistakes, taking ownership, and developing a plan to overcome challenges are integral to any successful team.” Jocko Willink
We are all leaders in life and while some of us may have been trained more extensively than others we can all become effective leaders. It is a matter of learning leadership principles and then constantly putting them into practice. Day by day in every way you will get better.
Jocko Willink and Leif Babin are U.S. Navy seals who were leaders of a Seal task unit of a seemingly impossible mission in the Iraq war. Their mission was to secure the city of Ramadi that had become overrun by insurgents and considered one of the most violent battlefields. In their book “Extreme Ownership” they outline their story and the leadership lessons they learnt. Since returning home they now teach companies and individuals these principles in belief that they are critical to success or failure.
While many of these principles have been addressed throughout this book here are some of the leadership principles that Jocko and Leif discuss in their book. Most importantly we must take extreme ownership. The success of our life is entirely our responsibility and we must own that. That means not placing blame on external factors. The sooner we own it with absolute conviction and belief we will become amazing leaders of our life. Whether in victory or failure those that take ownership will progress and continually be at an advantage.
One chapter focuses on that fact that there are no bad teams only bad leaders. Our life is as good as we lead it to greatness. While circumstance vary amongst us all, we are the ones in charge of leading the change out of undesirable circumstances and into those which we desire. To get buy in and conviction we must communicate the why, ask questions and build undeniable belief. When teams have solid belief – results are achieved. When we uphold strong belief, ask questions for clarity and seek deeper understanding we begin to achieve solid results in life. Tony Robbins says something to the effect of, “When you know the what and the why the rest will follow.”
Jocko and Leif highlight why it is important to remove underperformers from teams as they can hinder results and be critical to the success or failure of a mission. They also discuss here why it’s important to check the ego. The underperformer that impact the success of our life’s journey is the ego. Ego’s that drive decisions and actions may limit the ability to become fulfilled. Other underperformers include our inner self critic, the practices that limit our progress and cause suffering and any negative emotions, feelings or aspects of our life. Poor relationships, bad attitudes, judgement, comparison, greed, envy, laziness and hate.
In part two they discuss the laws of combat. The importance of keeping things simple. I think of the minimalist life. Not overcomplicating things. In simplicity we can better prioritise and execute. It is easier to grasp concepts and grow belief. The more we complicate things that harder it is for us to maintain strength and leadership as we attempt to navigate our way through gun fire on the battlefield. Be sure to understand that even on the journey aligned with our why adversity will be meet, challenge will require courage and the simpler we keep things the better we are able to push forward.
The last chapter in their book, Extreme Ownership, is titled “Discipline Equals Freedom.”
Discipline has profound ripple effects. It is the key to effectiveness in life, it is the key to good practice, progress and improvement. It is the key to freedom and the key to fulfilment. If you want to achieve deeper happiness in life develop disciplines around everything you do including the disciplines of the mind. From time to time when you slip and fall that is okay, this will happen but create the discipline to stand up again. The stronger this becomes the quicker you will get back up.
Discipline may seem painful at first, it may be uncomfortable or sometimes such a minor thing that it can also appear unnecessary. Discipline brings structure to the team and in the case of the individual it brings structure to our life. With solid structure and foundations all the pieces of the puzzle in life start to mesh together with greater ease and that is where freedom and fulfilment can be discovered. Without disciplines The Ultimate Life will be hard to live.
Understand these leadership principles, pick up the book Extreme Ownership, read and learn. For the benefit of becoming a team leader or to be the greatest leader of your life this is a worthy read. The way to fulfilment in life is to lead yourself there. No one else will care as much about your life than you. No one else will lead you on your journey as they have their own to journey to walk. People will assist and offer guidance to those seen as being in charge and leading their life but they will not carry you all the way. Fulfilment is for us to create, it is for us to have and we can. Are you the captain of your ship and the leader of your soul?
If this book sounds of interest you can purchase Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win here.
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