Agent: Travis Bergren
Agent Activities: Entrepreneur over at Rivet City Productions
Location: Minnesota, U.S.
Where to find him online: @Trydus (Twitter)
Author(s): Jocko Willink and Leif Babin
Report Published: 24th May 2016
Extreme Ownership, written by former Navy SEALS Jocko Willink and Leif Babin, is one of the most incredible books on leadership and self-ownership that you can ever read. Nothing else even comes close to capturing the “how”, and “why” of effective management. The authors really have found a way to translate the combat leadership principles they learned in the military to civilian life using a methodology that can only be described, as they state in the book: Simple, but not easy.
The book is laid out in a series of chapters designed to bring you through the entire concept of Extreme Ownership – how it’s learned, understood, cultivated, codified, and how it can be applied to your life and/or business.
This book is exactly what you would expect from a pair of Navy SEALS to be written: clear, concise, and applicable to any situation, including business and on the field of battle; spoken with a “no BS” mentality. It’s this philosophy and mindset that lays the foundation for the entire book, and now shapes my entire point of view. To put it simply, and in the words of Jocko and Leif: “Leaders must own everything in their world. There is no one else to blame.” Such lessons are hard learned, yet some of them are the most important and critical things we need to understand, not only as leaders, but as human beings.
If you’re a leader of a team, a business owner, a manager, or even simply someone looking to better your own life, then Extreme Ownership is an absolute must-read. Leadership is one of the most difficult endeavors one can ever embark on, but with a mindset of Extreme Ownership, it can also be one of the greatest things that you ever do as a human being.
“Leaders must own everything in their world. There is no one else to blame.”
“Others who were blessed with all the natural talent in the world will fail as leaders if they are not humble enough to own their mistakes, admit that they don’t have it all figured out, seek guidance, learn, and continuously grow.”
“While there is no guarantee of success in leadership, there is one thing that is certain: leading people is the most challenging and, therefore, the most gratifying undertaking of all human endeavors.”
My QUAKE moment from this book came very quickly in Chapter 1. Jocko recalled a time in deployment where there was a Blue on Blue (friendly fire) incident. He was required to put together a debriefing of what happened, what went wrong, and who was to blame. After all of the investigation and cataloguing of errors, in every facet of the operation, including looking for someone to blame, he could as the senior office in charge of the operation only come to one conclusion: the blame lay squarely on his shoulders. He declared this in front of his unit, his Commanding Officer, the Command Master Chief, and the Investigating Officer. It was when I read this, that I was hit so incredibly hard by the magnitude 9.0 bookquake.
I recently had some troubles with my business and my team, but the solution became so much more apparent after taking what Jocko was saying to heart. Although I intellectually knew of the importance of taking complete responsibility and it was nothing new to me, learning it in a new context truly codified it for me, and cemented it firmly into my mindset and actions.
I immediately went to work on outlining everything that was going on in my business, and made a plan to move forward, allowing the Extreme Ownership framework to influence the entire situation. Since then, we’ve been a lot more successful in our planning and execution of big goals. Consequently, I’ve since taken the mindset to the rest of my life, owning all responsibility in my own world so that I can be the most successful and best version of myself. Now, I know I can make a better and more lasting impact. Thank you, Jocko and Leif.