Extreme Ownership

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In Extreme Ownership, Jocko Willink and Leif Babin tell us:

“I explained that as the officer in charge of training for the West Coast SEAL Teams, we put SEAL units through highly demanding scenarios to get them ready for combat in Iraq and Afghanistan. When SEAL leaders were placed in worst-case-scenario training situations, it was almost always the leaders’ attitudes that determined whether their SEAL units would ultimately succeed or fail. We knew how hard the training missions were because we had designed them. In virtually every case, the SEAL troops and platoons that didn’t perform well had leaders who blamed everyone and everything else—their troops, their subordinate leaders, or the scenario. They blamed the SEAL training instructor staff; they blamed inadequate equipment or the experience level of their men. They refused to accept responsibility. Poor performance and mission failure were the result. The best-performing SEAL units had leaders who accepted responsibility for everything. Every mistake, every failure or shortfall—those leaders would own it. During the debrief after a training mission, those good SEAL leaders took ownership of failures, sought guidance on how to improve, and figured out a way to overcome challenges on the next iteration. The best leaders checked their egos, accepted blame, sought out constructive criticism, and took detailed notes for improvement. They exhibited Extreme Ownership, and as a result, their SEAL platoons and task units dominated. There are no negative repercussions to Extreme Ownership,’ I said. ‘There are only two types of leaders: effective and ineffective. Effective leaders that lead successful, high-performance teams exhibit Extreme Ownership. Anything else is simply ineffective. Anything else is bad leadership.”

Love this! Much easier said than done. It is not my wife. It is not my kids. It is not my job. It is me. I need to be the one to take responsibility and design a masterpiece life around irritations and obstacles as they arise.

It is very easy to point the finger and criticize, condemn, or complain. It is much harder to accept responsibility and take steps to improve the situation.

Feeling irritated, then let’s criticize by creating.

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