Key Principles, Insights and Actionable Exercises
In any moment, there are two ways to respond to life’s circumstances — as a victim or as a creator. In order to let go of the victim narrative, one must take ownership and full responsibility for whatever happens in their life.
In their book Extreme Ownership, Navy SEALs Jocko Willink and Leif Babin explain their approach to a culture of responsibility and extreme accountability. They use their combat experiences and lessons from the SEAL involvement in Iraq to show how responsible leadership skills can be harnessed.
Written by 2 Navy SEAL task unit leaders who served in Ramadi during the Iraq War, Extreme Ownership takes Jocko and Leif’s insights from the violent battlefields of Iraq, where making decisions could mean the life or death of their troops, and turns their mission experiences into principles that can be used by leaders of organizations to overcome complicated tasks and challenging battles in the workplace.
In their eyes, effective leaders are always accountable—always owning the failures (and successes) of their teams. An ineffective leader is one who blames and runs away from his or her responsibility. They explain, “Leaders must own everything in their world. There is no one else to blame.”
Extreme ownership, they write, “is the number-one characteristic of any high-performance winning team…. It mandates that a leader set ego aside, accept responsibility for failures, attack weaknesses and consistently work to build a better and more effective team.”
Read on to learn about the power of extreme ownership, what it takes to build extreme personal and team accountability, and how to decentralize command for effective management along with strategies such as “cover and move” and “prioritize and execute.”