Book: Extreme Ownership by Jocko Willink & Leif Babin

25658675

Leaders must own everything in their world. There is no one else to blame.

 

You don’t need to formally be a leader, nobody had to put you in that position, but you still can own the situation.

No excuses, no bullshitting, just ownership.

Extreme ownership gives you power. Power to own every situation, to never stop searching for the ways what you can do to shape the world.

Initiative is hard and demanding. You have to work hard, keep your word and not sheepishly follow the crowd, you have to put yourself out there.

But lack of initiative is depressing and disempowering.

Amazon Link

Jocko Willink

Jocko is former commander of Task Force Bruiser, the most decorated unit in Afghanistan. They were fighting in the battle of Ramadi, the most brutal urban environment in afghan war. He has a podcast about leadership and discipline.

Jocko is fond of saying that discipline equals freedom.

And he gave a TED talk too!

 

Ego is the enemy.

That is a common thread in the many recent books I’ve read. Ego is the enemy obviously, Astronauts guide to life on earth, Tools of Titans  and few more are conveying that you should focus less on yourself and more on the team and how can you support it. Victory is for team players.

For leaders, the humility to admit and own mistakes and develop a plan to overcome them is essential to success. The best leaders are not driven by ego or personal agendas. They are simply focused on the mission and how best to accomplish it.

What is interesting is that I see this turn towards stoicism only recently. It seems that in 80s and 90s the path to win was to be the loudest talker with the biggest suit. If you could scream more, you were a winner.

But now I sense kind of Sun-Tzu approach of knowing yourself and being like water. I cannot articulate it better, maybe the authors of the books I read form a tight circle.

Concept of leading up the chain of command.

Take responsibility for leading everyone in your world, subordinates and superiors alike

When we hear about leadership, most of us don’t perk up and focus since we tend to think of leadership as someone elses problem. More than that, it is usually someone else’s screwup.

Being happy with leadership isn’t common, since no-one is perfect and its all too easy to find faults and put blame.But concept of extreme ownership doesn’t allow you to do that.

Boss is tough on you or making you do something you don’t like? You own that situation.

  • Did you give her enough information?
  • Did you make her trust you?
  • Did you prove yourself co they don’t have to hand-hold?

Concept of leading UP the chain of command really strikes me as useful since it puts power in my hands, can be immediately applied and actually does something to make the situation better. It caused me to reflect if I am indeed providing enough information so my superiors can make good decisions.

My highlights

  • Between the Vietnam War and the Global War on Terrorism, the U.S. military experienced a thirty-year span of virtually no sustained combat operations.
  • Cover and Move, Simple, Prioritize and Execute, and Decentralized Command.
  • The only meaningful measure for a leader is whether the team succeeds or fails.
  • For all the definitions, descriptions, and characterizations of leaders, there are only two that matter: effective and ineffective. Effective leaders lead successful teams that accomplish their mission and win. Ineffective leaders do not.
  • For leaders, the humility to admit and own mistakes and develop a plan to overcome them is essential to success. The best leaders are not driven by ego or personal agendas. They are simply focused on the mission and how best to accomplish it.
  • Leaders must own everything in their world. There is no one else to blame.
  • If an individual on the team is not performing at the level required for the team to succeed, the leader must train and mentor that underperformer. But if the underperformer continually fails to meet standards, then a leader who exercises Extreme Ownership must be loyal to the team and the mission above any individual. If underperformers cannot improve, the leader must make the tough call to terminate them and hire others who can get the job done. It is all on the leader.
  • “Maybe not so much here to help you, but here to help the situation,”
  • When a bad SEAL leader walked into a debrief and blamed everyone else, that attitude was picked up by subordinates and team members, who then followed suit. They all blamed everyone else, and inevitably the team was ineffective and unable to properly execute a plan.
  • Each boat had a roman numeral painted in bright yellow on the front, indicating the boat crew number—all except the boat crew made up of the shortest men in the class, known as the “Smurf crew.” They had a bright blue Smurf painted on the bow of their boat.
  • one of the most fundamental and important truths at the heart of Extreme Ownership: there are no bad teams, only bad leaders.
  • as a leader, it’s not what you preach, it’s what you tolerate.
  • No matter how obvious his or her failing, or how valid the criticism, a Tortured Genius, in this sense, accepts zero responsibility for mistakes, makes excuses, and blames everyone else for their failings (and those of their team).
  • In order to convince and inspire others to follow and accomplish a mission, a leader must be a true believer in the mission. Even when others doubt and question the amount of risk, asking, “Is it worth it?” the leader must believe in the greater cause.
  • If frontline leaders and troops understand why, they can move forward, fully believing in what they are doing.
  • The leader must explain not just what to do, but why.
  • Ego clouds and disrupts everything: the planning process, the ability to take good advice, and the ability to accept constructive criticism. It can even stifle someone’s sense of self-preservation.
  • Often, the most difficult ego to deal with is your own.
  • Implementing Extreme Ownership requires checking your ego and operating with a high degree of humility.
  • Your superintendent may not have really understood how his failure to follow procedure and get approval for these changes would result in hundreds of thousands of dollars lost. Do you think that is possible?”
  • “Remember, it’s not about you,” I continued. “It’s not about the drilling superintendent. It’s about the mission and how best to accomplish it. With that attitude exemplified in you and your key leaders, your team will dominate.”
  • Simplifying as much as possible is crucial to success. When plans and orders are too complicated, people may not understand them. And when things go wrong, and they inevitably do go wrong, complexity compounds issues that can spiral out of control into total disaster.
  • Teams must be careful to avoid target fixation on a single issue.
  • Every tactical-level team leader must understand not just what to do but why they are doing it.
  • senior leaders must constantly communicate and push information—what we call in the military “situational awareness”—to their subordinate leaders. Likewise, junior leaders must push situational awareness up the chain to their senior leaders to keep them informed, particularly of crucial information that affects strategic decision making.
  • With SEAL Teams—just as with any team in the business world—there are leaders who try to take on too much themselves.
  • Contrary to a common misconception, leaders are not stuck in any particular position. Leaders must be free to move to where they are most needed, which changes throughout the course of an operation.
  • Situations will sometimes require that the boss walk away from a problem and let junior leaders solve it, even if the boss knows he might solve it more efficiently.
  • A broad and ambiguous mission results in lack of focus, ineffective execution, and mission creep.
  • A broad and ambiguous mission results in lack of focus, ineffective execution, and mission creep. To prevent this, the mission must be carefully refined and simplified so that it is explicitly clear and specifically focused to achieve the greater strategic vision for which that mission is a part.
  • A broad and ambiguous mission results in lack of focus, ineffective execution, and mission creep. To prevent this, the mission must be carefully refined and simplified so that it is explicitly clear and specifically focused to achieve the greater strategic vision for which that mission is a part.
  • The mission must explain the overall purpose and desired result, or “end state,” of the operation
  • While a simple statement, the Commander’s Intent is actually the most important part of the brief.
  • Giving the frontline troops ownership of even a small piece of the plan gives them buy-in, helps them understand the reasons behind the plan, and better enables them to
  • It must be repeatable and guide users with a checklist of all the important things they need to think about
    • Analyze the mission. —Understand higher headquarters’ mission, Commander’s Intent, and endstate (the goal). —Identify and state your own Commander’s Intent and endstate for the specific mission.
    • Identify personnel, assets, resources, and time available. Decentralize the planning process. —Empower key leaders within the team to analyze possible courses of action.
    • Determine a specific course of action. —Lean toward selecting the simplest course of action. —Focus efforts on the best course of action.
    •  Empower key leaders to develop the plan for the selected course of action. • Plan for likely contingencies through each phase of the operation. • Mitigate risks that can be controlled as much as possible.
    • Delegate portions of the plan and brief to key junior leaders. —Stand back and be the tactical genius.
    • Continually check and question the plan against emerging information to ensure it still fits the situation.
    • Brief the plan to all participants and supporting assets. —Emphasize Commander’s Intent. —Ask questions and engage in discussion and interaction with the team to ensure they understand. •
    • Conduct post-operational debrief after execution. —Analyze lessons learned and implement them in future planning.
  • repeatable checklist others with less experience can follow.”
  • new feature manifesto mvp manifesto new feature checkklisst ?
  • “As a leader, if you are down in the weeds planning the details with your guys,” said Jocko, “you will have the same perspective as them, which adds little value. But if you let them plan the details, it allows them to own their piece of the plan. And it allows you to stand back and see everything with a different perspective, which adds tremendous value.
  • But I could have done a far better job as a leader to understand for myself the strategic impact of our operations and passed this insight to my troops.
  • “We are here. We are on the ground. We need to push situational awareness up the chain,” Jocko said. “If they have questions, it is our fault for not properly communicating the information they need. We have to lead them.”
  • LEADING UP THE CHAIN
  • A public display of discontent or disagreement with the chain of command undermines the authority of leaders at all levels.
  • Take responsibility for leading everyone in your world, subordinates and superiors alike. • If someone isn’t doing what you want or need them to do, look in the mirror first and determine what you can do to better enable this. • Don’t ask your leader what you should do, tell them what you are going to do.
  • better info about projects gloing on
  • BUSINESS
  • the picture could never be complete. There was always some element of risk. There was no 100-percent right solution.
  • Although discipline demands control and asceticism, it actually results in freedom.

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s