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Book Notes from 'Extreme Ownership' By Jocko Willink & Lief Babin

  • Believe
    • Questioning the Mission
    • When we know the man covering our 'six'(backside) is someone who has been through the same training, has the same gear, and speaks the same language - someone we trust
    • In the SEAL Teams - the bond of our brotherhood is our strongest weapon.
    • I knew my actions and mind-set carried great weight among my troops
    • These were my orders - and for me to lead I had to believe - so I kept my doubts to myself and asked the simple question - why?
    • That led to another question - what was winning?
    • They did have to understand why they were doing it so that they could believe in the mission.
    • The most important question had to be answered: Why?
    • If I expressed doubt or openly questioned the wisdom of this plan in front of the troops, their derision towards the mission would increase exponentially.
    • They would never believe in it - as a result, they would never commit to it, and would fail.
    • Principal
      • In order to convince and inspire others to follow and accomplish a mission the leader must be a true believer in the mission.
      • If a leader does not believe, he or she will not take the risks required to overcome the inevitable challenges necessary to win.
      • Far more important that training or equipment, a resolute belief in the mission is critical for any team or organization to win and achieve big results.
      • Every leader must be able to detach from the immediate tactical mission and understand how it fits into strategic goals.
      • Why are we being asked to do this?
      • In any organization, goals must always be in alignment.
      • Belief in the mission ties in with the fourth law of combat - Decentralized Command
      • The leader must explain not just what to do - but why.
      • Only when leaders at all levels understand and believe in the mission can they pass that understanding and belief to their teams so that they can persevere through challenges, execute and win.
    • Application To Business
      • Ok, but why do you think they are implementing this plan.
      • CEO: 'I think they get the business, and I think they know what we are trying to do. So there really isn't much that they would need to confront me on.'
      • A common misconception among military leaders or corporate senior executives, this was an example of a boss who didn’t fully comprehend the weight of her position.
      • 'Your mid-level managers don't fully understand those points, they don’t understand why - and so they don’t believe in the strategy. If they don’t believe, neither will your sales force. If this plan rolls out and those executing it don’t believe in it - your plan is far more likely to fail.'
      • Who is to blame for the CEO not explaining this to you in more detail - that’s right, You! - that is what extreme ownership is all about.
      • It is up to you to ask questions until you understand how and why those decisions are being made.
      • Not knowing why prohibits you from believing in the mission.
      • Leadership isn't one person leading a team - it's a group of leaders working together, up and down the chain of command, to lead.
      • People talk about leadership requiring courage - it takes courage to go to the CEO's office, knock on her door and explain that you don’t understand the strategy behind her decision.
      • If you ever get a task or guidance or a mission that you don’t believe in, don’t just sit back and accept it - ask questions until you understand why so you can believe in what you are doing and you can pass that information down the chain to your team with confidence - so they can get out and execute the mission - that's leadership.
Posted on Monday, October 10, 2016 12:07 PM Agile , TeamBuilding | Back to top

Comments on this post: Extreme Ownership : Believe

# re: Extreme Ownership : Believe
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I totally agree with this idea. A good leader must believe in himself. - Bath Planet
Left by Brandon on Nov 07, 2016 5:45 AM

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