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Extreme Ownership includes practical leadership advice from two Navy SEALs on staying strong, disciplined, and level-headed in high-stake situations.

Extreme Ownership

Extreme Ownership

by Jocko Willink, Leif Babin

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284 reads

Taking ownership to achieve success

The most successful men and women in the civilian world practice extreme ownership. 

The principles of extreme ownership are simple but not easy. Taking ownership of mistakes and failures is hard, but it is key to learning, developing solutions and ultimate success. 

JOCKO WILLINK

Discipline is the pathway to freedom.

A true leader takes ownership of everything in his domain. This includes the outcome and everything that affects it. 

A true leader doesn’t find excuses or blame others. Instead, he puts his ego aside, takes full responsibility for the outcome and considers what he should do differently. Wh...

No Bad Teams, Only Bad Leaders

Leaders fundamentally decide their teams’ level of performance. 

  • Effective leaders push the standards in a way that encourages and enables the team to extreme ownership. Great leadership can cause any team to thrive.
  • Ineffective leaders don’t a...

Believe in the Mission

You must believe in the mission to convince and inspire others to follow. If leaders do not believe, they will not take risks needed to overcome unavoidable challenges.

Always remember that you are part of something greater than yourself and your own personal interests. A great leader shoul...

Check the Ego

Ego clouds and disrupts everything: the planning process, the ability to take good advice, and the ability to accept constructive criticism. Our egos don’t like to accept blame.

Great leaders prioritise the broader mission over their personal ego. They’re willing to learn, ...

Cover and Move

Cover and Move is a common military tactic where one team covers while another moves, so they can jointly gain ground. 

Different teams should be able to work together towards a common goal and support one another. Each team member is critical to success. Some will contribu...

Keep Things Simple

Success is dependent on simple, clear, and concise plans and orders. However, when plans and orders are too complicated, people may not understand them.

If your team doesn’t get it, you have not kept things simple, and you have failed. Simple plans can be easily communicated, understood and...

It can feel overwhelming when faced with multiple time-sensitive, high-stake problems. However, if you try to do everything at once, you will fail.

Good leaders will stay calm, identify top priorities, and then address them one by one.

Decentralized command

We are generally not capable of managing more than 6-10 people.

Ensure that leaders at all levels understand the overall mission and immediate goals. Every team leader should understand what the team must do and why. Junior leaders must know what is within their decision-making authority an...

Leaders must identify clear directives for the team. A broad and ambiguous mission results in a lack of focus, ineffective execution, and mission creep.

Every mission should have clarity, evaluation of options and risks, engagement of all levels, post-action debriefs, and systematization o...

Great leaders lead upward by offering information and updates to help their leaders understand their work.

They lead downward by helping junior leaders and frontline staff to see the bigger picture.

Decisiveness amid uncertainty

Leaders cannot be paralyzed by fear.

They must be prepared to make the best possible decisions based on available information.

Discipline is essential for freedom and results.

A good leader is confident but not cocky, courageous but not foolhardy;  competitive, yet a gracious loser, a leader and a follower, quiet but not silent, logical but not without emotions. 

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