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Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win

Updated: Apr 29, 2023

The book "Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win" was written by two former Navy SEALs, Jocko Willink and Leif Babin. In it, they talk about how they led teams in some of the most difficult situations possible and what they learned from those experiences. There are three parts to the book: "Victory from Within," "Victory in Combat," and "Sustaining Victory." Each part has four chapters that show a leadership concept and how it can be used in both the business world and the military.

The main idea of the book is that leaders must take full responsibility for everything that happens under their watch, whether it's a good mission or a failed project. "Extreme ownership" is what the writers use to describe this. Leaders can avoid blaming others, making excuses, or being lazy by taking full responsibility. Instead, they can own up to their mistakes, learn from them, and use what they've learned to improve their own and their team's success.

Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win

In the book, the writers talk about some of the following leadership ideas:

- "Cover and Move" means to work together as a team and help each other instead of fighting or being in separate groups. Leaders need to make sure that their team members and other teams trust and work with each other.

- Simple: This means speaking clearly and briefly, using simple language, and not using jargon or technical words. Leaders need to make sure that everyone on the team knows the mission, the goals, and what each person's job is.

- Set priorities and get things done: This means focusing on the most important job and getting it done before moving on to the next one. Leaders can't let multiple problems and distractions get them down. Instead, they should delegate tasks, give subordinates more power, and make quick choices.

- Decentralized Command: This means that lower-level leaders and team members have authority and freedom, but there is still oversight and direction. Leaders must trust their followers to make choices and act on their own, while also setting clear expectations and limits.

Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win

Real-life examples and stories from the authors' time as Navy SEALs in Iraq and Afghanistan and their work as consultants for different businesses and groups are used throughout the book. The book is not only helpful, but it is also interesting and motivating because it shows how anyone can use the principles of extreme ownership to become a better leader and get better results.

Here are five important things to learn from the book:

1. Extreme ownership means that you are responsible for every part of your goal, from planning to carrying it out, and you accept the results of your choices. It also means holding your team responsible for what they do and how well they do it, and giving them clear instructions and help. Extreme ownership takes humility, courage, and discipline, and it gives you the power to overcome any problem or challenge.

2. The four rules of combat are "cover and move," "keep it simple," "set priorities and act on them," and "don't have one person in charge." These rules will help you work as a team, talk to each other well, focus on the most important tasks, and give your subordinates more power. By using these rules of combat in your work or in your personal life, you can reach your goals faster and better.

3. Leadership is a skill that can be learned and improved, not a title or job. The book talks about the qualities and actions of good leaders, like being proactive, decisive, cool, strong, flexible, and loyal. It also warns against the dangers of bad leadership, such as being reactive, unsure, emotional, complacent, rigid, or not loyal. The book shows you how to improve your leading skills and get other people to follow you by giving you tips and examples.

4. A leader must find a balance between being a true believer in the goal and being an objective observer of the reality. A true believer is passionate about the cause and dedicated to it. They also inspire others to share the same goal. A detached observer looks at a situation without bias or feeling and looks at the facts as they are. A leader must be able to switch between these two modes as needed and not go too far in either way.

5. A leader also has to find a mix between leading up the chain of command and leading down the chain of command. Leading up means getting your bosses to make better choices or help you with your plans. When you lead down, you tell your subordinates how to carry out your plans or reach your goals. A leader must be able to talk to both the top and the middle level of leadership and understand their needs and goals.

Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win is a great book for anyone who wants to learn more about leadership, teamwork, and personal growth. The book is useful not only for military or business leaders, but also for anyone who wants to take care of their life and get through any problem. The book is both a guide and a challenge: are you ready to take extreme ownership?

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