28568 Liam Chambers: aspiring leaders should get to know about Jocko Willinkand
Jocko Willink – Extreme Ownership: How Navy Seals Lead and Win
Article by 28568 OCdt (I) Liam Chambers
When I first heard of Jocko Willink, I was posted in Esquimalt on the HMCS Vancouver, and a training partner of mine decided to throw a podcast on before our workout. At first it seems as if Jocko is extremely brash, passionate, and unrelentingly intense. However, when I stopped and listened closely, his life and military lessons spoke volumes, and I decided to order a copy of his book, “Extreme Ownership: How Navy Seals Lead and Win.”
Jocko began as an enlisted Seal operator, rising through the ranks to attend Officer Candidate School (OCS), and eventually concluding his career as a Lieutenant Commander, commanding one of the most decorated seal teams to participate in the Iraq conflict – Seal Team 3, specifically in the combat-hot zone of Ramadi. His key theory includes the idea of extreme discipline, not of others, of yourself. Discipline of others is easy, lethargic, and slow; discipline of yourself is tough, fast, and brutal. The difference comes with trust. If you are considered indisputably reliable, if you can lead your team with fervent motivation, and create a circle of unbreakable trust, you will win. These qualities do not come from within, they are earned. They are earned in every decision, interaction, and issue that you handle, and in what manner you handle them, especially when people’s lives are attached to them.
While overall the book, podcasts, and TedTalks (link included at the bottom of this article) are extremely engaging and important sources of information for would-be leaders, a few points are particularly stressed, and particularly vital. For brevity and inspiration, here are five highlights:
- “Implementing Extreme Ownership requires checking your ego and operating with a high degree of humility. Admitting mistakes, taking ownership, and developing a plan to overcome challenges are integral to any successful team.”
- “the most fundamental and important truths at the heart of Extreme Ownership: there are no bad teams, only bad leaders.”
- “If frontline troops are unclear about the plan and yet are too intimidated to ask questions, the team’s ability to effectively execute the plan radically decreases.”
- “Overconfidence was risky in such a hostile environment, a mistake most often made by warriors who had never truly been tested.
- “A leader must lead, but also be ready to follow. They must be aggressive, but not overbearing. A leader must be calm, but not robotic. They must be confident, but never cocky. A leader must be brave, but not foolhardy. They must have a competitive spirit but be a gracious loser.”
Lead the pack and move forward, not by stepping on the heads on others, but by trust and efficiency. Cohesion and movement are key, there is no victory in fracture.
Jocko Willink – Extreme Ownership Ted Talk: