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adrw // Andrew Alexander

Extreme Ownership

Books, Author(Jocko Willink), Author(Leif Babin)1 min read

2015 | Jocko Willink, Leif Babin

Recommended by my brother-in-law whose new manager had it as required reading for all of his project managers.

Many classic leadership concepts with compelling examples from author's military experience as Navy Seal leaders in Iraq and from their subsequent leadership consulting of executives and teams of large companies.

Core jist of "extreme ownership" is recognizing and accepting as a leader (or as an individual in any aspect of life) that the buck stops with you. If the mission fails, it is the fault of the leader alone. Blame should not be spread around regardless of external factors or underperforming team members.

For example, if external factors influenced the failure, it is the leader's fault for not anticipating and mitigating their impact. If team members failed, the leader did not give clear instructions, did not help underperforming team members succeed, and did not ensure the team's understanding of the mission and tactics.

Meditating on the principles and stories in the book, many clear examples came to mind of areas where I was shirking responsibilities implicitly by making excuses in my personal and professional life. Taking extreme ownership has started to turn around both.

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