Extreme Ownership – Bookcast #7

Extreme Ownership: How US Navy SEALs Lead and Win by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin

As leaders of SEAL Team Three’s Task Unit Bruiser, Jocko Willink and Leif Babin’s mission was to help US forces secure Ramadi, the most violent and dangerous battlefield in Iraq. In gripping, firsthand accounts of heroism, tragic loss, and hard-won victories, they learned that Extreme Ownership is the most important factor in whether a team succeeds or fails. Returning home from deployment, they instituted SEAL leadership training to pass on their harsh leadership lessons. After leaving the military, Willink and Babin launched the company Echelon Front to bring these same principles to the civilian world. Since 2010 Echelon Front has taught countless leaders in virtually every sector how to use Extreme Ownership to develop their own high-performance teams and effectively lead those teams to dominate their battlefields. 

Read and listen to “Extreme Ownership” on Amazon!

Listen to the “Jocko Podcast”

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Extreme Ownership Notes:

0:00 – Intro to Extreme Ownership

  • Navy SEALs Jocko Willink and Leif Babbin teach how the principle of Extreme Ownership has led their teams to victory, both on the battlefield in Iraq and in corporate America
  • Intended audience: Anyone who wants to eliminate excuses from their life and take themselves and their team to the next level
  • Purpose of the book: To change the way you think about Personal Responsibility

4:45 – How easy is the book to read?

  • Fast read, thrilling, edge-of-your-seat war stories, valuable business applications
  • Print: 317 pages (6-8 hours)
  • Audio: 9 hours 33 minutes

5:30 – Reviews and Significance

  • 2,985 reviews, 4.8 stars
  • #1 in Audible Military History
  • #2 Kindle Business Teams
  • #52 out of all Audible Books

7:00 – Bio of Jocko and Leif

Jocko Willink

  • Spent 20 years in the U.S. Navy SEAL Teams, starting as an enlisted SEAL and rising through the ranks to become a SEAL officer. 
  • Commander of SEAL Team Three’s Task Unit Bruiser during the battle of Ramadi. 
  • Task Unit Bruiser became the most highly decorated Special Operations Unit of the Iraq War. 
  • After Iraq, Jocko served as Officer-in-Charge of training for all West Coast SEAL Teams. 
  • During his career was awarded the Silver Star, the Bronze Star, and numerous other personal and unit awards. 
  • In 2010, retired from the Navy and launched Echelon Front where he teaches leadership principles across a wide-range of industries and fields. 
  • He runs one of the top-ranked leadership podcasts: https://jockopodcast.com/
  • Jocko is also the author of the children’s book Way of the Warrior Kid and the New York Times bestseller Discipline Equals Freedom.

Leif Babin

  • A graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, Leif served thirteen years in the Navy, including nine as a Navy SEAL. 
  • Babin was SEAL platoon commander in SEAL Team Three’s Task Unit Bruiser. 
  • In addition to his work in Iraq, Babin became the primary leadership instructor for all officers graduating from the SEAL training pipeline. 
  • He is the recipient of the Silver Star, two Bronze Stars, and a Purple Heart. 
  • In 2011, Leif left active duty and co-founded Echelon Front where he serves as leadership instructor, speaker, and executive coach. 
  • Babin’s editorials have been published in the Wall Street Journal and he has appeared on a variety of national television news shows, radio programs and podcasts.

9:30 – Major Themes of the Book

12 Principles divided into 3 Sections

  1. Victory from Within (principles 1-4)
    1. EXTREME OWNERSHIP
    2. NO BAD TEAMS, ONLY BAD LEADERS
    3. CLARITY AND BELIEF
    4. MANAGE EGO
  2. Victory in Combat (principles 5-8)
    1. COVER AND MOVE (TEAMWORK)
    2. KEEP THINGS SIMPLE
    3. PRIORITIZE AND EXECUTE
    4. DECENTRALIZED COMMAND
  3. Sustaining Victory (principles 9-12)
    1. SOUND PLANNING
    2. LEAD UP AND DOWN THE LINE
    3. BE DECISIVE AMIDST UNCERTAINTY
    4. DISCIPLINE BRINGS FREEDOM

14:30 – Jay’s perspectives

  • I love how the philosophy of this book completely eliminates victim mentality.
  • Wherever you are you can lead. Even at the bottom of a hierarchy you can still lead.
  • Critique: The book is dry in parts, especially during the sections about corporate America.
  • Q for the authors: Why did you write the book? What parts were cut for national security?
  • Recommended reading: “Dichotomy of Leadership” by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin, “Can’t Hurt Me by David Goggins and Adam Skolnick

21:00 – Matt’s perspectives

  • Step by step instruction on how to better yourself and to lead, a playbook to do it
  • As a newly minted manager, this book has helped me to become a better leader for my team
  • Critique: I’d like more application of Extreme Ownership in real life, less stories
  • Q for the authors: I’d love to get corporate training from Willink and Babin
  • Recommended Reading: “Way of the Warrior Kid” by Jocko Willink and Thor Willink

Jay’s favorite quote from “Extreme Ownership”

“You can’t make people listen to you. You can’t make them execute. That might be a temporary solution for a simple task. But to implement real change, to drive people to accomplish something truly complex or difficult or dangerous—you can’t make people do those things. You have to lead them.”

Matt’s favorite quote from “Extreme Ownership”

“The test is not a complex one: when the alarm goes off, do you get up out of bed, or do you lie there in comfort and fall back to sleep? If you have the discipline to get out of bed, you win—you pass the test. If you are mentally weak for that moment and you let that weakness keep you in bed, you fail. Though it seems small, that weakness translates to more significant decisions. But if you exercise discipline, that too translates to more substantial elements of your life.”


Maybe by DoKashiteru (c) copyright 2009 Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial (3.0) license. http://dig.ccmixter.org/files/DoKashiteru/19795 Ft: AlexBeroza

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