This week I have been listening to the audiobook version of Extreme Ownership by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin. It is quite different to all the other business/motivation books I have come across before for one main reason: The authors are ex-Navy Seals. They use the leadership lessons learnt on the battlegrounds of Iraq to help individuals and businesses and it results in a very striking book to read or listen to.
They use accounts of real life conflicts to explain a principle and then give a business example they have encountered to show how that translates to normal life. These principles include:
1) There are no bad teams, only bad leaders.
3) Keeping your ego in check.
4) Acting decisively.
6) Prioritise and execute.
7) Decentralised command.
8) Managing up and managing down the leadership ladder.
9) Discipline equals freedom.
The main overriding principle as the title suggests is extreme ownership. By that they mean that you must take responsibility for your situation. If other individuals are not fulfilling their roles, that is your fault because as their leader you must make their role clearer for them or ultimately you must decide if they are not up to the job you are demanding of them.
I found this book very refreshing because of its uniqueness and I can understand why so many other dentists on forums and podcasts are also recommending it. I think it probably works better as an audiobook rather than in print because the Seals tell their stories very well and their voices put Vin Diesel to shame!
Dr Chris Harper