Jocko Willinik must be one of the baddest dudes alive. He became a Navy Seal, and then later led his own unit of Seals, and then became a Seal instructor. He served in the Navy for 20 years. Then he became a black belt in Jutsu. Then he also started his own consulting company, Echelon Front, and now has manufacturing operations in Maine, making clothing, boots, merch, and he has his own energy drink. Jaco has an amazing track record of success and all of that with an English degree. So shout out to all of our friends with English degrees. So when Jaco talks about leadership, I think it’s worth listening to. I remember years ago hearing Jaco at a leader cast event and have been seeing him in various places since then, including a great episode of the Case of the C Neistat V log. My friends know how much I love Casey Neistat. My f andom for Jaco took another step, however, when I read the Extreme Ownership Book. It’s a fantastic book. What I love about this book is that it explains each point three times. One, as a concept from leadership, just a generic concept. Two, as a story from the battlefield from Jacko’s experiences.

And one is a story from the corporate world. This combines the repetition of a good leader, but then also with a storytelling element that makes it easier to remember and more relevant to the leader. So a couple of points that I think are worth mentioning when you think about extreme ownership. Extreme ownership is the concept that as a leader, you are responsible for everything. Blaming other people is not helpful. You are responsible for success or failure, and the desire to blame others must be deterred. When you are responsible for the outcome, act like you are responsible for the outcome. You will need to work harder and double check things, but you also want to instill the same sense of responsibility throughout your team. So the second concept is leading up and down the chain of command. Leadership doesn’t just flow down the chain of command, but up as well. This is not something people usually think about. They usually think about leading top down. But in the midst of piles of paperwork in the fog of war, Leif Babin, the Echelon Front co founder and co writer of Extreme Ownership, is having a conversation with Jocko.

And Jaco points out that Leif has the opportunity to lead those above him in the organizational chain. Instead of just complaining about the leadership requirements coming in from above, reshape the thinking of those above and think about, Well, what do we need to do better? What can we do better to help them make those decisions or endorse our decisions? It takes a lot of respect for those above you and motivation internally to approach things that way. Leading down can be simply done through the power of your position. We all know that, but that’s not the best way to accomplish things. Leadership is more than just positional authority. Being able to lead up the chain of command requires you to build trust in your abilities and those above you, and working to understand what your immediate supervisor is looking for or has to show to their superiors. Then also having the humility to understand that they might have different priorities than you do to push you in another direction and then being able to accept that. Can you enable leaders to take a different approach? These two concepts can be really valuable across many aspects of our lives, from work to home to church to civic groups that you engage in.

Understanding how to take ownership can affect a positive change in your world. So I would encourage you to read about that in Extreme Ownership by Jocko Willingham, but thank you for listening to the Content Machine podcast. Subscribe to get more episodes in your podcast player. The only one that I really was messed.

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