Ownership and Discipline = GSD: Book Review – Jocko Willink & Leif Babin’s ‘Extreme Ownership’

I recently read Extreme Ownership and was blown away by both the simplicity and profound impact of the book’s message. What I learned was: every success or failure comes down to leadership. Was the message clear? Were the ‘workers’ motivated to succeed? Did everyone know the intended outcome?

The messages in this book are clear and concise. No fuzzy lines to blur your vision. It’s frank, honest, and guttural – in your face – Navy Seal wisdom condensed and reduced and applied to business settings.

There are so many poignantly insightful ideas in this book that I have bookmarked it more than many of the books I’ve read. Take for example this golden nugget: “….when it comes to standards, as a leader, it’s not what you teach, it’s what you tolerate. “ (p. 54) Shut. The. Front. Door. This wisdom can be applied to your business, to your children, to your committed relationships – to your LIFE. Think about it in all of these contexts for a moment and you’ll see how simple and HUGE this is simultaneously.

The concept that we, ourselves, are ultimately responsible for the wins and losses in our lives is simple and, yet sometimes, difficult to grasp. ‘If my supplier wasn’t always late, I’d have more sales.’ ‘I can’t work in such a bureaucratic system.’ ‘I am trying but the customers just aren’t buying.’ ‘If I had a dollar for every employee who stayed loyal to the work, I’d be two dollars richer.’ We play these games with our words, but at the end of the day, it is only us, as business owners that are responsible for the wins and losses.

I have taken principles I learned from this book and adopted them into my life. I have the tendency to procrastinate on small projects then sink with disappointment when I see they haven’t been done. That kind of vibe drains me a little bit every time. After reading Extreme Ownership, I have been motivated to do the little projects and it feel sooooo goooood. The concept of responsibility and discipline that reigns throughout the book really sinks in chapter after chapter. It’s a game changer.

I recommend this book. If you’ve read it, please comment below and tell me your thoughts.

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