What We're Reading
Extreme Ownership: How the U.S. Navy Seals Lead and Win is an exceptional book about leadership, specifically addressing the need for leaders to accept extreme ownership in everything they do. The authors, Jocko Willink and Leif Babin, are highly-accomplished Navy Seals who led military personnel in one of the most dangerous locations in the Iraq War.
The introduction to the book explains quite clearly what leadership means to a Navy Seal team: where failure often means death, leadership is the single most important factor to success. And each of the following 12 chapters tells a leadership story of the Navy Seals in action during the battle for Ramadi, transitions into a discussion of a specific leadership principle, and finishes with how this principle applies to business. The stories are riveting, the principles timeless, and the business application brings the principles to life.
The primary takeaway from Extreme Ownership is that leaders must practice extreme ownership of everything the organization does—or fails to do. They must take appropriate corrective action to remedy problems, and do whatever they must to ensure the team succeeds.
Although written by two Navy Seals, Willink and Babin carefully and clearly translate their military experience to everyday leadership challenges in business and society. The stories are real, which adds great credibility to their message about the importance of becoming an extraordinary leader. More importantly, each lesson discussed translates very well to The Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership®.
This book is riveting in its story telling of America’s heroes in action. Their heroism, combined with their leadership lessons, makes this a must-read for all of us in the business of developing leaders.
Jody R. Rogers, Ph.D., is a Certified Master of The Leadership Challenge and Program Manager for the Army Medical Department Executive Skills Program. A Board Certified Healthcare Executive and Fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE), he can be reached at Jrogers5@satx.rr.com.