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Jocko Willink and Leif Babin, former United States Navy SEALs, wrote the book Extreme Ownership: How U.S.

Navy SEALs Lead and Win to share their leadership secrets with a broader audience.

In addition, they explain how the lessons they learned during their time in the military can be applied to other walks of life, including the business world.

One of the main ideas they emphasize is the importance of taking ownership of one’s actions and decisions. They argue that successful leaders must be willing to take responsibility for their team’s successes and failures rather than placing blame on others.

This message is delivered clearly and concisely, making it easy for readers to understand and apply it to their lives.

As a result, Extreme Ownership is an essential read for anyone looking to improve their leadership skills.

Here are some of the lessons that can be learned from Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win:

There Are Only Bad Leaders, Not Bad Teams

Team helping each other onto the top of a mountain overlooking a city

The book “Extreme Ownership” argues that to be a successful leader, one must take complete responsibility for their team.

The book describes an incident during SEAL basic training, in which two teams – one performing well and one not – became equals by simply exchanging commanders.

This principle eliminates any justifications for a leader not taking complete responsibility for their team.

In other words, the leader must be willing to accept blame when things go wrong and give credit to their team when things go right.

This philosophy can be applied to any organization, from businesses to the military. By adopting an extreme ownership mentality, leaders can create a culture of accountability and success.

Keep Your Ego in Check

To practice Extreme Ownership, you must first put your ego in check.

This means being confident in your abilities but not letting your ego get in the way of making decisions or taking action.

It also means being modest and humble, recognizing that you are not always the best or most qualified person for the task.

It is important to never become complacent in your role or position. Even when things are going well, it is important to remember that there are always people willing and able to take advantage of any flaws or weaknesses you may have.

By keeping these things in mind, you can ensure that you are always practicing Extreme Ownership.

Make Your Mission Simple

Plans and goals are the foundation of any successful team, but they can also be the source of conflict and frustration.

When team members don’t understand the mission or goals, it can lead to disagreements and resentment.

The key is to keep your plans and goals as simple as possible so everyone on the team can comprehend them.

If your team doesn’t understand, you failed because the situation was not maintained straightforwardly.

Keeping things simple opens the door for communication and collaboration, which are essential for a successful team.

Believe in the Mission

A strong leader always starts with clearly understanding their group or organization’s mission, vision, or objective.

Without this foundation, it would be impossible to gain the trust and respect of the team.

The frontline troops are the ones who carry out the day-to-day work of advancing the mission, so they must believe in what they are doing.

Leaders must communicate this belief convincingly, or the team will quickly lose confidence. If a leader’s conviction ever wavers, the team will notice and may lose faith in their ability to achieve the goal.

To be successful, leaders must always maintain a clear and unshakeable understanding of why their work matters.

Own Your Successes and Failures

Being a leader is not easy. You are responsible for the success or failure of your team, and excellent leaders recognize their own errors and faults.

They put the mission and the team ahead of any one person. As a leader, you should always start by concentrating on what you will do differently rather than what others need to do.

You should also take responsibility for mistakes made by your team but give credit where credit is due.

Following these principles can set you up for success as a leader.

Cooperation is a Must

The theory is that in a SEAL unit, half of the members advance in a mission while the other half pushes forward. This is said to be essential teamwork because, without it, the effectiveness of the entire organization is jeopardized.

The key is to cooperate, communicate, and provide one another with mutual assistance. By working together, they can accomplish more than they could work alone.

Each member has a role to play; when everyone does their part, they can achieve great things.

This theory can be applied to any organization where teamwork is essential for success.

Cooperation and communication are key to accomplishing goals, whether it’s a sports team, a business, or even a family.

Stay Calm and Execute Your Plan

A leader’s job is to maintain composure and make the best choices possible, even under extreme pressure. This can be a difficult task, but it is essential for success.

The SEALs have a saying that encapsulates this idea: “Relax, look around, and make a call.” In other words, leaders must take a step back, assess the situation, and make the best decision possible. This may seem simple, but it is often easier said than done.

Trying to do everything at once can be tempting when faced with multiple priorities and deadlines. However, this is usually not possible, and it can lead to mistakes being made.

So instead, leaders must focus on the highest priority task and complete it. Only by remaining calm and focused can leaders hope to make the best decisions for their team.

Simplify Your Command Structure

In general, humans are unable to manage more than 6 to 10 individuals effectively. This is why teams must be divided into manageable units of four to five operators under the direction of a recognized leader.

The organizational structure must be clear so that each team knows who is in charge and who they can contact with any queries about the mission or goals.

All levels of leadership must be familiar with the mission to enable swift judgments when seeking approval from those above is impossible.

This way, every team knows what they need to do and can act quickly and efficiently when necessary.

Dividing into manageable units also allows for better communication and coordination between team members.

Everyone knows their role and responsibility, and working together towards a common goal makes it easier.


Leadership is not easy, but it is essential for entrepreneurs who want to build a successful business.

By following the principles of extreme ownership, leaders can set themselves up for success.

These principles include taking responsibility for your actions, cooperating with others, remaining calm under pressure, and simplifying your command structure.

By following these guidelines, entrepreneurs can build a strong foundation for their businesses and achieve their goals.

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We hope the information in this article provides valuable insights to every reader but we, the Biesingers, are not financial advisors. When making your personal finance decisions, research multiple sources and/or receive advice from a licensed professional. As always, we wish you the best in your pursuit of financial independence!