The SEALs are exceptionally well trained and operate under universal rules and conventions, so they work together smoothly and efficiently. Leaders who are overly involved (e.g. Chapter 1: Extreme Ownership On any team, in any organization, all responsibility for success and failure rests with the leader. I am the only one to blame, there is no one else. Tamara Wilhite is a technical writer, industrial engineer, mother of two, and published sci-fi and horror author. Conclusion: Take Extreme Ownership of everything. The operation entails taking hold of a major road between two especially hostile areas of Ramadi. The commander, too, is relieved that Babin didn’t give in to his pressure. As troops enter the house they are targeting, a SEAL spots a squirter — someone escaping from the targeted building. The troops are progressing from building to building, clearing each one of enemy fighters as they go. Every tactical-level team leader must understand not just what to do but why they are doing it. They should feel comfortable asking for clarification before they proceed. The rest of the troops retreat back to base, while SOP calls for the sniper teams to wait until nightfall to return to camp. micromanage) get too pulled into the details and lose sight of the bigger picture. A public display of discontent with the chain of command undermines the authority of leaders at all levels. If a leader does not believe in the mission, he or she will not take the necessary risks required to over come inevitable challenges necessary to win. Doubts — or anything less than full confidence and conviction — will be apparent to your team members or employees, and that will undermine their confidence in the plan. Unfortunately, some of the new arrivals have their own ego issues. I have been a constant visit of the blog for years and many of the times I find it hard to get a clear picture about the information you share here. Font: Face: Size: Colors: Text: Page: Line Spacing: Chapter 2. Why would they execute something that their leader clearly doesn’t believe in? For the U.S. forces to win. What part of the plan didn’t make sense to you? As the person at the top of the chain of command, everything ultimately reflects back on you. Decentralized Command is a form of delegating that allows leaders to stay focused on their unique job — leading the overall team in pursuit of the larger goal — by allowing each junior leader and team member under them to carry out her own unique job. The experiment suggests that the leader is the biggest predictor of any team’s success. Knowing the junior leaders will make the necessary adjustments, Wililnk can continue to focus on the overall mission. The final priority is for Babin to resume his role as leader of the mission. 1-Sentence-Summary: Extreme Ownership contains useful leadership advice from two Navy SEALs who learned to stay strong, disciplined, and level-headed in high-stakes combat scenarios. Babin had been so focused on his own team that he forgot the bigger picture. As Willink and Babin warn, the concept is simple but not easy. Despite the mistake with the map, Babin is grateful that both he and Kyle listened to their gut and didn’t succumb to pressure to shoot the target. However, if the team member continues to fall short, the leader eventually needs to make the call to fire that person and replace him with someone more competent. They will, also, not be able to convince others to take those risks as well. When a leader sets the example of Extreme Ownership and expects it from his subordinates, the mindset develops into the team’s culture at every level. Their mission involves about 300 U.S. and Iraqi troops, including SEALs, Army Soldiers, and Marines. The success of the team as a whole (and its goals) is always more important than any one individual, whether the boss or an employee. When you take Extreme Ownership, you take complete ownership of what went wrong, even if it means getting fired. This was just another awakening of how the insurgents were improving and sophisticating their operations. The relationship between senior and junior leaders requires trust, confidence, and balance to successfully have Decentralized Command. If a particular team member consistently performs poorly — despite the leader’s efforts to mentor and help her improve — and is holding the team back from its potential success, the leader must remove her from the team as a means to maintain high standards. However, a single narrow stairway is the only entrance and exit, which creates the risk of enemy fighters putting an explosive near the exit and trapping the group. A strong sense of investment in each mission and conviction that their work was making a significant difference in the region was essential for the SEALs to endure the difficult and extreme conditions they faced in Ramadi — from the intense desert heat to the constant threat of death. A broad and ambiguous mission results in a lack of focus and ineffective execution. Owning your mistakes is a critical aspect of Extreme Ownership and requires leaders to have the humility to admit and address their mistakes in order to find a better strategy for next time. The plan needs to be specific and straightforward, minimize risks, be clearly communicated to every member of the team, and be reviewed after completion to determine what can be improved in the future. Then the two groups switch roles, allowing the first group to move ahead, and they continue alternating until they safely reach the base. Leaders cannot be paralyzed by fear. Each member of the team is critical to success, though the main effort and supporting efforts must be clearly identified. Everyone is on high alert, and Willink gets a radio report that someone has spotted what appear to be enemy snipers on a nearby building. The SEAL explains to Willink what happened: The SEAL sniper team had mistakenly shot the Iraqi soldiers, not recognizing them as friendly forces in the early morning darkness. Applicable. Boat Crew II also continues to do well, in spite of their new leader, because the crew members already know how to work together. OTHER SETS BY THIS CREATOR. In this summary, we'll outline these principles, which can be applied for … Look around. Third, instead of asking your boss what to do, tell her what you plan to do. This may not appear to have much relevance outside a warzone, but the principle of Cover and Move is teamwork. (Shortform note: This overlaps with what we discussed in Chapter 3 about ensuring that team members thoroughly understand the “why” of each plan they execute.). Willink can only lead a mission this large through Decentralized Command. There are several steps to developing an effective plan. The team and its mission must always come first; no one person can be more important than the collective team. The book first discusses the cornerstones of a successful leader’s mindset, rooted in the practice of Extreme Ownership. Symbolizing power, the car is a key element in these chapters. A Marine sergeant reports to Willink that he is targeting a building where he suspects that enemies are hiding and have killed and wounded several Iraqi soldiers. A leader is responsible for maintaining and enforcing high standards of performance as her team works toward its goals. Willink has seen his junior leaders act wisely and strategically in past situations, and the junior leaders have gained confidence in themselves and in the way Willink has empowered them. deliver information more efficiently so she can make key decisions, or communicate more clearly what support you need for your team). Again, this discourages people from spending time and energy making excuses and placing blame on other people or circumstances, and instead puts all the focus on how to work together to achieve the task at hand. So, you want to provide orders, as a leader, that are: Your instructions must be understandable by everybody in the team, even your weakest member. As a leader, your role is to help your team excel and avoid making mistakes. What is the key to being a great leader? He trusts their judgment to act in difficult situations, as well as their ability to empower the leaders under them to make strategic decisions. This article is a summary of the 12 core principles from the book Extreme Ownership by Jacko Willink and Leif Babin. How can you effectively explain a strategy to your team, let alone expect them to carry it out, unless you understand and believe in the purpose, or the “why”? Babin provides cover while the other SEAL moves forward, then the SEAL provides cover as Babin moves ahead. Jesus_Fernandez71. When the plan has been entirely fleshed out and checked over, the leader needs to explain the course of action to everyone involved. A leader must routinely communicate with their team members to help them understand their role in the overall mission. The team carries out an overall successful operation but as they prepare to leave, two bomb technicians spot something suspicious at the entrance of the building: The object looks like a silver cylinder concealed under a plastic tarp, and the likelihood that it’s an explosive is too high for the group to take the chance. Legit. Is it about having the right personality type, training, or team? Knowing that, as a leader, his attitude and conviction in the purpose of each mission sets the tone for his team, Willink conceals his skepticism from his troops. Those leaders must understand the overall mission, and the ultimate goal of that mission. We’ll explore this more in Chapter 3. # re: Extreme Ownership : Simple. Junior leaders have to understand the mission and how it ties in with the greater goal so that they can relay that to their teams and answer questions if anyone is unclear or skeptical of the plan. Authors Jocko Willink and Leif Babin are former U.S. Navy SEALs who served in Iraq. While briefing the team on the plan, an effective leader encourages discussion and questions from everyone; as we discussed in Chapter 3, Extreme Ownership means a leader is responsible for equipping all members of her team with the information and resources they need to execute a plan. Conclusion: In order to believe I have to understand the WHY. This requires more finesse than leading down the chain of command, when the leader’s authority over her employees holds a lot of persuasive power in its own right. Leaders must acknowledge mistakes and admit failures by taking ownership of them and developing a plan to win. … The junior leaders and their teams may have insights that the bosses have overlooked. Babin and Willink are working with Jim, the CEO of a software company, and Darla, the CEO of a subsidiary engineering company. A pharmaceutical company has recently been losing... You can be the best leader in the world, but you’re still human and you simply can’t do everything yourself. Does she understand how her contribution affects the success of the overall mission? When another department is creating a hurdle for your own team’s success, sometimes the best course of action is to figure out how to help them get their work done so they can do what you need from them. caleb_gaston2. The SEALs’ and Iraqi forces’ missions increasingly establish some safety and stability in Ramadi as they beat back the insurgents’ power. A leader is responsible for maintaining and enforcing high standards of performance, and refusing to tolerate anything less. Or preview the book summary via our blog. Additionally, be decisive, even if you only have limited information. Cover and move means teamwork. The Primo VE catalog offers the ability to search a wide variety of scholarly resources including books, e-journals, and other digital and print content from your library and all 89 I-Share libraries in Illinois. Leaders must determine the highest priority task and execute it. He breaks the question down into smaller pieces. This is even harder when you have to admit your — or your team’s — shortcomings to senior leadership. The officer is able to offer some advice to fine-tune the plan. In that event, the team might not even need guidance from leaders, which frees up leaders to continue focusing on the big picture — adjusting the larger plan, if necessary — and allows for Decentralized Command, a strategy we’ll discuss in Chapter 8. Against the advice of the Marine sergeant, Willink insists on checking out the building before attacking. This reduces the chance of wasted time and effort due to confusion or misunderstanding. Human beings are generally not capable of managing more than six to ten people. With the appropriate mindset — one that involves taking Extreme Ownership, setting high standards, emphasizing the “why” of each goal, and checking your ego — a leader can implement key strategies to help her team achieve its goals. The best leaders don’t just take responsibility for their job. After their military careers, they went on to advise businesses in a wide range of industries through their consulting firm, Echelon Front. The trainees are split into seven-person teams called boat crews that work together to carry the 200-plus pound inflatable rubber boats through obstacle courses, across the beach, and into the Pacific Ocean to paddle in seemingly endless races. It may feel like professional suicide to call attention to your mistakes, but most likely your bosses are already aware of the lacking performance and will be impressed if you can own it and commit to improving it. A leader is responsible for helping her team connect the dots between their performance and the larger organization’s success, for the sake of their morale, conviction, and quality of work. A team works more effectively when communication is simple and straightforward. Extreme Ownership ch 2 no bad teams only bad leaders 8 Terms. Ego impedes progress; you can’t objectively assess your performance and continually look for ways to improve in the future if your ego is telling you that you did everything right. There are times when it feels like everything goes wrong at once, and that there is no way to accomplish everything at the same time. “The leader must explain not just what to do, but why. But to implement real change, to drive people to accomplish something truly complex or difficult or dangerous—you can’t make people do those things. Each of the principles will get a more in-depth explanation in later chapters. Kyle gets another glimpse of the target in the window before he disappears again, but he’s still can’t positively identify him. This sets the tone for everyone on the team that success is achieved as a unit, creating a culture that is entirely focused on the good of the team. This entails forcing their way into the most strongly enemy-held neighborhoods, fighting back enemy fighters to clear the area, and then creating permanent U.S. combat outposts there. A leader who exercises Extreme Ownership does not take credit for his team’s successes but bestows that honor upon his subordinate leaders and team members. You can’t make them execute. Willink narrates this chapter, and starts by describing how a heavy explosion shook the walls that he and a number of his soldier counterparts were occupying. If he doesn’t address this first, he will likely be killed, and the enemies could move on to attack the rest of the nearby SEAL forces. They chase the man around the corner and finally catch him, but Babin realizes that not only are they now separated from their team and surrounded by buildings that haven’t been cleared for safety, but the other SEALs don’t even know where they are. A well-developed plan should include contingency plans for risks that the team and leader can anticipate. Describe a recent occasion when you felt your superiors were impeding your work more than supporting it. Although sometimes it feels like your boss is creating hurdles for you to do your job, Extreme Ownership requires you to analyze what you can do to break down that barrier. The U.S. troops in Ramadi — including the Army, Marines, and SEALs — must work together to successfully tamp down insurgent forces. Leaders must be able to keep their eyes on the big picture in order to effectively prioritize. “If you allow the status quo to persist, you can’t expect to improve performance, and you can’t expect to win.” – Jocko Willink. This book covers the fundamental principles of leadership that are necessary for effectively leading and winning in life. During this particular Hell Week, two boat crews stand out: one is excelling, and the other is struggling. The most important question you can answer is why? The elaborate system created to maximize efficiency is not accomplishing that goal, so it’s a failed plan. The success of the team as a whole must be prioritized above all else. Empower these junior leaders to take actions and make decisions (within their authority), and let them know that you will back them up; this frees you up to lead and keep your focus on the big picture. While U.S. forces move through the buildings, snipers are stationed strategically on a nearby rooftop to provide cover. The SEALs are conducting a huge operation that also incorporates two U.S. Army battalions with hundreds of soldiers each, a Marine Corps battalion, plus almost a hundred armored vehicles and military aircrafts. They plan to temporarily station themselves in a building in the enemy-held area so that they can kill enemy fighters and send a message that the insurgents have no safe haven in this neighborhood. This is called leading up and down the chain of command, and requires careful balance of your role as both a leader and a subordinate, effective communication, and Extreme Ownership. Babin quickly and thoroughly briefs everyone involved in the operation. This requires breaking down silos between teams and departments to jointly accomplish the company’s larger mission. raymond_bowen. Despite the Army commander’s urging for Kyle to shoot, Babin asks the commander to have his men clear the building where the target is located. The same principles apply to leaders at every level, from senior officers to junior officers, and from C-suite executives to middle managers. This leaves the rest of the team in a vulnerable position on the rooftop, with just minutes before the bomb detonates and a SEAL hurt and on the ground below. You must be humble and open-minded to practice Extreme Ownership, and that requires you to check your ego. The SEAL and Babin, the ground force commander and leader for this operation, chase the unidentified man, unsure whether he’s the terrorist leader himself or has information about the leader’s whereabouts. Chapter 6: Simple; Principle: Combat, like anything in life, has inherent layers of complexities. After the soldiers move into the area, a SEAL sniper named Chris Kyle (who went on to write the bestselling book American Sniper that later inspired the Hollywood movie) alerts Babin that he’s just seen a dark figure in the window of another building, and he’s unsure whether to take the shot. He makes this mandate out of respect for the Army and Marine forces they work with, to show that the SEALs will maintain the same standards as those who are fighting alongside them. Upon reflection, Babin feels he should have taken more time to explain the “why” to his team and delegated more planning to his troops so that they would have more ownership of the mission. New to StoryShots? This chapter focuses on how leaders can practice Extreme Ownership by taking accountability for everything that happens under their direction. Library; Login; 0 . Senior leaders need to have an understanding of the larger goal and the plan to reach it. Instead, the leader has to question whether she adequately explained the mission and the plan, and if she gave the team member the training and resources he would need to be successful. Their primary issue is that competitors are trying to recruit their top talent, namely the five senior engineers; if the engineers leave, their teams could leave with them, and that would jeopardize the company’s future. “Implementing Extreme Ownership requires checking your ego and operating with a high degree of humility. Empowering. Babin is leading a team of SEALs on a mission to rescue the teenage nephew of an Iraqi police colonel, who is being held hostage by a terrorist group connected to al Qaeda. The plan cuts pay significantly, especially for low performers. Chapter 6. The mission is not entirely successful because the SEALs don’t ultimately find or capture the terrorist leader; however, they make their presence felt and, presumably, temporarily distract the terrorist from orchestrating another attack while he finds a new place to hide. Cutting out the fluff: you don't spend your time wondering what the author's point is. Allowing her to stay means implicitly accepting her substandard performance, which indicates to the rest of the team that this is acceptable. If a team or team member completes a task that is not up to par, the leader needs to insist that task be re-done until it meets the standard. The experiences they share in this book are intense and eye-opening--not to mention unique. These types of mistake, which are based on misunderstanding instructions, are your fault as a leader. Not only does Willink have confidence in his junior leaders, but those leaders also trust that Willink and other senior leaders will support their decision-making authority. Although his troops are frustrated and wish there was an alternative option, after Willink explains the reasoning they understand the importance. Babin discusses the plan with Willink as well as a U.S. Army officer who is very familiar with the neighborhood where the hostage is being held. In "Extreme Ownership", retired SEAL officers Willink and Babin share12 leadership principles that have enabled U.S. Navy SEAL leaders and teams to achieve extraordinary results. If you’re interested in war stories, leadership principles, and/or how to apply those leadership lessons to business situations that this is the book for you. Whether you’re in a warzone or on the front lines of a corporate battle, Extreme Ownership argues that the best leaders take full responsibility for their actions and decisions, their teams, and their failures. But an effective leader balances the necessary risks by planning for risks that she can control. The sniper team hasn’t yet reported their new location, and Willink worries that in the confusion of battle the SEALs could be in the targeted building. You accept responsibility for what went wrong, and you develop a strategy to get the job done. Second, the route takes the team through several different U.S. military territories — including multiple Army and Marine Corps companies and an Army battalion — that each have distinct SOPs and radio networks. If you don’t believe in the plan, adapt it (if you have the authority to do so) to something you can stand by. For the races, each group’s designated boat crew leader receives orders from the training instructors, relays the instructions to the rest of his crew, and leads his team in a race against the other boat crews to be the first to correctly carry out the mission. Darla feels that losing either Eduardo or Nigel would hurt the company, and carries the risk of also losing some key people from their teams; losing both, she says, would be disastrous. The Iraqi soldiers need to learn how to maintain relative peace and order in their country. It’s Hell Week in SEAL training, and the students are being pushed to their limits; they are physically and mentally exhausted. Boat Crew II performs well and wins often. Taking responsibility allows leaders to unflinchingly and objectively analyze a team’s problems and challenges; this process is critical to succeeding in the long run and continually improving. A SEAL leader relays the information to Willink — simply and clearly, despite the chaos and confusion — so that he can send help to the right location. During this process, the leader should be supervising the development of the plan and keeping a focus on the bigger picture and mission. Conclusion: The most fundamental and important truths at the heart of Extreme Ownership: there are no bad teams, only bad leaders. Once you understand the mission and the why behind it can you truly believe in it. Plus, the street below is likely to have more explosives. But when Willink hears the MiTT leader’s operation, he worries that the plan reflects a poor understanding of the reality and risks of a city as dangerous as Ramadi. As a leader, you can consistently raise the bar by objectively assessing your team’s and your own performance. Thanks for exploring this SuperSummary Plot Summary of “Extreme Ownership” by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin. Each person on the team has a distinct role and insight, and they are all necessary to collectively accomplish the team’s goals. This allows the team to review the whole process — from planning to execution — and discuss what worked well, what didn’t work, and how they can be more effective next time. caleb_gaston2. Part of a leader’s responsibility is to lead her team courageously and decisively, no matter what stress and confusion is happening around her; presumably, this is part of the reason she has earned her position as the head of the team. A military transition team (U.S. Army Soldiers and Marines who train and advise Iraqi soldiers), known as MiTT, joins the effort by creating a plan to patrol the neighborhood with Iraqi soldiers. Interested to deep dive into the details? By keeping the entire company’s goal in mind and understanding that everyone within the company is working together to achieve it, the leader can make decisions that not only help her own team succeed but gets the whole organization closer to success. Although enemy fighters are attacking the U.S. troops as they build this outpost, the U.S. and (friendly) Iraqi forces have chosen this specific location to do a presence patrol, which entails establishing a presence in enemy-held territory to show strength and to indicate to the local civilians that U.S. forces are determined to take the city back from insurgents. Even when you disagree with your boss, it’s critical to the entire company’s success that leadership presents a united front; therefore, you should relay all decisions and plans to your team as if they were your own. Understanding employees’ roles and challenges can be a huge asset in making future plans and decisions for the team. The chief engineer and plant manager simplify the bonus system to capture the main priorities of production — the demand for various products, and the quality at which they’re being produced. A modern alternative to SparkNotes and CliffsNotes, SuperSummary offers high-quality study guides that feature detailed chapter summaries and analysis of major themes, characters, quotes, and essay topics. Willink suggests that the MiTT leader simplify the plan, at least for the team’s first few operations. caleb_gaston2. These principles are based on the fundamental concept of Extreme Ownership which is the core mindset of an effective leader: “The leader is truly and ultimately responsible for everything.”, Part I: Winning the War Within: the mindset necessary to lead and win, Part II: The Laws of Combat: four critical concepts that enable a team to perform at peak performance, Part III: Sustaining Victory: how to maintain the edge and keep the team at peak performance. The mission must explain the overall purpose and desired results of the operation. Admitting mistakes, taking ownership, and developing a plan to overcome challenges are integral to any successful team.”. They must communicate with senior leaders to recommend decisions outside their authority and pass critical information up the chain. As a leader, you set the tone for your team; establishing a culture that encourages teamwork and discourages competitiveness and ego sets your team up for success. The mission must be simple, concise, and explicit, targeting a very specific goal that gets the team or company one step closer to the larger strategic vision. Find helpful summaries and analyses for every chapter in Jocko Willink and Leif Babin's Extreme Ownership - How US Navy SEALs Lead and Win. By applying the following principles, the core building blocks of leadership, you can enable yourself to become an effective leader. They can’t expect surrender or a peace treaty in this situation so success, in this case, means helping Iraq get to a place of relative safety and stability. Nonetheless, this is absolutely necessary to learn, grow, and succeed. Not all risks can be avoided, and many aggressive and innovative plans will necessarily involve some inevitable risks; as the saying goes, no risk, no reward. While the narrator exaggerates his importance as Norton's driver, the only power he has is that which Norton bestows on him. Three sides of the building drop nearly 20 feet to the ground; without any rope and with their heavy gear in tow, this isn’t a feasible option. A U.S. tank is positioned to shoot at the building, and the sergeant is coordinating airstrikes to also drop bombs on the building. When a leader takes responsibility for failures and gives credit to her team for successes, it serves as an example to the lower leaders to adopt the same mindset of Extreme Ownership. When a leader sets the example of Extreme Ownership and expects it from his subordinates, the mindset develops into the team’s culture at every level. The commander confirms his soldiers are not in the building, and urges Kyle to take the shot; the commander feels certain the target must be an enemy, and doesn’t want to allow any time for an enemy sniper to hurt any U.S. troops. If someone on the team doesn’t agree with or understand the purpose — the “why” — of a plan, then the leader must be able to thoroughly explain it.