Extreme Ownership…a book review

In a effort to keep up with my blogging and to keep bringing you relevant and timely content I am blogging on my new Chromebook. I was convinced to get my Chromebook by a “junior” associate after I saw his and he explained how slick it was and how well it worked.

That brings me to my latest to my latest review. After reading Jocko Willink’s “Discipline Equals Freedom: Field Manual” I decided to check out some of his other books, and I wasn’t disappointed. The next book from Jocko Willink and Co-Author Leif Babin’s is Extreme Ownership. One of the lessons is “passing it up the chain of command” and unknowingly that is what my “junior” did.

In this book Jocko and Leif (both SEALs) interlace stories of leadership triumphs, failures, and the lesson learned in the process. They earned my respect because, unlike other infallible authors and gurus these guys have failed…and sometimes spectacularly.

Extreme ownership is not just about taking ownership of your sphere, but taking ownership the entire length and breadth of your “command”. If there is a failure in your “command” it’s your failure as a leader…own it…fix it. If a subordinate fails, it’s because you…the leader didn’t make sure the subordinate understood precisely what you wanted or required. If upper management has questions…you didn’t give them all the information they needed.

I experienced this just this week. My “junior” and I had a SNAFU. He is in a Master of Real Estate program and got “surprised” by a professor with a huge amount of coursework and test. As a result he needed me to “cover” him. Through a series of miscommunications, I was to do two proposal and deliver them to the client Friday. Except for one small problem. I did the wrong proposals. I thought he was doing the two I was to deliver and he would do the two that I gathered info for. Wrong…

I was to do the two for Friday delivery and he would the two the two that I had gathered. That’s not what happened. First tenant of Extreme Ownership is take ownership of the failure. I as the leader, failed to make sure everybody knew their role in the “mission” and was clear on the outcome. Second, we used “cover and move” he moved the appointments and I covered by doing the proposals.

I can tell you this…I found the book hard to put down and full of ideas that I could use immediately in my business and life…My mission now is to take Extreme Ownership. I plan to use many of the great lessons in the book immediately.

P.s. The Chromebook is awesome…thanks Angelo for passing that info up the “chain of command”

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