Extreme Ownership Audiobook Summary
“These guys are intense. And they bring that same fire to their narration in the audiobook. Listen to these insanely competent SEAL officers tell you exactly how to make a team successful through their firsthand experiences in business and combat.” – The Hustle
An updated edition of the blockbuster bestselling leadership audiobook that took America and the world by storm, two U.S. Navy SEAL officers who led the most highly decorated special operations unit of the Iraq War demonstrate how to apply powerful leadership principles from the battlefield to business and life.
Combat, the most intense and dynamic environment imaginable, teaches the toughest leadership lessons, with absolutely everything at stake. Jocko Willink and Leif Babin learned this reality first-hand on the most violent and dangerous battlefield in Iraq. As leaders of SEAL Team Three’s Task Unit Bruiser, their mission was one many thought impossible: help U.S. forces secure Ramadi, a violent, insurgent-held city deemed “all but lost.” In gripping, firsthand accounts of heroism, tragic loss, and hard-won victories, they learned that leadership–at every level–is the most important factor in whether a team succeeds or fails.
Willink and Babin returned home from deployment and instituted SEAL leadership training to pass on their harsh lessons learned in combat to help forge the next generation of SEAL leaders. After leaving the SEAL Teams, they launched a company, Echelon Front, to teach those same leadership principles to leaders in businesses, companies, and organizations across the civilian sector. Since that time, they have trained countless leaders and worked with hundreds of companies in virtually every industry across the U.S. and internationally, teaching them how to develop their own high-performance teams and most effectively lead those teams to dominate their battlefields.
Since its release in October 2015, Extreme Ownership has revolutionized leadership development and set a new standard for literature on the subject. Required listening for many of the most successful organizations, it has become an integral part of the official leadership training programs for scores of business teams, military units, and first responders. Detailing the mindset and principles that enable SEAL units to accomplish the most difficult combat missions, Extreme Ownership demonstrates how to apply them to any team or organization, in any leadership environment. A compelling narrative with powerful instruction and direct application, Extreme Ownership challenges leaders everywhere to fulfill their ultimate purpose: lead and win.
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Extreme Ownership Audiobook Narrator
Jocko Willink is the narrator of Extreme Ownership audiobook that was written by Jocko Willink
JOCKO WILLINK was a Navy SEAL for 20 years, rising through the ranks to become commander of Task Unit Bruiser–the most decorated Special Operations unit of the Iraq War. After retiring, Willink continued on the disciplined path of success, co-founding Echelon Front, a premier leadership and management consulting company, writing the #1 New York Times bestsellers Extreme Ownership, Leadership Strategy and Tactics, Discipline Equals Freedom, and The Way of the Warrior Kid children’s series. He also created and hosts the top-rated podcast, JOCKO PODCAST.
About the Author(s) of Extreme Ownership
Jocko Willink is the author of Extreme Ownership
The publisher of the Extreme Ownership is Macmillan Audio. The imprint is Macmillan Audio. It is supplied by Macmillan Audio. The ISBN-13 is 9781427264305.
This book is only available in the United States.
December 30, 2017
I don't remember how I first ran across Jocko Willink on the internet, but visiting him on Twitter has become a daily motivational fix for me. Here's a man who was a Navy SEAL for 20 years, including combat experience in Iraq, and service as a Navy SEAL instructor. The man is a BEAST, posting videos (after rising to workout around 4:30 am each day, and taking snapshots of his watch) to motivate you to Get After It and do the same!One of the phrases he's known for, which at first seems paradoxical, is "Discipline Equals Freedom". You'll discover why, and much more, in "Extreme Ownership" - one of the best motivational books I've ever read. He and co-author Leif Babin relate one of their actual battlefield experiences in each chapter, and then craft leadership lessons and applications for business, personal achievement, and most any other area of life. One of the strong takeaways, for any leader, is that a leader must embrace and take ownership of everything their team does -- including mistakes. As Jocko often says, "there are no bad teams; just bad leaders".This book will inspire you, and challenge you -- and if you're open and ready, it will change you!
April 08, 2016
The Big Idea: Leaders Must Own Everything in Their World, There is No One Else to BlameNotes:- A team leader does not take credit for his or her team's successes but bestows the honor on a subordinate team leader and team members.- Take personal responsibility for your failures. And mean it. You'll come out the other side stronger than ever before.- When it comes to performance standards, it's not what you preach, it's what you tolerate.- Repeat important points for emphasis.- Team members don't need to agree with a strategy but they need to understand its 'why' and buy into it.- Leaders need to buy into a plan 100%. They need to acknowledge that the plan is part of a mission greater than themselves and their interests. - Front line and junior leaders never have as clear an understanding of the strategic picture as the senior leaders may anticipate. Time must be taken to answer questions and share the 'why' of strategy.- Subordinates have the obligation to reach out and ask if they do not understand. They must find out how and why the decisions are being made. BE PROACTIVE IN THIS.- As a leader, you must believe in the mission. Failure to do so is unacceptable.- Never let ego get in the way.- Never get complacent, that is where controlling the ego is most important.- When subordinates make a mistake, YOU take responsibility for *their* error and mean it.- Simplifying as much as possible is crucial to success. When too complex, people may not understand them.- Commands must be communicated in a manner that is simple, clear, and concise. Everyone who is part of the mission must understand his or her role in the mission and what to do in the event or likely contingencies.- If your team does not understand, it is your responsibility and you have failed. You did not present in a way that is simple.- Leaders must take the time to encourage questions and the understanding of their team- Prioritize and Execute.- Humans are generally incapable of managing more than 6-10 people.- Junior leaders must push new insights of situational awareness, those that effect the bigger picture, up the chain of command.- Building block teams are 4-6 man teams with a leader.- Junior leaders must be empowered to make decisions and take initiative on behalf of the mission.- Give clear guidance and establish boundaries.- No matter how exhausted, always have a post mission briefing. Cover: - What went right - What went wrong - How can we adapt our tactics to be even more effective to increase our advantage over the enemy.- Constantly improve.A Leader's Planning Checklist Should Include: - Analyze the mission. - Understand the higher headquarter's mission, commander's intention, end state, and goal. - Identify and state your own commander's intent and end state for the specific mission. - Identify personnel, assets, resources and time available. - Decentralize the planning process. Empower key leaders within the team to analyze possible courses of action. - Determine a specific course of action. - Lean towards accepting the simplest course of action. - Focus efforts on the best course of action. - Empower key leaders to develop a plan for the selected course of action. - Plan for likely contingencies through each phase of the operation. - Mitigate risk that can't be controlled as much as possible. - Delegate portions of the plan, and brief to key junior leaders. - Stand back, and be the Tactical Genius. - Continually check and question the plan against emerging information to ensure its still fits the situation. - Brief the plan to all participants and supporting assets. - Emphasize commander's intent, ask questions, and engage in discussion and interaction with the team to ensure that they understand. - Conduct post-operational debrief after execution. Analyze lessons learned and implement them in future planning.- Actively avoid and combat an us vs them mentality against higher-management.- There is never a 100% right decision. Leaders must be able to act through uncertainty- As a leader, don't tolerate an us vs. them mentality against other elements of the team.- A leader's team knows that the leader cares for their well being.
November 14, 2015
It's one of the best non-academic management books that I've ever read. The book is very straightforward and practical, presenting 7-8 core management principles, each with one real life example both from combat and business. These principles are not some esoteric or academic philosphy but very practical and actionable behaviour patterns and methods. One example: "Prioritize and execute". In a complex and stressful situation, one should not address all problems simultaneously but instead determine the most urgent and imporant component, solve that with maximum rigor, then pick and solve the next component, and then the next, until the situation is solved. The book could be accused of triviality - yet it's usually the simple things why people fuck up, not complex things. Btw, simplicity is also one of the book's core principles.
December 08, 2018
Interesting book well worth a read and if you like it try reading https://everipedia.org/wiki/lang_en/b... - it's free and should only take 20 minutes! You may suddenly realise the backgrounds of those you next encounter at a training course, away day or board meeting may not be precisely who they appear to be and you may even want to read Extreme Ownership again or dig deeper by reading Beyond Enkription which of course is intentionally misspelt!
June 13, 2016
This is an excellent leadership book, as judged by someone who usually is skeptical of the genre. I would not have read it if I hadn't heard the author's interview with Sam Harris. But I'm thankful that I did.First and most obviously, the author has earned the right to speak on this subject. But he doesn't just say, "Look, I got through SEAL training and engaged in some horrific battles." He breaks down the operations he highlights into a great deal of detail. By walking you through the actions and thought process he went through, he builds trust with the reader.Second, he shows why the experience he had in the SEALS can possibly be applied to civilian life. Again, this goes beyond the general advice of "leading from the front" or "never order your subordinates to do anything you aren't willing and able to." He shows how a team in any realm can use his strategies and ideas.I actually think some of his ideas are nuanced and difficult enough that they require working with the material, which is probably the mark of an effective idea. If you want to get beyond the pat answer, which may not be all that useful in a complex world, you probably have to wrestle with how you are going to do it.One confusion I had about the book was that it ends somewhat abruptly. I think it needs a final chapter that recaps a bit. And there were definitely times where I wanted to get into a conversation with the author, and say, "Sure, but this and this may not be possible to execute without a very specific set of circumstances." However, I think that's more my failure to fully understand the consequence of applying the mindset he espouses. Ultimately, I think working with these ideas is well worth anyone's time.
August 23, 2015
There are many books on leadership that focus on one person and what skill set a leader must possess in order to succeed. The authors of this book take it a step further, successfully using the knowledge that helped them overcome enormously difficult tasks in combat situations and interpreting that knowledge for us in a civilian setting. Many writers rush to capitalize on the extremely popular subject of SEAL teams and what it takes to serve in the Navy's elite special operations force. Unlike many however, this book is filled with valuable lessons that any leader worth their salt will take to heart. The book focuses on a specific mindset every leader must have: Extreme Ownership. "Leaders must own everything in their world. There's no one else to blame". Mastering this concept will inevitably help you succeed as a leader.Each chapter starts with a story from the battlefield in Iraq or a SEAL training scenario, and ends with a real-life, business-related situation where authors share how they helped a business leader overcome his/her problems. Problems include team performance, lack of motivation, miscommunication, personality issues, etc. You will learn how to build high performance, winning teams that will follow you to any battle and achieve extraordinary results. The book is a worthy addition to any leader's library.
June 12, 2018
I read this because I was making fun of a friend for reading it. Really fascinating to read a book by someone who thinks so differently from me in so many ways. Provokes some thoughts about how the mentality of warfare and the metaphor of the warrior really shape how these people approach life. Some scattered thoughts:- dominating and winning is a constant theme; do these things, be an extreme owner, and you will dominate. I would say that dominance is not one of my goals.- through seizing responsibility for failure you also seize the power for changing that failure, is kind of the message.- something something serenity to accept what I cannot change, courage to change what I can. This book tries to tell you that the second part is a lot bigger than what you think it is. Finally, just seeing the cover of this book made me feel more empowered at work so if you're reading this just scroll back up and look at the cover a bit more.
March 14, 2018
Inspiring tale with a straightforward messageThis book alternates betwen Jocko Willink and Leif Babin talking about their time in Iraq, and then applying the lessons therein to the business world.It's not a nuanced message - and it can honestly be placed in a paragraph or two. In short - take responsibility for everything, absolutely everything - and good things will happen. Don't shift blame, don't talk about how it is the situation's fault. It is all on you - but in a positive way. This is not to mean that everything that goes wrong is because of you - it means that putting everything on your own shoulders makes good things happen all around. Even when things go badly, take the responsibility - and it makes it easier to deal with.Great book all around - and wow - some incredible tales of fighting there as well.
February 10, 2017
A must read for Leaders! I didn't imagine that a concept perfectly expressed in just 2 words could have as much impact. Check out a 4 minute video review and summary I made and that will give you a good overview to decide if you want to further explore it. It can also refresh your memory if you have already read it:https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=6xUMj2r...
April 24, 2021
I was a bit skeptical from the title, but I must admit, this is a great book for learning leadership principles. The principles come from the experience of US Navy Seals, but they apply to most aspects of life. Each chapter focuses on one principle, introducing it with a real-world story from Navy Seals in the Iraq War, followed by the lessons learned, and how those lessons apply more broadly. Below are some of the core lessons I picked up from this book. As a leader, you are responsible for everything that happens Everything. Good or bad. It doesn't matter what the extenuating circumstances are; it doesn't matter if it was bad luck; it doesn't matter if someone else acted foolishly or even maliciously. If you're the leader, it is always on you, and you never blame anyone else. This lesson sounds obvious, almost cliche ("the buck stops here"), but I have to admit, I never fully understood it before reading this book, nor seen any leaders really act this way. This book finally helped me understand what extreme ownership really means, and more importantly, why it's so important. This is best explained through an example. The book includes harrowing examples from the Iraq war, which are well worth reading, but here, I'll focus on a more benign business example.Imagine you're the manager at a company, and one of your employees, Mike, screwed up the order for a customer. The typical reaction is to blame Mike: "I can't believe you screwed this up! You just cost us thousands of dollars!" All this does is put Mike on the defensive, so he's unlikely to try to fix the problem, and it teaches Mike and his colleagues to look for others to blame when things go wrong. Moreover, the reality is that it's not Mike's fault, no matter what Mike did. As the leader, it's always on you:- Perhaps Mike messed up the order because he wasn't skilled enough. In that case, it's your fault for not providing Mike with the training he needed.- Or maybe Mike messed up because he had so many orders on his hands, he didn't have enough time to process each one correctly. In that case, it's your fault for not building a big enough team to handle the volume of orders you're getting, and for designing an order delivery process without sufficient quality control.- Even in the extreme case that Mike intentionally and maliciously screwed up the order, it's still your fault for having hired Mike in the first place, and for not having put in safe guards for your customers and business.Imagine instead of blaming Mike, you go to him and say, "I know you've had your hands overloaded with all the orders we're getting. That's my fault. We're going to grow the team as soon as we can. In the meantime, here's the new process that will help us catch problems before they reach customers." Instead of putting Mike on the defensive, when he sees you take ownership, he'll want to take ownership too. And so will the rest of the team. And that's what will lead to the problems actually being solved."There are no bad teams. Only bad leaders."Performance standards"With performance standards, it's not what you preach, it's what you tolerate." If you accept low performance on the team, it becomes the new standard. Therefore, as a leader, a critical part of your job is to always push for higher performance. Know the whyEveryone on the team must know not only what they need to do, but also why. If everyone knows the underlying why, they will all be able to make good decisions, even without you there. But if they don't, then everyone will end up working in a slightly different direction, and you'll get nowhere. As a leader, it's your job to make sure everyone knows why. And as a member of any team, if you don't know why, it is your job to ask.Put ego asideEveryone on your team should be focused solely on the goal. However, personal egos can often get in the way. It's your job as a leader to help avoid the ego getting in the way. For example, let's say one of your employees ignored operating procedure, and screwed up a task. If you yell at him along the lines of "I can't believe you ignored our procedure and screwed this up," you're pulling his ego into it, and he's likely to get defensive, and the problem won't get solved. Now, imagine that you instead said: "This is my fault. I never made it clear why we created that operating procedure in the first place. It's there due to a bunch of constraints you may not be aware of, so let's go through those together..." By avoiding bringing the employee's ego into it, they will be much more likely to work with you and try to solve the problem.Questions to ask when things go wrong When things go wrong, as a leader, you should ask two questions:1. Why did this happen?2. What could I (the leader) have done to prevent this from happening?It's all one teamIf you're part of a larger organization, it's always easy to blame other teams for problems, especially if you're not in charge of those teams. But remember, you're all part of one team, with one goal. As a leader, even if you're not in charge of those teams, their problems are still your problems. Instead of blaming them, ask what you can do to help.Up and down the chainMost leaders know it's their role to pass information down the chain, to the people who report to them. But it's also your job as a leader to pass information up the chain to your own bosses. When your boss makes crazy requests or bad decisions, it's easy to just call them an idiot or an asshole. But pause and ask yourself this question: do you really think your boss wants you and your team to fail? In most cases, they don't, so if they made a wrong decision, that's your fault, as you didn't provide them with the information they needed to make good decisions.How to react in overwhelming situationsIn tough situations, Navy Seals are taught to: prioritize and execute. Don't try to solve everything at once. Instead, solve one problem at a time, and then move on to the next. The process is roughly:1. Relax2. Look around3. Make the call on one thing to prioritize4. Seek input from the team on options to solve it5. Pick one of the options6. Communicate it up and down the chain7. Execute8. If priorities change part way through, send word up and down the chainStandardized planning protocolYou should have a standardized planning protocol: a pre-defined checklist of how you do planning, so every time you need to put together a new plan, you go through the same series of steps, and don't miss anything important.Here's the rough outline of a typical planning protocol:1. Start with the mission. This defines what you're trying to achieve.2. Define the leader's intent. This defines why you're doing the mission. This is the most important part of the plan. It's essential everyone is clear on the leader's intent, as that way, everyone can act independently.3. Delegate tactics to the experts on your team. As a leader, you should be focused on the high level strategy and coordination. Leave all the implementation details to the team, as that way, you get more buy-in, more involvement, and better ideas. Your role is to check what they come up with, look for holes in the plan, and stand back to make sure everything works together from a higher perspective.4. Brief everyone of the plan. Keep it concise and clear. No one can follow long, overly-complicated plans anyway, so short and simple is the goal.5. Assign roles. Everyone must know who is in charge of what. And everyone must know how their role connects to the bigger picture.6. Figure out contingency plans. Take some time to figure out what to do if things don't go according to plan.7. Give everyone a chance to ask questions. In fact, actively encourage participation: check with each person that they understand the plan fully; flush out all confusion and concerns early. If the team is too afraid to ask questions, you'll never know if they are on board, confused, in doubt, etc.8. Execute.9. After everything is done, do a post operation debrief. Record lessons learned. Update your planning protocol with these new lessons.10. Rinse and repeat.
December 29, 2016
Should be required reading for all leaders. Extreme ownership is a philosophy that can be applied to all aspects of life. In that regard, it should be required reading for anyone looking to take back their life and accomplish their mission. Reading this has been an honor and a privilege. To get it direct from some of the best trained warriors in the world this book is solid gold. Bravo!
February 18, 2018
The problem with books that get built up is that they often don't live up to the hype. Prior to reading this book I'd listened to hours of Jocko Willink doing interviews on different podcasts as well as hosting his own. I had a good idea of his ethos and worldview. What I didn't have was the backstory on how this was built, and Extreme Ownership delivers that backstory, and then some.Fair disclosure, one of my favorite military history books is Mark Bowden's Black Hawk Down. His ability to tell stories about conflicts that have happened in recent history, filled with evidence given by interviews with men who were actually there, is remarkable, and Extreme Ownership manages to weave in stories not told by an outsider, but by the combatants themselves. Each chapter features a relevant story from what was going on in Iraq, a further explication of the principle in place (for example, some chapters are entitled, "Check the Ego," or "Cover and Move," followed by a real-world business application connected with one of the companies that the authors have consulted for in their civilian lives following their experiences in Iraq. I can honestly say I've never read a business/military history/personal development book anything like Extreme Ownership, but I think that's because no such book exists. It's a powerful narrative that underlies the veracity of the principles.On a side note, even if you, like me, oppose American involvement in the Middle East on multiple levels, you will gain much from reading this book. The principles and applications are solid, and you don't have to endorse our meddling in various regions of the world to glean the hard-won lessons that these men have brought back. If this is on your "to read" list, bump it all the way to the top."Once people stop making excuses, stop blaming others, and take ownership of everything in their lives, they are compelled to take action to solve their problems." (xii)"The best leaders checked their egos, accepted blame, sought out constructive criticism, and took detailed notes for improvement." (p. 37)"If you don't understand or believe in the decisions coming down from your leadership, it is up to you to ask questions until you understand how and why those decisions are being made." (p. 84)"The moment the alarm goes off is the first test; it sets the tone for the rest of the day. The test is not a complex one: when the alarm goes off, do you get up out of bed, or do you lie there in comfort and go back to sleep?" (p. 271)"There is an answer to the age-old question of whether leaders are born or made. Obviously, some are born with natural leadership qualities, such as charisma, eloquence, sharp wit, a decisive mind, the willingness to accept risk when others might falter, or the ability to remain calm in chaotic, high-pressure situations. Others may not possess these qualities innately. But with a willingness to learn, with a humble attitude that seeks valid constructive criticism in order to improve, with disciplined practice and training, even those with less natural ability can develop into highly effective leaders." (p. 285)
June 28, 2018
This book really helped me take extreme ownership for my life and stop blaming others, be they subordinates or superiors. It has helped me achieve less anger and thus more peace in my life.the book has a very engaging format with war story followed by lesson learned and a story from business where it was applied.
March 07, 2020
Discipline equals freedom.. Owning your mistakes, all of them, extremely, is what makes a good leader, a good person.A simple idea, even a bit extreme, but an idea that is worth your consideration. It basically adds up to what can you do now, how can you improve, how you must leave your ego behind yo, being humble, pursuing your goal, whatever it may be.First audiobook ever and it was a treat, I have checked Jocko's podcast on occasion so having narrate this book was pretty good. It is an optimal way of "reading". I just went through the book on my commute to work in a week or so. It is an incredible way of reading and I think I'll use it in the future. At the end of the day people, we are here for the stories, the opinions and the lessons.These lessons are deeply impactful. No excuses, owning up everything you do, every mistake. To humbly learn and get better, be a better person in your work and at home. Maybe you don't agree about the philosophy and I can understand that, because at the end of the day it's just their opinion, but I think its an opinion worth hearing and considering, specially in a world that is far too eager to make excuses in order to not assume its faults and try to turn things around.5/5 stars. Discipline equals freedom, warriors. Now go get it.
December 12, 2019
I am not sure how many business or leadership books' reviews I would want to start "I haven't read that much of them to be an expert, but..." However, I have probably enjoyed this book most of all the leadership books I have read in my life (not that many). Leadership books, courses or other means are valued not only if and when they are interesting to read, but how they trigger and motivates you to change or improve. And this one clicked with me. It clicked to make some tiny improvements in everyday life as well as work, but not that I would want to get higher in career or because of other external goals. No, it's simply because it motivates to be a better self, a better human, solve problems without transferring guilt onto someone else, taking needed action in time and not waiting for someone to approach you, and simply move forward. And I liked how well book chapters flow, starting with the story from Iraq, how the problem solving or overcoming obstacles in war could be applicable in business, and finally how that was applied in business. The last chapter was a bit meh to me, but otherwise the book is an excellent and highly recommended read. It pushes you to re-evaluate what you see around, how people interract, why they are evaluated one way or another, and how you should act in one way or another. Because usually it is how a person would act in a given situation, just sometimes overthinking or something else appear. Looking forward to the next book.
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