Extreme Ownership Book Summary

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Extreme Ownership Book Cover

Extreme Ownership by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin

My Thoughts

Insights on how to take ownership and stop making excuses. Covers the mental aspects of making a mindset shift from looking for excuses to taking ownership and developing solutions. Jocko and Leif provide practical advice on specific ways they took ownership while leading SEAL teams that anyone can apply to their own lives.

My Favorite Quotes

  • Hitting snooze is procrastinating at the very first opportunity of the day.
  • Ego clouds and disrupts everything.

Part I: Wining the War Within

Chapter 1: Extreme Ownership
Chapter 2: There are No Bad Teams, Only Bad Leaders
Chapter 3: Questioning the Mission
Chapter 4: Check the Ego
-Ego clouds and disrupts everything.

Part II: The Laws of Combat

Chapter 5: Cover and Move
Chapter 6: Simple
Chapter 7: Prioritize and Execute
-Evaluate the highest priority problem
-Develop solutions
-Seek input from key leaders and team members
-Direct the execution of the solution
Chapter 8: Decentralized Command

Part III: Sustaining Victory

Chapter 9: Plan
Chapter 10: Leading Up and Down the Chain of Command
Chapter 11: Decisiveness Amid Uncertainty

Chapter 12: Discipline Equals Freedom: The Dichotomy of Leadership

A good leader must be:

  • Confident but not cocky
  • Courageous but not foolhardy
  • Competitive but a gracious loser
  • Attentive to details but not obsessed by them
  • Strong but have endurance
  • A leader and a follower
  • Humble not passive
  • Aggressive not overbearing
  • Quiet not silent
  • Calm but not robotic
  • Logical but not devoid of emotions
  • Close with the troops but not so close that one becomes more important than another or one more important than the good of the team, not so close that they forget who is in charge
  • Able to execute extreme ownership while exercising decentralized command
  • A good leader has nothing to prove but everything to prove

My Action Steps After Reading

  • Take extreme ownership over every area of my life including work, family, church and friendships. Do not make excuses, take ownership.
  • Lead up the chain of command. Be excellent in everything that I do so that I have more influence to make a difference and lead up the chain of command at work and in other areas of life.
  • Get up with my first alarm, do not hit the snooze. Hitting snooze is procrastinating at the very first opportunity of the day. Instead get up immediately so you have an immediate victory to start the day. I no longer use the snooze button.

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The 11th book read in my 2016 reading list.
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