in The IC Way

Blameless Problem Solving & Extreme Ownership

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In war, leadership is critical. One of my favorite books is by two retired Navy SEALs, Jocko Willink and Leif Babin, who share leadership lessons learned during the Iraq War and draw parallels with the business world.

Principles like “prioritize and execute”, “check the ego”, “leading up and down the chain”, and “simplicity” are as practical in business as battle. My favorite principle is “extreme ownership” which is fittingly the title of the book.

“When a team takes ownership of its problems, the problems get solved. And that is true on the battlefield. It is true in business. And it is true in life. So I say, take ownership. Take extreme ownership. Don’t make excuses. Don’t blame any other person or any other thing. Get control of your ego.”

Jocko Willink

Here’s a TED Talk that illustrates extreme ownership:

All leaders make mistakes. What distinguishes great leaders is whether they take ownership and learn from mistakes.

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