NAVY SEAL Leadership lessons


My last post was about leadership featuring Pope Francis in the Leadership Magazine, Andreas Widmer and his book “The Pope and the CEO” and then a book about Mother Teresa as a “CEO”. I thought I’d move far out of my comfort zone with regard to reading and my quest in learning about leadership. I want to be a better leader!

I bought “Extreme Ownership – How U.S Navy Seals LEAD and Win” by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin.


I really did not think I was going enjoy it – it was more of an experiment so I bought the audio version, thinking I’d just listen to it on the way to work and back and then be ready to share my thoughts by my next Radio show. The audiobook is 8 hours 15 minutes long – Narrated by the two authors.

It turns out this is a great book – so good that I had to buy the Kindle version because there were just so many things I needed to underline and make note of. So I bought the Kindle version.

I listened to the entire book and then read through the Kindle version a number of times. Making tons of notes. The audiobook – available on Audible is fantastic! Being read by the authors themselves, the audiobook has great energy and focus on the key issues in the book.

Here are just three of the many many many highlights I made:
“…Extreme Ownership. Leaders must own everything in their world. There is no one else to blame”

“When it comes to standards as a leader, it’s not what you preach it’s what you tolerate”

“There are no bad teams anywhere…only bad leaders”

The book has a great structure: A brief description of an incident that they experienced as a Navy Seal in the field and then lessons are extracted and applied to business. But the thing I love about the most about this is that, this is a great “Business Book” that we can apply anywhere in our lives. This book should be a must-read for all religious, pastoral councils and school boards….everyone! And not just once.

I was so surprised at myself for loving and connecting with what I’d perceived to be a “macho man” type book, but it is not that kind of book. Yes, it’s written by two tough, intelligent and intense SEALS, but these men have a vision, a mission, and the willingness to act. These are men I can learn much from.

I then googled a bit about the Navy Seals: These guys are not just soldiers …they are the U.S. Navy’s primary special operations force and considered the BEST of the BEST. Thousands of young men apply to the SEALS and only about 200 graduate each year. Standards are insanely high… (But shouldn’t they ways be?…)

I tried to imagine their training and in action work but nothing registered for me, so I decided to look for a movie to help me visualise it all. iTunes had recommended “Lone Survivor” about four Navy seals, based on a true story. Mark Wahlberg plays the lead (he is a practicing Catholic) so I decided to buy the movie and try and see what the SEALS were really like – even if there was a bit of HollyWood magic.

images gives the movie 7,6 /ten based on nearly 200 000 viewer reviews.

Lone Survivor certainly enriched my appreciation of “Extreme Ownership” My son’s Black Ops 3 simply does not cut it!

I massively totally passionately very very strongly recommend “Extreme Ownership”. Time to implement now…