Extreme Ownership

Extreme Ownership

How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win

Book - 2017
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Baker & Taylor
Two highly decorated Navy SEALs, now successful businessmen, demonstrate how to lead and win in business and in life with principles learned on the battlefield, in a revised edition that includes a new foreword, photo insert and Q-and-A section.

McMillan Palgrave

An updated edition of the blockbuster bestselling leadership book 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. Now with an excerpt from the authors' new book, THE DICHOTOMY OF LEADERSHIP.

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 it’s release in October 2015, Extreme Ownership has revolutionized leadership development and set a new standard for literature on the subject. Required reading 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.

Publisher: New York :, St. Martin's Press,, 2017
Edition: Second edition
Copyright Date: ©2017
ISBN: 9781250183866
Branch Call Number: 303.34 WIL
Characteristics: xxiii, 322 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates :,illustrations (chiefly colour), map ;,22 cm
Additional Contributors: Babin, Leif - Author


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Mar 12, 2018

By far one of the best leadership books ever written. Jocko is a straight to the point no BS type of dude and his experience certainly shows it. I borrowed this book from a friend who is also a fellow service member. Our unit deployed to Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands this past fall after hurricanes Irma and Maria devastated the islands. There were enormous obstacles and logistical challenges especially during the first three months.
Extreme Ownership helped me identify the shortfalls and put together a plan that addressed a variety of issues. In all honesty, without the candid and direct written language of this book, I do not think I would have succeeded in achieving my unit’s mission requirements.
Obviously, the book does not address every issue, as I have had to improvise and make adjustments along the way. However, the book provides the reader a solid blueprint that can steer the individual in the right direction. Most of the time that all is we need. My only criticism is that Jocko compares every situation and decision to combat and war. I cannot blame him since he has spent an entire military career as a Navy SEAL. However, occasionally, it did bother me since I do not necessarily see it that way. Either way, I learned a lot from this book and am very grateful for Jocko’s contributions in developing successful leaders.

Dec 31, 2017

The thesis of the book is easy to understand. Extreme Ownership means taking full responsibility for your experiential world. If your boss does not understand your circumstances, then the failure is yours: you did not make it clear enough.

Books on management and leadership are easy to find. A book that announced radically new truths would be rare. The guidance here is not radical. Shorn of the war stories and business briefs, this might be a 20-page essay. They are nonetheless 20 very valuable pages.

>. No bad teams, only bad leaders.
>. You must believe in your mission.
>. Check your ego. (In other words, control it, block it, like checking your luggage at the departure gate.)
>. Cover and Move means that teams protect each other, leap-frogging forward.
>. Simple commands are easier to carry out. Complex missions must be simplified to their essentials.
>. Decentralize command. It is old advice. In every organization, span of control means that each decision-maker ideally has only about five people reporting. I was reminded of how ships –especially warships – are run: each department depends on all the others, and each expects the others to run their shops effectively. The captain cannot do it all from the bridge. Each section is responsible for its own performance.

Plan. The US Navy SEALs devote more time – much more time – to creating and presenting PowerPoints than they do fighting in combat. As I came close to the end of the book, I had a long weekend training drill at Texas State Guard headquarters. I chatted with another ex-pilot about software development. Pilots spend as much time or more planning flights than actually flying. But software developers seem to all just bang out code with no planning. The results are all around us. If code really blew up, or if systems really crashed, programmers would do more planning.

Jul 19, 2017

I don't think StarGladiator read the book....

This is an extremely useful read for anyone who values good leadership. Jocko and Laif outline their combat experiences in a way that is practical and applicable to any civilian (or milirary person for that matter) who wants to learn how to lead and win. I would heartily recommend this book as it has given me some really great tools for leading not just others around me, but myself.

Accessible to all ages, genders, and backgrounds, and applicable to all walks of life. Good wisdom in these pages.

Sep 11, 2016

Oops! That was meant to be over $9 billion.

Dec 13, 2015

[Just where, exactly, have they been winning???????]
Great job in Iraq, dudes, in case you haven't noticed, it doesn't really exist anymore as a country. Ditto Afghanistan, where well over $9 trillion went missing! But at least Osama is dead under Operation Neptune Spear, which translates to: be sure to kill him so he cannot answer any questions or inquiries! [FYI: When President Kennedy created the SEALs he did so as a supposed force for good, aiding native insurgencies to promote democracy in foreign countries, not for what it is today.]

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