Extreme Ownership Book Cover

9 Learnings from Extreme Ownership (4 Minutes)

Table of Contents

#1 Leaders must have humility.

To be a great leader, you will need humility. Admitting ones mistakes and shortcomings is not a demonstration of weakness. Instead it shows great courage. Your team will respect you for your honesty and will follow your example. The last thing you want is a culture of covering things up.

#2 There are no bad teams, only bad leaders.

There aren’t good teams. There aren’t bad teams. There is only the team you have in that moment. Your job as a leader is to utilise the resources you have at your disposal for the best possible result. If you blame your team, you are only diluting your own influence. A leader must accept that the only difference between a high performance and a low performance team is only them-self.

#3 Your team must understand the why.

Every one of your team members is a sophisticated individual. To give flat out orders without explaining the context demonstrates that a leader doesn’t trust or respect their team. To get your team on board, you must articulate the purpose of their work. Failure to do this will result in you spending a lot of time and effort re-aligning your team.

#4 Check your ego.

Your ego serves to protect you, not to support your growth. If you ego is shielding you from accepting reality, then its not serving your team. A good leading will check their ego at the door and realise that they are part of something bigger than just themselves.

#5 Keep it simple.

A plan might make sense in your head but that doesn’t mean it translates into the heads of your team members. Its important to keep a plan as simple as possible. The easier the plan is to follow, the more likely it is to be successful. A good leader understands that its not the sophistication of the plan but how well it is carried out that is important.

#6 Help your team prioritise.

Your team is in the thick of it. A strong leader will step out of the fog and and support their team in working out the most urgent parts of a plan or project. In doing this, you will reduce the stress of your team and allow them to be more efficient.

#7 Create trust with your team.

Be open and honest with your team. As leaders, sometimes we forget that there was a time when we were sitting in the same chairs as our team members. A leader will often consider that they can do something more effectively or efficiently than a team member. A great leader will accept this and choose to allow a team member to take the lead as a demonstration of trust. A team will not trust their leader if their leader won’t let them do anything on their own.

#8 Leadership goes up and down the chain.

A leader is not only responsible for their own team members, they are also responsible for the leaders above them. As a leader, you appreciate it when a team member steps up. Don’t forget that the leaders above you also feel the same way. You get overwhelmed sometimes and so do they. Its important to understand that everyone is part of a greater mission and that a great leader will support both up and down the chain.

#9 Great leaders are disciplined.

Your ability to lead your team is directly connected with your ability to lead a high quality life. A leader that has a quality routine, accounting for physical health and mindfulness will better serve their team. You can only make a finite number of decisions in a day before fatigue sets in. The complexity of the decisions has no impact on this, only the quantity. This means that the choice of whether or not to work out in the morning uses the same amount of decision stamina as making a multi million dollar purchase. Great leaders will automate decisions through habit creation and discipline so that they can use their decision making stamina only for the decisions that really count.

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