Improve your leadership skills with Extreme Ownership

Written by Kyra Kirrane

If you’re looking to revolutionise your leadership skills, then you’ve come to the right place. This blog looks at Extreme Ownership, a book containing a set of principles created by Navy SEAL veterans Jocko Willink and Leif Babin upon their return from Iraq.

The pair realised that many of the principles that make a great Navy SEAL officer can be applied to business, revolutionising the way people lead and behave in the workplace.

Ready to turn your business around?

The Basic Definition of Extreme Ownership

At its core, extreme ownership is about understanding that you are responsible for everything in your life, everything that could affect your “mission”. You have an ownership mentality, understanding the role you play in teams, tasks, and organisations.

There are twelve leadership principles in Extreme Ownership. We’ll look at the most revolutionary principles that you can implement in your team to improve your leadership skills and your team dynamic.

Leadership Skills Are Paramount

The most moving concept in Extreme Ownership is this: are you being the best leader you could possibly be? If you don’t unlock your full leadership potential, how can you expect your team to unlock theirs?

Teams more often underperform or self-destruct because of poor leadership, not poor teamwork.

Own Your Mistakes

You have to leave your ego at the door. You have to be able to admit your mistakes and take ownership of the consequences. Rather than place blame or look for excuses, focus on what you could have done differently to produce a better outcome.

Doing this inspires your team to do the same. If you create a space that is safe and constructive, everyone has the opportunity to learn and evolve for the better.

Positivity Breeds Productivity

It’s no secret that positive workplaces are more productive. As with owning your mistakes, when you avoid blame and negativity, you leave the door open for creative problem-solving to come in.

Being a positive force in your team is tantamount to the success of your “mission”.

Leadership Skills Are For Everyone

The whole team would do well to learn the basic principles of Extreme Ownership. Leadership is not reserved for managerial positions! Everyone is a leader in their own right, leading a team, a department, an idea, a project, anything.

Make it clear to your team that you want to use Extreme Ownership principles to revolutionise your business and create a positive, productive space where everyone feels empowered to participate.

Start the Extreme Ownership Conversation

You can introduce your team to this philosophy by putting together some learning materials. Start by sharing this TEDx Talk presented by co-author Jacko Willink in 2017.

You can download and distribute these helpful study guides created by Conductor, a marketing solutions company, who experienced their own success using the philosophy.

Set up regular meetings to discuss the leadership principles in depth. Pick a principle to focus on for each meeting, and open up a discussion. You should take the lead, as the leader, of course, but allow input form your team. Input could look like examples or anecdotes that came to mind when they reflected on each principle.

Creating a team with an ownership mentality will help you professionally, but also personally. You are always empowered by your ability to respond to people and events. When we focus on responding with patience, positivity, and a constructive attitude, we create the conditions for a successful and healthy workplace.

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