One of the most provocative leadership books that I have recently read is Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy Seals Lead and Win by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin. While the message of the book is not foreign to me, how the authors delivered the message and explained it was. The authors are two veteran Navy Seals who served and led troops in Iraq. While the stories of their combat experiences were riveting, it at times became for me a glorification of war and America’s role in Iraq. With that said, I did find that they made a very compelling case for a leader taking ownership for whatever situation they find themselves in. Taking Extreme Ownership was the place that they invited leaders to come from as a powerful context from which to produce results.
Given the blame game that we are seeing many of our National leaders play, this message of taking extreme ownership no matter what is quite refreshing. The book, through its chapters, outlines various principles of leadership in a clear and simple fashion. These principles are then illuminated by stories gleaned from the war in Iraq.
I particularly like their illumination of leadership as either effective or ineffective and that the team is either successful or not. The opportunity for leaders is to acknowledge mistakes and learn from failure. If you are looking for a fast paced read with a powerful and provocative message of taking responsibility for whatever you are facing and dealing with, then this book will be valuable. I recommend it. Please let us know what you think about it and we look forward to hearing your review.