The 411: Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy Seals Lead and Win, Jocko Willink and Leif Babin, St. Martin’s Press, New York, 2015.
My Tweet: My top leadership read in 2017! #extremeownership @jockowillink @LeifBabin
A Leader’s Take: This book will have your heart pumping, taking you on counter insurgency missions on the streets of Ramadi, Iraq. Then it will have your brain firing, as you make connections between leadership principles and needed moves at your own school site. You will have a hard time putting the book down. And this will happen twelve times as you work through the individual chapters of this sure-to-be leadership classic.
One Take-Away: Willink and Babin assert: the leadership principles that lead to success on the battlefield, also yield results in the business (or education) field(s). One overarching concept is that leaders who take ownership (“extreme ownership”) of an entire operation, including the setting expectations, reinforcing standards, acknowledging shortcomings, gain the trust of their teams and drive high performance. In their words, “Whether in SEAL training, in combat on distant battlefields, in business, or in life: there are no bad teams, only bad leaders.” In education, and as leaders, we can get caught blaming district limitations, ineffective employees, or dysfunctional teams. This text reminded me that it is my responsibility to take ownership for our school’s performance, across the board. While there are forces outside of our locus of control, it is my responsibility to provide an honest assessment of where we are, get the staff to believe that improvement is possible, and push towards that mission.
Your Next Move: Get this book to your nightstand ASAP.
It Gets: 5 out of 5 apples!