Extreme Ownership - How U.S. Navy Seals Lead & Win is a book written by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin, former U.S. Navy Seal Officers They are the owners of Echelon Front, a consulting firm offering solutions to complex global problems.
Extreme Ownership had a profound impact my approach to leadership.
Here are some takeaways I bookmarked along my journey to the last page.
Simplicity is the key to success and happiness. We have a tendency to over complicate everything and I am one of the worst culprits of this. As Albert Einstein said, - “Out of clutter find simplicity.”
Simple means ---> easy to understand.
Keep your plans, gear, processes and communication as simple as possible. Complexity will surely result in chaos and catastrophic results.
Team Structure is critical to the success of any enterprise. No one manager should have more than four to six direct reports. Having more will surely result in unmanageability when issues arise.
Middle and lower leaders must be empowered with decision making power on each mission and they need to understand not only how and what needs to be completed, but why they are leading it. Without a clear "why" the intrinsic motivation necessary for success will not exist.
In order for this type of Decentralized Command to be successful junior leaders must have trust that senior leaders will back their decisions. This requires excellent and simple communication up and down the chain of command. As new information arises that impacts the strategic direction of a mission it must be communicated upward and downward to ensure the right decisions are being made at the right time. Without this level of trust and communication, junior leaders cannot confidently execute their mission.
Give time and thought to all you do. - Fortune
Planning is the first and most critical step for any mission. It is the foundation upon which the rest of your mission is built. A solid foundation will help ensure excellence in mission execution.
Here is an example of what a leader's planning checklist might include:
The above standard operating procedure for planning might not be what you need for your team or organization, but it is critical that you have one way of planning that can be replicated across teams to help create consistency and flow through each project. This kind of behavior creates predictability and helps prevent chaos. Adding multiple procedures for a repeatable task results in chaos, a decrease in quality and productivity, uncertainty , unhappiness and greater risk.
After each mission be sure to debrief with your team. Answering these simple questions will help instill the concept of Constant and Never Ending Improvement (CANI).
Leadership is a constant balancing act that requires a humble and competitive spirit.
There are hundreds of components that must be kept in balance in order to remain an effective leader.
The Dichotomy of Leadership
A good leader must be:
A good leader has nothing to prove, but everything to prove.
Throughout my life as a son, brother, friend, Boy Scout, Digital Marketer and Entrepreneur I have found that leadership is by far the hardest thing that I have ever set out to master; and therefore it has been the most rewarding. To lead people including myself from chaos into a state of zen is truly humbling and something I hope everyone can experience in their lifetime.
I recommend every leader read Extreme Ownership. You can order the book on a variety of online retailers and learn more about it on Echelon Front.
To your success and journey as a leader…
Source: Willink, Jocko and Leif Babin. Extreme Ownership – How U.S. Navy Seals Lead & Win. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2015.
I have had the spirit of an entrepreneur burning inside of my since sixth grade when I started my first business. I learned a lot during those early years about managing finances, paying bills, developing processes and most importantly satisfying my customers.
The desire to run my own business is yet again sparking up inside of me. This time around I am doing things a little different. I am making a plan that is more detailed than go get clients and make money. I am seeking outside help and mentorship from people that have more business experience than I do. The funnest thing I am doing is meeting with other successful entrepreneurs in Bend to hear their stories.
Ultimately I want to run a successful business that provides me with the freedom to choose my own hours and create a great deal of wealth. So what does that look like to me?
My ideal successful business generates $1,000,000 / year in revenue. We keep our operating expenses very low and profit margin high. Profits are distributed fairly and my favorite charity “myself” will make a very decent living. A portion of this revenue will be donated to improving the community and environment we live in. This revenue is generated through a mix of products and services that align with our values.
At our foundation the business helps people succeed. This means that employees and customers are driven to work with us because of our balanced lifestyles and ever continuing desire to better ourselves and the world we live in. We recognize that everyone has a different perception of success and it is our goal to help each person we touch realize their own success. This is why “Summit as friends!” is one of our core values.
Part of my business vision is also to write a successful book. This book will help people improve their lives and motivate them to make positive changes that go beyond diet and exercise. I will write about such topics as life balance, healthy habits, overcoming unhealthy habits, a routine that rocks, productivity, life hacks or 30 day challenges such as this one I am working on now.
Creating enough value so that we do not have to push our products and services will also be a huge part of our success. This will allow us to put more focus and resources on improving what we deliver and less on pushing products and services to customers that may not even want them in the first place.
I am setting out to achieve this passion one step at a time. I do not fear failure nor do I fear success. I know that failure will be a part of my path to success. The road may be rocky at times, but I have the will and desire to persevere and the humility to ask or help when I need it. Success is for those who really want it. Those who are willing to make sacrifices.
Summit as friends!
Day 339 of 365 Photos from 2013
Once in your life experience the golden hour in the snowy mountains with good friends. You will not regret or forget the adventure.
I recently launched a new website for Don Bryant Painting. I am excited to let you know that we are bring the same great painting services to Central Oregon that Don Bryant Painting has been offering Portland Metro for the last two decades. Yes, 20 YEARS Of Outstanding Customer Service!
I will be playing an instrumental role working as a cloud applications specialist and online marketer. My goal is to optimize the company's daily administrative tasks and create amazing online customer experiences. We have deployed a few simple web pages that were built on the Weebly website platform. I hope you find the new website useful and intuitive. We will be launching new pages and features in the weeks, months and years to come.
This is just the start of Central Oregon's next generation painting company.
Day 51 of 365 Photos From 2013
Stoked I ran accross this photo tonight. The ski photo is a switch cork 540 in White River Canyon.
The other photo is of Drew Bryant and Scott Rowley during an adventure to Mammoth Lakes in California. This was two rocks stacked on top of each other. Pretty crazy!
Posted By: Scott Rowley
Day 49 of 365 Photos From 2013
This photo was taken several years ago when Scott Rowley was running a small painting business in Tigard, Oregon called NW All Surface Refinishing. This is one of Scott's favorite photos from his photo gallery of jobs. The job consisted of refinishing roughly 500 feet of fence and 400 square feet of decking.
Have a wonderful day,
Blog Posted By: Scott Rowley
Day 30 of 365 Photos From 2013
Going into business as a 6th grader.
I realized at a very young age that business was my forte. It provided me a place to take on new challenges, make the world a better place, develop lasting friendships and all the while make money.
I thought.......... How can I make money under my own umbrella? (I had already mowed grass, installed frog ponds, built work benches and tree forts, sold candy bars and more) I wanted to make some money like adults were making......
I shared my desire to start a small business with my parents at the age of 12. Spring time came around and my mother told me that I should aerate not only my yard, but all of the neighbors’ yards whom in previous years had shared the cost of an aeration rental. I thought that fit perfectly for a number of reasons outlined below.
Success stats from my experience ---
NOTE: Figures are approximate!
What I learned and will apply in many ventures yet to come ---
This small venture proved to be a starting point for many more to come! I did not make huge amounts of money, but for a middle school and early high school kid it was not bad!
Welcome to Scott's Adventure Blog!