Extreme Ownership

Extreme Ownership

“Effective leaders practice extreme ownership. They own everything they are responsible for and everything that affects their mission. There is no one else to blame. There are no excuses.” – Leif Babin

The measure of effective leadership is the team achieving its mission. Effective leaders take “extreme ownership”* for everything. They never blame others, complain or make excuses. If the team is not successful, they take full responsibility, look at themselves in the mirror and ask what they could have done better. They learn from failures and mistakes and make adjustments to help the team win. When they experience problems, they create solutions to keep the team moving forward. Their egos and personal agendas take a backseat to the mission.

“The biggest obstacle to leaders taking extreme ownership is their ego. It is uncomfortable to say we failed or made a mistake. Effective leaders say, I own it and will fix it.” – Jocko Willink

Team success rests with the leader. When it comes to both individual and team performance, it is not what the leader communicates, it is what they tolerate. If low performance is accepted, it becomes the standard. Effective leaders continually improve and raise the performance bar. They also continually influence the direct and greater teams to work together as one organization. Every member must understand their role and what to do to achieve the mission. If they do not, direction was not clear or simple enough and the leader failed – extreme ownership.

*The concept of “extreme ownership” is from the book Extreme Ownership by former U.S. Navy Seals Jocko Willink and Leif Babin (New York: Saint Martin’s Press, 2015).

All contents copyright © 2018, Josh Lowry. All rights reserved.


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