Firstly, apologies for the lack of a book review for August. In the mayhem of relocating from London to Edinburgh, I had a lapse and forgot to complete my usual review. So, moving swiftly on, here is the review for September’s book!
Title: Extreme Ownership
Authors: Jocko Willink and Leif Babin
Topic: Leadership, Coaching, Mindset, Self-help
Appropriate for: Coaches, parents and students
Overall rating: 5/5
Overview: This book has been on my reading list for some time, as I’ve had heard it pop up in several conversations, as well as seen it on several top reading lists on the internet.
This book sounds pretty intense, however that’s mainly due to the context in which the leadership principles are illustrated – the conflicts in Iraq. What this book does particularly well is give examples not only in a wartime situation, but also extrapolates these examples into how they apply in a business or management setting. There isn’t a huge mention of application to the sporting world, but it isn’t exactly hard to see how this apply directly to any situation you are in.
Key areas addressed prior within the book are
- Extreme ownership
- No bad teams only bad leaders
- Checking your ego
- Keep it simple
- Prioritise and execute
- Decentralize command
- Leading both up and down the chain of command
- Discipline equals freedom
I found this book really challenging. Particularly the basic idea of extreme ownership. No matter where the error occurred, take ownership and reflect on where you went wrong. This is a pretty powerful concept as it’s human nature to shift the blame, but this creates helplessness. If it was someone else’s fault then you couldn’t have done anything better. This limits your development and influence as a coach. Instead, extreme ownership suggests you made an error somewhere perhaps in explaining not why something was important, lack of clarity in instruction, not empowering others to make decisions or not doing your research properly, or making something overly complex.
As a coach I found this book a big kick up the backside. Basically, the more you take ownership for something and don’t bury your head in the sand, the more you have influence over it and can change it. All the content after this subject is how to best go about leading that change.
You can find book here: Extreme Ownership
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