Tuesday, March 28, 2017

From the Reading List - Extreme Ownership

One of the books chosen for the 2017 Professional Reading List was Extreme Ownership by  Jocko Willink and Leif Babin. Through all of last season, and over the winter, we heard from folks in the field recommending this book to us... So to all who recommended it, thanks!

For me, what really sets Extreme Ownership apart as a stellar book on leadership is its applicability... It doesn't matter if you're the Chief or a rookie, there's something in here that you can apply in your everyday life. Running a complex program? Check, there are lessons to be shared about how to thrive in complex environments. Rookie on a hotshot crew? Check, there are lessons to be had about self leadership and owning your actions. Something in between? You can bet there's a way to apply ideas and concepts from the book in your specific situation.
As Jocko explains in the TEDx talk linked above, these lessons on leadership, responsibility and integrity weren't learned in a classroom somewhere, where decisions didn't matter. They were honed in a high-risk environment where actions had serious consequences. In the video, Jocko talks about how integrity, responsibility, and ownership build trust in a team, and how ownership at all levels benefits the team and the organization.

"When a team takes ownership of its problems, the problems get solved."

What problem is your team facing that taking ownership could resolve?

To dig a little deeper, check out the Extreme Ownership discussion guide over at the Professional Reading Program homepage - it's got some more info on the book, links to additional videos, and some discussion questions meant to get you thinking. Check it out and let us know what you think - Leaders are Readers!

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