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BOOK SUMMARY: Extreme Ownership

Have you read the book “Extreme Ownership” yet?  It was first published back in 2015 and was written by former Navy Seals, Jocko Willink and Leif Babin.  In their book they share leadership principles they learned from their time in the military, applying these principles to business and personal life. From my perspective the real value of the principles shared in this book are how they clearly and succinctly describe the importance of everyone becoming personally responsible for themselves, their team, and their organization. 

The principles they learned from their experience are divided into three main parts:

Part I: Winning the War Within

This section emphasizes personal accountability and the importance of taking complete responsibility for everything in one's life and work. The authors introduce the concept of "Extreme Ownership," where leaders must own all their team's outcomes, regardless of external factors. By accepting total responsibility, leaders can better analyze failures and implement effective solutions. Key chapters discuss the necessity of ego management and the significance of understanding and addressing personal weaknesses.

Part II: The Laws of Combat

Here, the authors outline four essential principles for effective team dynamics and success in high-stakes environments.  They share the keys to developing a high-powered team that is dynamic and effective in what they do.  The key principles include Cover and Move (developing teamwork), The power of effective planning and clear communication, learning to prioritize and implement critical tasks for success, and the importance of empowering the team by driving responsibilities down the organization so that the team and company can be more engaged and nimbler to change. 

Part III: Sustaining Victory

The final section focuses on maintaining and building on success through sustained effort and continuous improvement. It addresses the need for discipline in all aspects of leadership and operations. The authors stress the importance of developing a balanced approach to leading, avoiding both micromanagement and under-supervision, and continuously learning and adapting. Chapters also cover the necessity of humility and the willingness to listen and learn from others, ensuring sustained growth and success.

For any individual, team, or company that is looking to develop a culture of personal responsibility and personal leadership this is a great book to study and use as an outline.   Throughout the book, Willink and Babin illustrate these principles with gripping combat stories and real-life business examples, making "Extreme Ownership" a practical guide for leaders at all levels.  I highly recommend it.

Last thing, if you are looking for more good books to read let us know.  We have compiled a five page “Recommended Reading List” that we are happy to share with you.  Please drop an email to or reach out to us on LinkedIn at .

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