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Leadership Strategy and Tactics

Field Manual

By Jocko Willink
13-minute read
Audio available
Leadership Strategy and Tactics by Jocko Willink

Leadership Strategy and Tactics (2020) teaches you how to take the skills of a high-functioning Navy SEAL team and apply them to your workplace. You’ll learn about practices such as Extreme Ownership, and find out why humility is better than arrogance. These tips will help you to leave your ego at the door and to remember that your team’s success should always come before personal success.

  • CEOs, managers, and team leaders who need some guidance
  • Employees hoping to get promoted to a supervisor position
  • People who work in human resources

Jocko Willink ended his twenty-year career with the US Navy SEALs as a special operations unit commander. Following his retirement, he went on to be the co-founder of the leadership and management consulting company, Echelon Front. His other books include Extreme Ownership (2015) and Discipline Equals Freedom (2017).

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Leadership Strategy and Tactics

Field Manual

By Jocko Willink
  • Read in 13 minutes
  • Audio & text available
  • Contains 8 key ideas
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Leadership Strategy and Tactics by Jocko Willink
Synopsis

Leadership Strategy and Tactics (2020) teaches you how to take the skills of a high-functioning Navy SEAL team and apply them to your workplace. You’ll learn about practices such as Extreme Ownership, and find out why humility is better than arrogance. These tips will help you to leave your ego at the door and to remember that your team’s success should always come before personal success.

Key idea 1 of 8

Sometimes you need to step back from the situation to see things clearly.

Picture the scene. A team of Navy SEALs is on a training mission. They’re tasked with storming an offshore oil rig. But things aren’t going to plan.

As they approach the rig, the team finds themselves frozen in position, guns out, waiting for someone to make a call on how best to move forward. The problem is, no call is coming. There are too many places for possible enemies to hide on this rig and too few places for the SEAL team to find protective cover.

Time is ticking away, and all anyone can do is what they’re trained to do in this situation – scan for targets. But when you scan for targets, all you see is what’s in the sights of your gun. You miss out on the big picture. In order to move forward, someone from the team needs to detach.

The key message here is: Sometimes you need to step back from the situation to see things clearly.

Luckily for this SEAL team, they had someone who could step up and take charge: the author, Jocko Willink. He knew exactly what to do.

To get a grip on the situation, Willink stepped back, pointed his weapon up to “high-port” position, and had a good look at their surroundings. This move allowed him to see the full picture. He could see the obstacles that lay ahead and the path which the team should take. He could then take the initiative and give the order, “Hold left! Move right!”

Outside of his life as a Navy SEAL, the author has found that detaching from a situation is one of a leader’s best tools. Whenever you feel like you’re becoming overwhelmed by all there is to do, take a step back. You can even do this literally – take a step back from your desk or a conversation and take a deep breath. Lift your head up, look in both directions, allow yourself to let go of whatever emotions are going on and try to see and hear what’s really going on around you. This will help you to become grounded with the present moment and will put you in a better place to make a more rational decision – one that is less influenced by highly charged emotions.

Later on in his military career, the author learned plenty of other lessons that can be applied to leadership roles outside of the armed forces. And in the blinks ahead, we’ll look at more of these valuable tactics and strategies.

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