The buck stops here…Why leading by example is good business!! 6 Battle Tested leadership lessons I learnt from the US navy seals.
I’ve been searching for what it takes to run a successful business for years now and to be honest it’s not just one thing it’s a combination of many little parts of the puzzle. In saying that however at the end of the day you as a business owner needs to have the final say and ultimately make the final decision
See there are guru’s all claiming they have the answer and that their solution is the “one and only” the holy grail so to speak where in actual fact it couldn’t be further from the truth. Business has so many moving parts and the environment is constantly changing, whether you own a takeaway shop or you’re creating widgets, the fact is that what was successful yesterday may not be on fashion today.
Now we like to think that we have evolved by using words like “lean in” and “live in your passion” to often describe what has been the basis of hard work and sticking to what makes you happy for years before, however the common misconception I find in many, today, is that they believe you can simply do whatever is cool, make millions in your underwear or write a book and there you have it …instant success.
Well as veteran business owners will confirm saying you’re going to make millions is easier said than done. It’s all roses until things just don’t go to plan, murphy’s law ( what can go wrong will ) usually has a bigger role than the fairy godmother waving the magic wand of amazeballs and awesomeness.
It’s easy to blame, justify and make excuses …right? It cost you no money and little to no effort to shift the load to everything and everyone because things didn’t turn out how you wanted them to be. So the truth of the matter is that there is ONLY one common denominator that when you strip away all the BS all the stuff one thing remains and that is…the buck stops with you or as US navy seals Jocko Willink and Leif Babin from Seal team bruiser in their killer book (pardon the pun LOL) aptly named it’s all about taking Extreme Ownership. Click Here to see it on Amazon That’s it. It’s YOU that’s responsible at the end of the day.
How simple is that?
Now in business whether you are a solopreneur or a CEO of a hundreds of employees taking ownership over your dominion is critical and be it internal leadership for yourself or external leadership for others will make the difference between mediocrity and failure or being outstanding and highly successful. It’s that ability to say “Yep” I’ll take responsibility/ ownership for your action or the lack of in some cases or that of your employee’s. see as they say “All roads lead to Rome” you solely are responsible for your business or personal life.
Now I know you maybe thinking “well what if my employee didn’t do the right thing or that subby messed up the job, the courier got lost with the package and didn’t deliver it on time” not my fault” and you know what you are right they may have let you down but there is a big difference between blame and Extreme Ownership. The later is taking responsibility “no matter what” you are the leader of your business, yourself and your employee’s.
As Jacko and Babin describe it, it’s hard taking Extreme Ownership but when others or yourself rely on it and the decision to either make an excuse or to step UP could cost lives you better face the battle or you will forever have to live with that sense of “what if”
Here are 6 battle tested lessons from two of the US’s most decorated soldiers and what they learnt in combat and in life and now teach business.
1.Take ownership no matter what – Our effectiveness as leaders depends on how much we own what’s on our plate. We usually reject responsibility out of self-protection. But as the Willink example showed, if he had dodged responsibility it would have undermined him. By owning the problem, he was able to fix it.
2.Stay out of your own way – That kind of self-protection is all about our egos, isn’t it? Willink and Babin point out that ego can be a good thing. It’s part of what drives us to succeed. But it can get in our own way. Usually it happens when we take our eye off the business objective and start worrying about winning and losing by less important measures—like status.
3.Support your team – Willink and Babin call this “covering and moving.” It’s essential that everyone on the team thinks so. The moment a leader or others are out for themselves and their own win, you’ve lost.
4.Simplify – Business is simple. We deliver something people want and charge them for the service. But how we do that can get complicated in a hurry. Here’s the catch: A complicated plan is hard to communicate to our teams, and that makes it hard for them—and us—to win.
5.Stay focused – There are a million distractions on the battlefield. Same with the office. If we lose focus on the priorities, we’ll get overwhelmed and fail. This is why I’m such a major advocate of goal setting. They enable to set and stay focused on your targets.
6.Empower your people – This one is critical. You might think if you’ve got to take this kind of total, extreme ownership that you have to do everything. No not really that at all. First, you can’t do it. Second, that’s why you have a team! Leaders get help from others and delegate. Willink and Babin stress training, empowerment, and communicating clear responsibilities and expectations.
So the next time you feel like saying ” wasn’t me” think again about what you are displaying to your team and what type of culture you are creating for your business. Apply these principles, take extreme ownership and you will see the shift that comes with it – Nick Psaila