The Dichotomy of Leadership: Book Summary

The Dichotomy of Leadership: Book Summary

Leaders set the tone and example for their teams, and as they navigate challenging situations leaders must constantly keep a careful balance of seemingly opposite forces. When a leader struggles or is ineffective, it is typically a sign that she has veered too far to either side of one of these dichotomies; in this way, a leader’s greatest strength can become her weakness if she doesn’t keep it balanced.  Here are the key dichotomies of leadership, from the book by Jocko Willink.

What Is Extreme Ownership? (from Jocko Willink)

What Is Extreme Ownership? (from Jocko Willink)

What is the key to being a great leader? Is it about having the right personality type, training, or team? Former U.S. Navy SEALs Jocko Willink and Leif Babin, authors of Extreme Ownership, argue that the best leaders take responsibility for every aspect of their team and every task they’re working to accomplish. Extreme Ownership is total accountability over everything that happens under a leader’s direction. Extreme ownership requires a leader to own her team’s mistakes and failures — without blame or excuses — and objectively assess what works and what doesn’t in order to constantly improve. As Willink and

No Bad Teams, Only Bad Leaders (from Jocko Willink)

No Bad Teams, Only Bad Leaders (from Jocko Willink)

While many leadership books and training courses focus on developing individual habits and traits, leadership is inextricably tied to the team’s performance. There are only two types of leaders — effective and ineffective — and the only way to measure a leader’s effectiveness is based on whether her team succeeds or fails.  As the person at the top of the chain of command, everything ultimately reflects back on you. You must make decisions quickly and definitively, and accept their consequences, good or bad. As a leader, you determine the team’s performance. This gives rise to the phrase, “no bad teams,

Cover and Move (from Jocko’s Extreme Ownership)

Cover and Move (from Jocko’s Extreme Ownership)

Chapter 5 explores the Cover and Move strategy. On a battlefield, Cover and Move allows a team to work together to reach a destination: One group provides cover — keeping an eye out and having weapons ready to ward off enemies — as the other group advances forward. Then they switch roles, essentially leapfrogging forward, until they reach their destination.  This may not appear to have much relevance outside a warzone, but the principle of Cover and Move is teamwork. The entire team must work together, supporting and protecting each other, for everyone’s safety and success. Everyone on the team

Prioritize and Execute (from Jocko’s Extreme Ownership)

Prioritize and Execute (from Jocko’s Extreme Ownership)

There are times when it feels like everything goes wrong at once, and that there is no way to accomplish everything at the same time. In these situations, a leader has to be able to calmly take stock of the situation, decide what needs to happen first, and carry it out; this Law of Combat is called Prioritize and Execute. Trying to address several issues at the same time is overwhelming and inefficient. Most likely, you are only dividing your attention and won’t be able to tackle any of them effectively. Instead — even when it feels like five fires

Decentralized Command (from Jocko’s Extreme Ownership)

Decentralized Command (from Jocko’s Extreme Ownership)

You can be the best leader in the world, but you’re still human and you simply can’t do everything yourself. Decentralized Command is a form of delegating that allows leaders to stay focused on their unique job — leading the overall team in pursuit of the larger goal — by allowing each junior leader and team member under them to carry out her own unique job. 

Decisiveness Amid Uncertainty (from Jocko’s Extreme Ownership)

Decisiveness Amid Uncertainty (from Jocko’s Extreme Ownership)

Part of a leader’s responsibility is to lead her team courageously and decisively, no matter what stress and confusion is happening around her; presumably, this is part of the reason she has earned her position as the head of the team. Sometimes, a leader will only have limited information available to make a critical decision, and in these cases she must be comfortable making the best decision possible with what she has.  At times an educated guess will be the best option available, and this is when a leader’s knowledge and experience is especially critical to compensate for missing information.

Laws of Combat (from Navy SEAL’s Extreme Ownership)

Laws of Combat (from Navy SEAL’s Extreme Ownership)

What is the key to being a great leader? Is it about having the right personality type, training, or team? Former U.S. Navy SEALs Jocko Willink and Leif Babin, authors of Extreme Ownership, argue that the best leaders take responsibility for every aspect of their team and every task they’re working to accomplish. With an Extreme Ownership mindset, a leader can implement key strategies to help her team achieve its goals. The authors collectively call these the Laws of Combat.

6 Tips to Handle Your Emotions in Negotiation

6 Tips to Handle Your Emotions in Negotiation

Because negotiation involves people, it inevitably involves emotions. What are the best ways to deal with these emotions in negotiation and make a successful deal? There are six crucial tips to keep in mind when negotiating. These principles will allow you to benefit from positive emotions while avoiding the stalemates that can come from negative emotions in negotiation.

How Brer Rabbit Inspired the Civil Rights Movement

How Brer Rabbit Inspired the Civil Rights Movement

Who is Brer Rabbit? And why is he so important to the history of the Civil Rights Movement? Brer Rabbit is a popular character in Southern lore who uses his wits to outsmart characters who are stronger and more powerful than he is. We’ll cover how the Brer Rabbit stories inspired the leaders of the American Civil Rights Movement, and what you can learn from both the stories and the movement.