How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win
Jocko Willink & Leif Babin
“Navy SEALs; they’re just like us!”
This is a half war-memoir and half-business book. The authors were part of the SEAL group that found in Ramadi, the same group that had “American Sniper” Chris Kyle.
I’m usually not a fan of “business-as-war” metaphors or books. In business there’s not necessarily an enemy. For example at Wave, our biggest competition might be MS Word and a shoebox. However, there are some lessons here, and a lot that we are doing similar.
- Span of control: The SEAL teams in the book are 4-6 people and no leader has more than 6 people reporting directly to them
- “Commander’s Intent”: leadership communicated why things should be done and let the teams figure out how. Very similar to “aligned autonomy”
- Leader‘’s intent: “I intend to ….” instead of “What should I do?”
- Ownership: The authors view ownership through the lens of “you own everything” If your boss doesn’t get what you’re doing, you need to explain it. If your team doesn’t get it, you gotta explain it.
One insight (not from me); the SEALs manage to accomplish all these amazing tasks partly because they are leveraging the massive platform of the entire U.S. Military machine. A lesson in there …
Overall, the book is very rah-rah and seems simplistic. Nice to see some of the stuff we’re doing going on elsewhere.