In 2006, Jocko Willink and Leif Babin were officers with the U.S. Navy SEAL Task Unit Bruiser, the most highly decorated American special operations unit that served in the Iraq War. The men were sent to Ramadi, the site some of the toughest urban combat in the history of the SEAL teams. Their efforts helped gain control of a city that had been deemed “all but lost.”
Following the success of their mission, Babin and Willink returned home to teach the next generation of SEALs, spearheading the development of Navy SEAL leadership training programs. When they retired to civilian life, they took their lessons from the battlefield to the boardroom, launching Echelon Front, a consulting firm that teaches leaders how to build and lead high-performance teams.
“Some may wonder how Navy SEAL combat leadership principles translate outside the military realm to leading any team in any capacity,” writes Babin. “But combat is reflective of life, only amplified and intensified. Decisions have immediate consequences, and everything—absolutely everything—is at stake.”
According to Babin and Willink, being a great leader requires a very particular mindset. That mental attitude, and the title of their book, is Extreme Ownership.