“Accept responsibility for your life. Know that it is you who will get you where you want to go, no one else.” — Les Brown
Extreme ownership is a philosophy that Jocko Willink and Leif Babin talk about in their book. As former US Navy Seals, we know that taking responsibility for the team and the mission is crucial for success–the same is true in business and in our personal lives.
There are many things that will be beyond our control, and sometimes we will feel like we ended up as victims of our circumstances. But even in those situations, it is possible to rise up and take ownership of your life and your choices.
As leaders, this philosophy of “extreme ownership” is also essential.
There are 12 principles that Jocko and Leif outlined for us:
It is so much easier to pass blame than take responsibility when things go wrong. And when things are great, it is tempting to take credit for something that wasn’t solely your effort. But good leaders know how to inspire and motivate their people by giving credit and appreciation where it is due and stepping up to shoulder the responsibility when things don’t go as planned.
This sends a clear message to those who are following them: “I’ve got your back.”
At the same time, taking extreme ownership empowers you to take control of your situation, respond, and grab the opportunity to grow.
On the other hand, a victim and blame mindset is disempowering—it hinders you from leading effectively, inspiring others, and possible self-improvement. Don’t rob yourself of the opportunity to be better than you were yesterday by taking the easy way out. You need to step outside your comfort zone and stretch yourself beyond your limits in order to grow.
Everything in our lives is the result of our choices, even the ones where we felt like we didn’t have any. If you want a different result, make different choices. We won’t always be in control of our circumstances, but if we take extreme ownership over our lives, businesses, and personal growth, we are in control of a large portion of it–our decisions and their repercussions.
When we acknowledge that we alone are responsible for our growth and happiness, a transformation occurs. The way we look at things shifts.
The more you take ownership of your business and your life, the more proactive you become in finding ways to improve yourself. Suddenly, failures no longer remain “just failures” and proof of your “incompetence” or not being enough; they become challenging puzzles that you need to solve. And 90% of the time, you can solve them. You just haven’t pushed yourself hard enough.
Whether it is a car, a house, or a shiny new gadget, whatever it is that you’ve been waiting for so long, once you finally have it in your hands and under your name and you can proudly say, “I own this!” you’ll find that you take better care of it.
Doing chores when you were renting felt like a hassle, but cleaning this home that is yours is fun. Cleaning your father’s car when you were younger might have made you grumble, but you take care of your car like it is a baby. Sometimes, you even give it its own name!
That is what taking ownership means. It is yours, and the bothersome things no longer feel as much of a burden because you want to take proper care of what’s yours.
It applies to your business as well as life in general. It also applies to your personal growth.
What are ways you can take extreme ownership of your growth?
Thank you for reading "A Brilliant Tribe."