Watch the video above and talk about it with a group or mentor. Learn more.

Planning. Verticality. Decisiveness. Discipline. These final four principles can help you maintain the leader’s edge - on the battlefield or in life.

Adapted from the book Extreme Ownership by Jakko Willink and Leif Babin.

Key Principles:

  • Planning: Create a strategy that clarifies “Commander’s Intent”.
  • Verticality: Learn to communicate up and down the chain of command.
  • Decisiveness: Make the call even before you have all the facts. 
  • Discipline: Self-control leads to more freedom, not less.

Quote This:

A broad and ambiguous mission results in lack of focus, ineffective execution, and mission creep.

See Also: Executives, Teams

Talk About It
  1. What is your initial reaction to this topic? What jumped out at you?
  2. Which of these four principles is your team’s strongest point? Which is the weakest? Explain.
  3. Are there plans in place for your organization to be more standardized or more ambiguous? Explain.
  4. How can you make your planning process simpler, more actionable, or repeatable for your team?
  5. As a leader, how clear are your intentions to your team? When have you listened and used feedback from your team?
  6. When have you made a good decision with the best information you had at the time? When have you waited too long to make a decision? What happened?
  7. How can you find the balance between working within established procedures and having freedom to be creative?
  8. As a leader, how can you be aggressive without being overbearing?
  9. Write a personal action step based on this conversation.

This is part of the Navy SEALS Leadership series.