This is our third Note on one of Mark Divine’s books.
I can still remember reading years ago shortly after blowing up the prior version of our business (hah and d’oh!). It provided a much-needed dose of mental toughness wisdom. Since reading that book and (which was also fantastic), Mark and I have become friends and he’s even an investor in Optimize. (Hooyah, CDR!)
So… When he sent me his newest book, I was, of course, fired up to read it.
As we discussed in our prior Notes, Mark is a retired Navy SEAL Commander. He also has twenty-five years of experience as an entrepreneur. In this book, he draws on his decades of leadership experience to teach us the “7 Leadership Commitments That Forge Elite Teams.”
I knew Mark was voted the honor man of his SEAL class and that he is an extraordinarily powerful human being (which is why I’ve suggested more than once that he needs his own action figure). But, I didn’t know just how long he’s been an elite leader.
Quick context to a quick story: At 25, Mark left his career on Wall Street (where he got his MBA and CPA) to join the SEALs. He started BUD/S class 170 with 185 other “absolute studs.” Only 19 (!) of the 185 who started made it to graduation day. Being one of those 19 who finished is, of course, impressive.
But that feat is nowhere near as impressive as THIS fact…
More context: During training, every aspiring SEAL is assigned to a “boat crew.” Each boat crew has seven people on it. Mark was the leader of his boat crew. Typically, as people quit, the boat crews get shuffled again and again.
But, get this… Although only 19 (!) of the 185 guys who started the program finished it, ALL SEVEN (!!!) of the guys on Mark’s boat crew made it to graduation. <- That’s amazing. (Seriously, think about that for a moment longer…)
The book is packed with great stories and wisdom from Mark’s authentic sharing of his “tortuous” path from early leadership success to many failures en route to a deeper sense of clarity on what it takes to “stare down the wolf” of fear and forge elite teams. If that sounds like fun, I think you’ll enjoy it as much as I did. (Get a copy of the book .)
It’s packed with Big Ideas and I’m excited to share a few of my favorites we can apply to our lives TODAY so let’s jump straight in!