Extreme Ownership

How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win
by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin | St. Martin’s Press © 2015 · 320 pages

Jocko Willink and Leif Babin were two of the most senior (and decorated) SEALS on the ground in the most intense battles of Iraq. In this book they share their leadership lessons on how U.S. Navy SEALs lead and win. It’s an intense, impactful read. Big Ideas we explore include a definition of Extreme Ownership, the fact that there are no bad teams, only bad leaders, how to prioritize and execute and remembering that discipline = freedom.

The book derives its title from the underlying principle—the mind-set—that provides the foundation for all the rest: Extreme Ownership. Leaders must own everything in their world. There is no one else to blame.
Jocko Willink and Leif Babin

“The idea for this book was born from the realization that the principles critical for SEAL success on the battlefield—how SEALs train and prepare their leaders, how they mold and develop high-performance teams, and how they lead combat—are directly applicable to success in any group, organization, corporation, business, and, to a broader degree, life. This book provides the reader with our formula for success: the mind-set and guiding principles that enable SEAL leaders and combat units to achieve extraordinary results. It demonstrates how to apply these directly in business and life to likewise achieve victory.”

~ Jocko Willink and Leif Babin from Extreme Ownership

Navy SEALs are the most highly trained, elite warriors on the planet.

And, Jocko Willink and Leif Babin were two of the most senior SEALS on the ground in the most intense battles of Iraq.

In this book, they share the U.S. Navy SEAL approach to leadership that allows them to Lead and Win.

The key?


Absolutely owning everything in their world. Taking 100% responsibility for the success (and failure) of their missions—blaming no one and constantly seeking ways to improve.

As you can imagine, it’s an intense look at extreme leadership with stories from the trenches (literally) of war and examples of how we can apply the ideas to our businesses and lives. (Get the book here.)

The book is packed with Big Ideas and I’m excited to share a few of my favorites so let’s jump straight in.

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About the authors


Jocko Willink

Retired Navy SEAL officer, author, speaker and co-founder of Echelon Front.

Leif Babin

Decorated former Navy SEAL officer, author, and co-founder of Echelon Front.