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Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win
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Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win

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4.28  ·  Rating details ·  34,836 ratings  ·  2,872 reviews
The #1 New York Times bestseller

"An incredible book... you teach guys and gals about leadership and you've helped not only military guys but families." - Megyn Kelly

"You show in the book how to motivate... thanks for writing the book Extreme Ownership." Bill O'Reilly

"[Jocko] is the co-author of an incredible new book - which I've been loving. Trust me. Buy it." - Tim Ferri
...more
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published October 20th 2015 by St. Martin's Press
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Michael S Park If you've never been in a leadership position, this is a valuable read. Even if you have, the lessons here are practical reminders. It's also a good l…moreIf you've never been in a leadership position, this is a valuable read. Even if you have, the lessons here are practical reminders. It's also a good look into the perspective of those who have or are serving in Iraq.(less)

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Average rating 4.28  · 
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 ·  34,836 ratings  ·  2,872 reviews


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Start your review of Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win
Lorilin
Aug 20, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: wellness, memoir, arc
Extreme Ownership is written by two former Navy SEALs, Jocko Willink and Leif Babin, who now head a leadership training company. Both men are pretty hardcore, I must admit. The experiences they share in this book are intense and eye-opening--not to mention unique. There aren't many books out there that give such detailed glimpses into the lives of SEALs in action.

The book is structured in a very basic and clear way. The authors convey one main point per chapter by sharing a story from their batt
...more
David Huff
Apr 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I don't remember how I first ran across Jocko Willink on the internet, but visiting him on Twitter has become a daily motivational fix for me. Here's a man who was a Navy SEAL for 20 years, including combat experience in Iraq, and service as a Navy SEAL instructor. The man is a BEAST, posting videos (after rising to workout around 4:30 am each day, and taking snapshots of his watch) to motivate you to Get After It and do the same!

One of the phrases he's known for, which at first seems paradoxica
...more
Brian
Nov 01, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Brian by: Eric Franklin
Shelves: on-kindle, vpe
(3.5) Little formulaic and contrived business cases, I enjoyed the demonstration of leadership principles in military setting

The structure of this book is interesting: each chapter is a particular principle that great/extreme leaders demonstrate with three sub-parts:
* military (often combat) narrative demonstrating the principle (this is the meat, ~75%, of each chapter)
* quick summary of the principle and why it's relevant in combat
* short, somewhat generic narrative showing principle in a busin
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Theoderik Trajanson
Apr 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
The Big Idea: Leaders Must Own Everything in Their World, There is No One Else to Blame

Notes:
- A team leader does not take credit for his or her team's successes but bestows the honor on a subordinate team leader and team members.

- Take personal responsibility for your failures. And mean it. You'll come out the other side stronger than ever before.

- When it comes to performance standards, it's not what you preach, it's what you tolerate.

- Repeat important points for emphasis.

- Team members don't
...more
Kate
Feb 14, 2016 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2016-books
This book wasn't saying anything new or different from all the other management/life improvement books. Take responsibility. Manage from the bottom up (the latest and greatest way of management). I couldn't physically read it and had to listen to audiobook to even be able to focus. Even then it was difficult because the reading was so dramatic. I had to speed it up a bunch to not deal with the dramatic pauses and slow speech.
Jd
Jun 21, 2016 rated it did not like it
Very repetitive and a slow read. At times, it read like a textbook that felt the need to point out the same principles over and over again. The format didn't really work for me either. Every chapter tells a story about the authors' time spent fighting in Iraq (both were Navy Seals). Then, they basically spell out in very simple terms what they were just trying to teach you as if you can't glean the information yourself. After that, they tell a story about a business that coincidentally had the e ...more
Siah
May 03, 2019 rated it did not like it
I finally understood why the trillions of dollars that we have poured into the US military has failed. The whole book is about how mismanaged the Iraq war was. The authors constantly bring up dumb examples that could have been totally avoided had there been some basic planning. In one instant, they plow through a city to capture a house as an outpost and observation tower only to realize the house doesn’t have a window overlooking the main road that they needed to watch. They essentially tell yo ...more
Mart
Nov 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing
It's one of the best non-academic management books that I've ever read.

The book is very straightforward and practical, presenting 7-8 core management principles, each with one real life example both from combat and business. These principles are not some esoteric or academic philosphy but very practical and actionable behaviour patterns and methods.

One example: "Prioritize and execute". In a complex and stressful situation, one should not address all problems simultaneously but instead determi
...more
Bill Fairclough
Dec 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Interesting book well worth a read and if you like it try reading https://everipedia.org/wiki/lang_en/b... - it's free and should only take 20 minutes! You may suddenly realise the backgrounds of those you next encounter at a training course, away day or board meeting may not be precisely who they appear to be and you may even want to read Extreme Ownership again or dig deeper by reading Beyond Enkription which of course is intentionally misspelt! ...more
Liza Fireman
May 04, 2018 rated it it was ok
I am a huge believer that leadership and management makes it or breaks it. It builds people, it enables them, it empowers them. If done right, it is outstanding. People are happy, and take ownership and initiative, mentorship is happening, product is becoming outstanding and then managers/leaders can be proud of their achievements, and new leaders grow. I can spend hours, days and weeks talking about leadership. That's my job and my passion.
Well, here I didn't find it. I found a very military t
...more
Greta Stuhlsatz
Aug 20, 2017 rated it it was ok
So, I put this book down back in March to take a break from the arrogance that permeated every paragraph. After having a conversation with an ex-army major, I tried it again. It does present some good leadership advice even if the context is a little off. Like, not everyone is trying to "win". Put your penis away.
Rachel Bayles
Jan 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: professional
This is an excellent leadership book, as judged by someone who usually is skeptical of the genre. I would not have read it if I hadn't heard the author's interview with Sam Harris. But I'm thankful that I did.

First and most obviously, the author has earned the right to speak on this subject. But he doesn't just say, "Look, I got through SEAL training and engaged in some horrific battles." He breaks down the operations he highlights into a great deal of detail. By walking you through the actions
...more
Valentin
Apr 21, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: leadership
This book is not for everyone, as you will constantly hear military jargon. Besides the leadership lessons it also gives you some insight on how the war is really like, not sure everyone will enjoy this in a leadership book.

For me it was enjoyable, some chapters are common sense, others teach though lessons to follow. Definitely a lot to learn form this book.
Suz
Jun 05, 2018 rated it did not like it
One of my biggest issues with Goodreads's scale is that the scale (if you actually pay attention) is skewed in a positive manner. The discussion re: the scale has been beaten to death, but I remember one thing that kept coming up was that it should be more positive, because why in the world would you read a book you hated? Apparently these people had never been to school. Or been thrust into book club at work with a director who idolizes the military.

I wish I could go further than 1 star. i wish
...more
Giovanni
Aug 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing
There are many books on leadership that focus on one person and what skill set a leader must possess in order to succeed. The authors of this book take it a step further, successfully using the knowledge that helped them overcome enormously difficult tasks in combat situations and interpreting that knowledge for us in a civilian setting. Many writers rush to capitalize on the extremely popular subject of SEAL teams and what it takes to serve in the Navy's elite special operations force. Unlike m ...more
John
Apr 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
I read this because I was making fun of a friend for reading it. Really fascinating to read a book by someone who thinks so differently from me in so many ways. Provokes some thoughts about how the mentality of warfare and the metaphor of the warrior really shape how these people approach life. Some scattered thoughts:

- dominating and winning is a constant theme; do these things, be an extreme owner, and you will dominate. I would say that dominance is not one of my goals.

- through seizing respo
...more
Marrije
Jan 01, 2017 rated it liked it
Unpleasant (I don't care for all this talk about 'savage, brutal, cowardly insurgents'), but useful.
Jonathan Maas
Mar 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Inspiring tale with a straightforward message

This book alternates betwen Jocko Willink and Leif Babin talking about their time in Iraq, and then applying the lessons therein to the business world.

It's not a nuanced message - and it can honestly be placed in a paragraph or two. In short - take responsibility for everything, absolutely everything - and good things will happen. Don't shift blame, don't talk about how it is the situation's fault. It is all on you - but in a positive way. This is not
...more
Artjoms Haleckis
Dec 13, 2018 rated it liked it
Extreme ownership is a great set of basic rules that we all should apply on a daily basis not only at work but all the time. I like this idea a lot and there are lots of takeaways from this book that I will try to remember and carry on with me.
However, this book gets 3 stars from me because of the poorly-written and unnecessary detailed military operation descriptions. I noted myself drifting away and losing focus in the middle of the book on a constant basis, while "application to business" por
...more
Sandro Mancuso
Dec 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the best book I read this year. By miles. It is one of those books that really makes you introspect and makes you realise you can be a better version of yourself. You can also transform your workplace in a much better place. Taking lessons from the SEALs and real situations during the Iraq war, the book shows how companies of any size could work efficiently if the people working there at all levels followed some of those lessons.
Guilherme De Azevedo
Feb 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A must read for Leaders!
I didn't imagine that a concept perfectly expressed in just 2 words could have as much impact.
Check out a 4 minute video review and summary I made and that will give you a good overview to decide if you want to further explore it.
It can also refresh your memory if you have already read it:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=6xUMj2r...
...more
Mark Marquez
Dec 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Should be required reading for all leaders. Extreme ownership is a philosophy that can be applied to all aspects of life. In that regard, it should be required reading for anyone looking to take back their life and accomplish their mission.

Reading this has been an honor and a privilege. To get it direct from some of the best trained warriors in the world this book is solid gold. Bravo!
Eat.Sleep.Lift.Read.

Jocko (the author) has a podcast; it's well worth a listen.

This is a weird book - half war memoir, half 'be a better leader' book.

It kinda works, and it kinda doesn't.

That being said it's well worth a read if you're in a 'leadership' position.
Sven Kämmerer
Mar 12, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: given-up
Maybe the worst book I've ever read?
Stephen Heiner
The problem with books that get built up is that they often don't live up to the hype. Prior to reading this book I'd listened to hours of Jocko Willink doing interviews on different podcasts as well as hosting his own. I had a good idea of his ethos and worldview. What I didn't have was the backstory on how this was built, and Extreme Ownership delivers that backstory, and then some.

Fair disclosure, one of my favorite military history books is Mark Bowden's Black Hawk Down. His ability to tell
...more
Diego
Jan 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
GET AFTER IT

This is an important book to read. It encompasses multiple issues that creep up sometimes unknowingly within a company. One could skip many business books and read this one alone. I would want to pass this around my company but there are likely too many that may find it too graphic for them, but I would at least pass this amongst managers, because those are the ones that put the strategy and team over themselves....if they are true leaders. It uncovers weaknesses that may not be appa
...more
Shreef A
Apr 19, 2018 rated it liked it
A good book to read or listen to if you want to know more about the experience of US Navy SEALs in Iraq (from their own point of view).

The book is advertised as a leadership and management book and it delivers on that promise to some extent. The ideas are simple but nothing new. Still overall it can be energizing sometimes to hear the same stuff you knew before when told as a good story.

One problem I had with the book is that it turns everything into a war.

At some point the author was telling a
...more
Dara
Jan 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
I was given this book to read for work. Its premise is that the mindset and principles used by U.S. Navy Seals can be implemented to improve any leadership team. The voyeuristic part of me found the look into the brave and rigorous world of these men compelling. The stories are fascinating and the men themselves, the epitome of heroism. I liked the authors and their message but it was difficult to believe some of the supposed conversations with CEOs and other high ranking individuals where they ...more
Logan Streondj
Jun 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book really helped me take extreme ownership for my life and stop blaming others, be they subordinates or superiors. It has helped me achieve less anger and thus more peace in my life.

the book has a very engaging format with war story followed by lesson learned and a story from business where it was applied.
Mike Hart
Oct 26, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
they make one point only over and over again and use their war stories to make it interesting. boring and not helpful.
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DCMA Book Club: Extreme Ownership 1 3 Mar 09, 2020 08:01AM  

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