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This book was such a letdown. The very introduction states it is not just another book with war stories trying to magnify their achievements but guess what, that's exactly what it is. Literally 75% or more of the book is these guys war stories. They do somehow try to drive their leadership point but there's so much "useless" content. Perhaps for a military man learning on leadership it is useful, but for the avg person not interested in any of these stuff it becomes boring really quickly. This book could literally be 50 pages and make the same points clearly and concisely without all the theatrics like "I spoke on the radio to my commander that we had insurgents in the area, and he replied roger". Felt like a lot of content was made just for the sake of adding pages. That being said, the principles itself on extreme ownership are solid and I did understand them and enjoyed them. Unfortunately I had to deal with all the military out of context stories to get there. Maybe I would've liked it if my expectations for this book had been different.
It seems I'm in the minority here but I didn't love this book. I love leadership and I love discipline and I was hoping to hear some unique thoughts about these subjects. I had heard a recent interview from the author and was very excited about this book.
I simply didn't find any of the principles on leadership or discipline to be anything more than common knowledge. If you read books on leadership before or on discipline or military books, there doesn't seem to be anything unique here, in my opinion.
If you love War Stories especially in a modern context, this is an excellent book. It's well-written and fun to read. I just didn't particularly find it helpful.
For leadership technique or principles of self discipline, I would not recommend this book. For stories of overcoming challenges in Modern Combat and conflict, I would recommend this book.
But ultimately, given my expectations, I was pretty disappointed. I'm also disappointed at the great reviews it's got because I feel like I'm taking crazy pills here!
* Edit: I went back and read some of the lower reviews and I concur with all of them. I'm glad at least a few people noticed that this book was heavy on bragging and light on principles. The 90% five star reviews are only right if you love War Stories and don't really care about leadership or self discipline.
Lots of praise for the US military and how wonderful they are. Every chapter is a war anecdote followed by a brief (and bleeding obvious) life/work lesson. The moral of the stories is 'everything can be your fault, but gain credibility with your men and superiors by taking responsibility even when it isn't demonstrably your fault' and 'make orders clear so everyone knows what they are doing (and it therefore becomes less likely that things become become your fault)'. Got bored and gave up around half way.
What I liked about the book ? 1. War stories 2. Simple principles in every chapter 3. Easy read 4. Blunt style of Jocko
What i did not like ? 1. Too many military or technical terms (apart from those terms rest of the book is easy read)
2. Not exactly a self help book. It is especially made for people who like war tactics or war stories as every chapter starts with a story involving Jocko or Leif - 90% of the chapter is covered with war stories and 5% with lesson learned from that story and 5% with application of that lesson to business.
3. Book becomes boring after reading two three chapters. So I skipped all the stories and read just the "lesson" and its business application. :D
Conclusion Not exactly a self help book. It provides less principles. You will again more by listening to Jocko podcast. I was expecting something exceptional but book turns out to be just "good" not great. Give it a try, you will learn something different but not much.
The book makes excellent points, but those points could be presented on a few pages. I suspect the busy people at whom this book is aimed would be better off to google 'extreme ownership,' read the high-level topic points, think about how to apply those points in their life, and then save the time and money of buying the book. On the other hand, if you enjoy reading about the 'behind the scenes' of the US military and you're not purely after business self-help, then you'll probably enjoy the book.
A lot of good leadership ideas in this book and I am glad that I purchased in and read it. However it did get a bit repetitive, and the military side was interesting but a bit overdone. I realize that marketing is necessary for promoting this idea, and I understood what the authors were getting at with "extreme ownership", and many of their ideas had a depth that is missing in traditional leadership lessons, but at times the term was overused. It would have been good if the authors attached more fine detail to the concept rather than throwing "extreme ownership" at every situation. However, all in all, it is an excellent book and the authors are onto something. Too bad it takes a war to understand some of the finer details of leadership!
I loved this book. I had first heard of Jocko and Leif from the Jockopodcast, I liked what I heard so I thought I'd buy the book. In the book Jocko and Leif give an account of their experiences from combat in Ramadi as part of SEAL team 3 task unit bruiser, they then explain the principle of the lesson learned and translate that into how it can be applied to the civillian world. Its well laid out, clear and concise.
Wer schon mal Führungsaufgaben in kleineren oder auch größeren Gruppen übernehmen durfte kennt die Situation:
Man hat mitunter sehr viel Zeit in die Planung einer Stunde, eines Seminars, Kurses o.ä. investiert, nur um mit Erschrecken festzustellen, dass vieles, wenn nicht alles, nicht so läuft wie ursprünglich antizipiert... Dinge, die auch der Weitsichtigste nicht vorhersehen kann, wenn er nicht gerade Nostradamus heißt. Dinge, die sich schlicht der Kontrolle eines einzelnen kleinen Individuums mit seinem begrenzten Horizont entziehen.
Nun wäre es ein leichtes dieses etwaige Versagen auf die äußeren Umstände zu schieben. Die Schuld und Verantwortung von sich zu weisen. Was kann ich schon dafür, dass es regnet/ der Beamer nicht funktioniert/ die mir Anvertrauten einen schlechten Tag haben?
Hier Jocko's Ansatz (in a nutshell): Weg von der Schuldzuweisung an äußere Umstände. Hin zur VÖLLIGEN Verantwortungsübernahme. Und ja, auch der Dinge und Phänomene die ich nicht in der Hand habe. Denn dies verändert meine Perspektive entscheidend! Es setzt den Fokus auf rationale (nicht emotionale), konstruktive Reflexion und die Fragen: Was habe ich nicht bedacht? Was kann ich besser machen? Was ist Plan B?
Man ist nicht länger gefangen in der Endlosschleife des Selbstmitleids und der Suche nach dem/der Schuldigen. Stattdessen sieht man die "Niederlage" als eine Lerngelegenheit, an der man wachsen darf! Nur wer vollends die Verantwortung übernimmt, kann auch etwas verändern.
Jockos Antwort auf schlechte Neuigkeiten: "Good!" (denn "Probleme" sind Möglichkeiten sich weiterzuentwickeln...)
A fascinating read and some real ah-ha moments in here. I would recommend it to anyone who has responsibility for anyone else, no matter how big or small you perceive your role to be. The impact you can have on others and the way you think can go up a notch or two with this book. Brilliant! I have already bought another copy and passed it on to a young leader!