Daily Thoughts

Leadership lessons: We must own our problems

A weak leader blames, they find every excuse as to why, why it was not them who is responsible for what has happened. A weak leader thinks only with their ego, in fact, the person I describe is not a leader at all.

Because to lead is to take responsibility, to own it no matter the cost.

A philosophy that I often refer to is that of Extreme Ownership.

Extreme Ownership is a leadership philosophy taken from the battlefield via two Navy Seals and translated directly to modern day business and life experiences.

The essence of Extreme Ownership: There is no one else to blame; you must own problems along with solutions; commit to lead up and down the chain of command.

That for me is what a leader should be. They own the problems of the team, create solutions and do not blame. Those who do not do this are not leaders at all.

So think about this next time you look to the person who is supposed to be a leader. Do they exhibit these traits, do they take extreme ownership when things don’t go to plan? if not, then you might just want to consider if this is the type of person you wish to work alongside.

The same can be said of your own leadership style. What type of leader do you want to be? will you be crippled by ego and blame everyone else but yourself or will you take extreme ownership of all situations?.

A true leader takes an approach and cultivates the environment for success by focusing on these 4 areas:

Cover + Move

  • There are no enemies in the team
  • If the team fails, everyone fails
  • Relationships are the key


  • If people don’t understand, they can’t execute.
  • Communication must be clear, simple and concise

Prioritise + Execute

  • You must detach from the situation
  • Relax, look around, make a call

Decentralised Command

  • Everyone leads
  • Everyone must understand not just what they are doing but why.

Follow these principles and you might just be the leader that people deserve.

You find out more about Extreme Ownership, and the work of Jocko Willink + Leif Babin by visiting Echelon Front (their consultancy) and/or by picking up a copy of their book titled Extreme Ownership.

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