Since retiring from the US Navy SEALs in 2010, Jocko Willink has become a hugely popular public figure.
He and his fellow SEAL commander Leif Babin have built a leadership consulting firm, Echelon Front, that has worked with more than 750 businesses and organizations. He also has one of the top leadership podcasts, and he’s a repeat best-selling author.
On first glance, you may take Willink’s gruff exterior and penchant for posting bleak black-and-white photos online to mean that his leadership style is about intimidating your team into submission — that couldn’t be further from the truth.
Instead, his leadership principles are based upon humility and open communication with your reports. We’ve interviewed Willink many times over the past few years, and his anecdotes from both the battlefield and office conference rooms consistently yield clear, actionable insights. We’ve collected some of our favorites here, which together make a handy leadership guide.
When your reports aren’t meeting their goals: How to have difficult conversations for getting underperforming teams back on track
When your ego is bumping into others:How to identify and deal with toxic egos to be a great leader
Why you’re thinking about meetings all wrong:A former Navy SEAL commander says most meetings should be avoided — but if you need to have one, here’s how to structure it for success
How to take charge of a new leadership role: A former Navy SEAL commander has a checklist every new leader should review daily. Here’s his best advice for avoiding ‘imposter syndrome’ and earning respect.
How to build good habits for yourself: A former Navy SEAL commander says you can transform your life with 5 simple choices in the next 24 hours
How to be proactive without being overbearing: Former Navy SEAL commanders who have worked with more than 400 businesses teach leaders to be aggressive — but not in the way most people think
What most people fundamentally misunderstand about leadership:A retired Navy SEAL commander says most people misunderstand the connection between discipline and leadership
Why integrity matters:A retired Navy SEAL commander says he learned one of his biggest leadership lessons through a mutiny