Extreme Ownership

How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win

Book cover


Authors: Jocko Willink, Leif Babin
Publisher: St. Martin’s Publishing Group
Year: 2017
Pages: 322
Identifiers: 1250183863, 9781250183866
Links: Goodreads, Google, Learnerbly


From Jocko Wilnick, the New York Times best selling author of Discipline Equals Freedom and Leadership Strategy and Tactics, an updated edition of the blockbuster bestselling leadership book that took America and the world by storm, two U.S. Navy SEAL officers who led the most highly decorated special forces unit of the Iraq War demonstrate how to apply powerful leadership principles from the battlefield to business and life. Now with an excerpt from the authors' new book, THE DICHOTOMY OF LEADERSHIP.

Since it’s release in October 2015, Extreme Ownership has revolutionized leadership development and set a new standard for literature on the subject. Required reading for many of the most successful organizations, it has become an integral part of the official leadership training programs for scores of business teams, military units, and first responders. Detailing the resilient mindset and total focus principles that enable SEAL units to accomplish the most difficult combat missions, Extreme Ownership demonstrates how to apply them to any team or organization, in any leadership environment. A compelling narrative with powerful instruction and direct application, Extreme Ownership challenges leaders everywhere to fulfill their ultimate purpose: lead and win.

Review (2021)

This book will like be highly influential to how I approach leadership challenges as I step into more and more of a managerial and leadership role within my professional career. Reading the chapters in this book, I found that I’ve already adopted many of these principles in my own leadership style, but the way they are laid out here provides an effective and engaging overview of these topics and something of a framework for others to adopt.

It also made me realize that as my responsibilities and workload have increased tenfold over the past two and a half years, I’ve failed to uphold some of these consistently. For example, when I joined Castor initially, I took “Extreme Ownership” over everything I did and I was very conscious to consider any failings in my sphere of influence as personal failings. But as my team has grown and the size of our infrastructure has expanded rapidly, I’ve gotten lax about owning everything I say and do in that area.

Out of the entire book, the first two chapters were probably the most insightful to me, challenging my views more than the other chapters did and reminding me of my own behavior and practices that let me rise successfully in a fast-growing startup.

That being said, this is a book written by men in a position of authority, proven in a largely male-dominated environment. While I would recommend reading this to everyone, I strongly suspect that if women or people in minority groups were to follow these same practices, this could hinder rather than help their careers.