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Navy SEALs Share 5 Things Great Leaders Do


As Americans celebrate the 4th of July, many across the country remember those who serve and pray for those who are currently fighting on the ground.

According to a Forbes article former Navy SEALs and co-authors of the book Extreme Ownership, Jocko Willink and Leif Babin discuss good leaders that can build a great team. 

Babin spent time teaching the junior officer leadership training course and fill in as the Officer in Charge during hell week.

Hell week lasts five and half days and is considered the defining event of training before SEAL operational training where they also must last on fewer than four hours of sleep.

Leadership is vital in the SEAL teams, and Babin and Willkin provide an example of correct leadership in their book

In one instance during hell week, instructors were noticing that one crew was consistently winning every race while the other was losing.

The losing crew soon fell apart as the leader blamed the crew members while the crew blamed each other. The bickering caused the leader and the team to give up hope on winning. 

The instructors decided to switch training groups. The losing leader went to guide the winning team, and the winning leader went to teach the losing team.

The result? The formerly losing team started winning and the winning team started losing. 

The role reversal showed that the leader with the driven mentality was able to create a winning team. He knew how to win. 

There are five things behind a great leader: 

  1. Set and Achieve Goals
    The leader in any business or profession needs to have ownership over many areas, including people, products, services, finances, competition and their marketplace. Not all of these hats are worn directly by the leader, but the success is dependent upon them. 
  2. Solve Problems and Make Decisions 
    Relying on the team is vital. Without a team there is no leadership and therefore no goal can be obtained. 
  3. Prioritize and Stay Focused 
    This is imperative for winning. Delegating resources at the right time for the greatest impact is key.
    "If there are five top priorities, there are really none," explained Willink and Babin.
  4. Believe and Inspire Others to Believe 
    If the leader does not believe in the mission, the team won't. A leader must share his vision and consistently communicate this to the team so they will believe in the direction as well.
  5. Perform and Get Results 
    Although many leadership books discuss character traits of a great leader, it comes down to being effective or ineffective. Either the mission is accomplished or it is not. 


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