Jocko Willink – Extreme Ownership

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This incredible conversation with the former Navy SEAL and now global leadership adviser Jocko Willink taught me the true meaning of leadership.

After hearing about Jocko’s sobering and terrifying encounters in the battlefields of Ramadi in Iraq, I clearly see why he now advises the world’s top corporations on success and leadership.

We can all recite the cliches of management and corporate leadership, but the reality of putting them into practice puts you into contact with one uncomfortable truth: employees are human beings, not robots.

By nature we want to be the masters of our own destiny, we have our own dreams, we spend our whole lives searching for meaning.

Not only that! As Jocko tells me, WE ARE ALL CRAZY.

So the challenge of any great leader is the ability to inspire those in his or her team to take ownership of their role, to invest their own hearts and minds in your vision.

Hearing it broken down like that makes all the management textbooks and leadership cliches seem strangely inadequate.

Jocko’s expertise comes from his understanding of human psychology, and the complexity of everyday relationships.

Human nature under war conditions reveals itself in technicolour.

Jocko understands that different people work in different ways, and are motivated by their own complex psychology.

So leadership is not about getting people to do what you want them to do. It is about making them WANT to do it.

More than that, it is about getting them to believe that what you want them to do is also a burning desire of their own.

When you treat your employers like human beings, with power and integrity, they will go into battle for you. When you treat them like robots, you will be at war with them.

This is an epic interview, covering so much, from tales of Iraqi war missions to boardroom conflicts.

Jocko is a powerful, experienced soldier, but he is also a kind of therapist and his passion for solving the problems of human relationships is deep.


11:00 Dichotomy of leadership.
12:45 Ability to detach and view a situation.
13:53 Political correctness – is it over?
15:45 BUD/S in San Diego and why become a Navy SEAL?
18:28 What makes a good SEAL?
19:16 First deployment
22:00 Fear of being shot or killed.
23:53 Going into battle – what is it like when it comes?
24:44 In between Iraq deployments..
32:13 Reasons for second deployment in Ramadi.
34:03 Second deployment and a change of strategy.
53:23 Leadership task of taking his men to work with Iraqi soldiers.
59:42 Concept of extreme ownership.
1:02:47 Return home, how do you adjust after such an intense period?
1:03:55 Why did Jocko Willink leave the Navy SEALs in 2010?
1:05:42 Compartmentalising his family and the close bond within a SEAL Platoon and other fighting forces.
1:10:04 Remembering: Mark Lee, Mike Monsoor, Ryan Job.
1:13:42 Perspective when looking at Iraq now, since they pulled out.
1:16:30 ISIS, the fight against and America’s reluctance to participate.
1:23:06 Jocko’s sense of connection to the Iraqi people and his sense of justice and humanity.
1:24:59 New role as Corporation and leadership advisor.
1:29:30 Reward of recognising personality traits and gratification in helping people recognise it and move forward.
1:32:05 Good advice on communication – electronic to in person and visa versa.
1:33:44 How does he compare the higher performance of CEOs and that of Navy SEAL leaders.
1:35:38 Leadership is the same in companies as in the SEALs.
1:41:00 The fire and move analogy. How does that relate to business?
1:44:49 Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Black Belt.
1:48:37 What do you see in Conor McGregor’s mental and creative game?
1:49:48 Success Secrets.
1:50:43 Are people in America and First World countries living in a bubble?
1:52:57 Be cognisant of the real threat to freedom, democracy and humanity.
1:57:09 Great Britain’s warrior culture.
2:00:42 Working with the SAS.
2:01:34 Phone call to the 20 year old Jocko Willink.
2:03:38 Advice to the young man who wants to be a Navy SEAL like him.

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sethwbenson688alteringeye391DonJacobTyler Recent comment authors
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No one cares what you do get to jocko 10 mins wasted on you


The whole interview is so intense!


We can definitely learn much about discipline from Jocko. He walks the walk and talks the talk.


The video is almost impossible to watch. The lag is so bad it screws up synch with audio.


Very intresting interview.No doubt, Jacko Willing belives in what he’s doing,but check on youtube what ABSOLUTE LEGEND-George Carlin sad about war and what exaktly is a purpuse of it… true…On the other hand there is something about this gay that absolutely fascinates me….


hi , thanks , watching from Paris .This talk live me speechless .


Excellent interview! Jocko is a true leader. No BS and authentic. World needs leaders like him.

Kacper Kepa Nadolski

Great interview. But one moment just freezed me. When he said “it would’t be hard” just immediately, then he quickly took that back. Its obvious he would drop the bomb. But he wouldnt say it loud. Im sure he would take that risk and even admit it was he’s idea after all…


What point are you making exactly? Can you clarify?


I guess the most positive thing I took away from this interview was the idea of using the force of your will to make things happen, rather than attempting to plan it. My own thoughts: When I was a kid, and I was really into something, did I plan my approach to it, or did I just dive in? The latter, definitely. Now that doesn’t mean I didn’t set GOALS for myself. I did. But consuming fascination with something is the surest road to mastery.


I completely agree.

sam annagui

Initial thoughts, Jocko likes war.


You obviously didn’t watch past 1:20:00

Martin Laulik

Mixing Iraqi troops with SEALs in the worst battle zones was a STUPID idea. The Iraqis should have been trained up at first and only better units mixed with SEALs. I wonder if the SEALs that got killed or hurt did so because of the upper command making this decision to create this lethal mix of forces. Yes, I understand that the long term goal was to get Iraqis to take on their own security, but this was a bad idea – smells like one of Obama`s, although he was not in charge at that time probably.

Scooter Jenkins

Take notes gents. This is what a real man looks like. The lines are all too blurred these days in this ultra progressive liberal, emasculated, poly-gendered, politically correct, bullshit western world we’re living in. Take hope however, the tide is changing.

Dominic Jones

Jocko Willink said “Don’t try and be like me, be better than me. Crush me.” That is great advice for the up and coming 🙂

Ivo-Ivan Powerlove Yamalieff

No idea how soldiers operate. In the end of the day they are sent to wage war somebody else started and wage war in some particular way, not necessarily in the most logical way. I cannot understand how can you go die or lose a limb for a war a Bush started

Scooter Jenkins

All soldiers have stated that they don’t fight for their governments. They fight and die for the brothers next to them. I don’t know how anyone could support Obama after he gave away what so many Americans died for only to then let ISIS grow.

Scooter Jenkins

All soldiers have stated that they don’t fight for their governments. They fight and die for their brothers next to them. I don’t know how anyone could support Obama after he gave away what so many Americans died for only to then let ISIS grow.

Scooter Jenkins

All soldiers have stated that they don’t fight for their governments. They fight and die for their brothers next to them. I don’t know how anyone could support Obama after he gave away what so many Americans died for only to then let ISIS grow. Bush may may have fucked up by invading Iraq in the first place, but once it was done you just don’t pack up and leave. Obama was warned over and over about that something like an Islamic Caliphate would grow in the vacuum of the absence of U.S. Forces. Even when Obama was briefed over… Read more »

Wade Baskin

I will watch this at least once a month. Huge value beyond inspiration…Helped me immensely! Any true leader should have a good 10 “Ah Ha” moments or more.

Tom McKevitt

Both enjoyed and learned from the interview


Such an inspiration. Every time I get down at work or frustrated about this or that I think of Jocko & other military heroes that have sacrificed so much for us.

Pascalus Magnus

Thank you for this interview. I almost had tears.

Brad Scott

Great interview

Sean Gayle

I learned so much from this interview. I shared thoughts from it several times during the past couple weeks before being able to see the whole thing. What especially caught me is Jocko explaining that war exposed him to so many human emotions in high intensity and speed that it makes it that much easier to read people in a somewhat colder and slower (compared to war) business environment, in the end it’s all about people their mind and emotions that you’re dealing with. One of my favorite interviews.