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Jocko Willink – Extreme Ownership

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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51 Comments on "Jocko Willink – Extreme Ownership"

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Initial thoughts, Jocko likes war.


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.


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.


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 🙂


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

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 »

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.


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.


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.


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.


Thank you for this interview. I almost had tears.


Great interview


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.


War, what is it good for? Is not to kill “bad guys”. War, as a basic principle, is for PILAGE, PLUNDER and RAPING OF WOMEN. USA spent 3 000 billion $ in Iraq + the blood price of American soldiers being killed. What did it got out of it? So, WHO GOT PILAGED AND PLUNDERED AND RAPED?


Go fuck yourself you dumb, retarded liberal cock smoker. Triggered? Run to your safe space little bitch.


Taking a look at your twitter feed, and reading your comment, I do not fuckin get you. It’s like someone mashed together a retarded hard-right hick with a jihadi prick.


Thanks. Fantastic interview and insight into an amazing and complex person. Really great. 🙂

Truly fascinating interview. I love how Brian doesn’t take position and explores Jocko’s world and way of seeing things. I have been pretty outspoken against the war in Iraq and tend to filter and judge along those lines. But this interview gives a unique perspective from another human being, seeing things very differently and who has been through very different situations in his life. This interview is so rich in experience and insight. YUM! I believe it is through being willing to really listen to each others stories and suspending judgement that we connect and uncover our shared humanity. We… Read more »

There’s always another side to this story, you should of took it to him ‘Brian’ I’m not buying it. This Cadet an asset to his president & country. Pimping leaders in so creating wars and hatred. Fuck’ a firm hand shake ‘ this guy needs a hug .


Any man or woman that risks his life to stop the rape of 10 year old girls and the murder of innocent people is a hero of mine. War is ugly but necessary to stop evil from spreading. For evil to succeed good men simply just have to do nothing.

John Robinson
Have you read “Sex Trafficking: Inside the Business of Modern Slavery” by Siddharth Kara? Guns and military are not necessarily required to stop this abhorrent ‘trade’. For example, some investors (perhaps unknowingly) direct money into development of european hotels which are actually operated as brothels and explains the above average “returns”. Airlines then put on extra flights to these regions to deliver clients… for profit, no real questions asked. As you say, its not even that good men do nothing, but are perhaps blind in one eye. Interestingly i was reading today in the newspapers that Saudi interest would pull… Read more »
George Meditskos -

This is truly incredible man, who strives to be credible… an insightful person


Iraq for Sale: The War Profiteers, Trailer

John Robinson

Interesting. Ill check that out, though its probably judgmental to asses from a 2 min video, but… i dont know if i’d drive a truck through a war zone for 150 grand…thing about war is its volatility and extreme uncertainty. Safety absolutely can not be guaranteed. It cant even be guaranteed on civilian highways as accidents happen everyday. Interestingly i watched “The Unknown Known” (Errol Morris) a couple of days ago. That was an eye opener.

My study says that ISIS is a funded and trained construct of the CIA and black ops of the US military and government (along with England, France, and the Zionists), as part of the permanent war economy. Most veterans come back having seen the reality that they were being used as tools by the military industrial machine to guard and protect the corporations making obscene amounts of money off of all the death and destruction. Jocko does your love of combat and killing cloud your ability to see how you and your men were being used, or has the brain-washing… Read more »
Your “study” is bullshit and you’re just a dumb antisemitic cunt. I won’t even legitimize you with a reasonable, intelligent reply. You actually believe this man and the thousands of others like him are being “used” by their government to fight wars. Apparently you’re to fuckin stupid to understand the concept of “voluntary service.” Guys like Jocko are there solely because they choose to be and they love what they do, regardless of the politics; another fact which speaks volumes about their character. They don’t fight for their government they fight their brothers by their side. But I’m all too… Read more »
John Robinson
Lots in there. Contentious. Controversial for sure. The Fed Reserve and Bank of England print money. This can be used in a multitude of ways. If you read “Tax Havens How Globalization Really Works” it will become apparent that offshore is “elsewhere” and elsewhere is to intents and purposes the wild west. One might then imagine the “requirement” for doing things “elsewhere”. On the one hand there is regulation and control, on the other freedom and no control. Two extremes. People will select the appropriate jurisdiction to reach their ends. Im sure there are some surprises to be found in… Read more »

Unbelievable episode!

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