A 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, Iraq, I clearly see why he now advises the world’s top corporations on success and leadership.
We can all recite the clichés 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 clichés seem strangely inadequate. Jocko’s expertise comes from his understanding of human psychology, and the complexity of everyday relationships.
In war, human nature 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 employees 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.
We also talked about his time as a Navy SEAL and what makes a good SEAL. We dove deep into his first deployment and what it’s like going into battle. Specifically the fear being shot or killed. What Jocko Willink has seen and experienced is intense and unthinkable for civilians.
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.
I loved talking to Jocko. I know you’re going to be blown away by this incredible conversation with him.
Join us as we discuss:
- General Petraeus, Lieutenant H R McMaster, and Colonel Sean MacFarland
- Mark Lee, Mike Monsoor, and Ryan Job
- Naval Amphibious Base Coronado, BUD/S, and Live-fire Action Drills
- Iraq War, Battle of Ramadi, and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu
- Counterinsurgency Manual, Tal Afar, Iraq and Compartmentalising
- Sam Harris, Dean Lister, and the Gracie family
- RAF Bomber Command Memorial, Cabinet War Rooms and his Bronze and Silver Star Medal
- Jon Jones, Greg Jackson, and Anthony Pettis
- Conor McGregor, Ido Portal and Sir Winston Churchill