WANTED: Extreme Ownership

By May 3, 2017Books, Business, Finances, Life, Success

Take a brief look at the posts scrolling through your timeline and it won’t take you long to find someone looking to pass the blame. What ever happened to personal responsibility?

Whether it’s government, business or personal finances, our society needs a mega-dose of something called Extreme Ownership.

I get the term “Extreme Ownership” from a book written by U.S. Navy Seals Jocko Willink and Leif Babin called, Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win. I’m a huge fan and I highly recommend you read this book.

Extreme Ownership is the idea that, when a situation or problem occurs, I take personal ownership in correcting, remedying or making it right again. Not someone else. I don’t make excuses, blame others or credit the failure to something I can’t control.

For the U.S. Navy Seals and fellow military personnel who were deep in the heart of Iraq, there was no room for excuses.

From the book:

“As individuals, we often attribute the success of others to luck or circumstances and make excuses for our own failures and the failures of our team. We blame our own poor performance on bad luck, circumstances beyond our control, or poorly performing subordinates–anyone but ourselves. Total responsibility for failure is a difficult thing to accept, and taking ownership when things go wrong requires extraordinary humility and courage. But doing just that is an absolute necessity…”

Today, I saw two examples from both sides of the aisle where people in our government are showing the exact opposite of Extreme Ownership. You can see those here and here.

As a business owner or leader, are you constantly blaming employees when issues arise?

If your personal financial situation isn’t where it should be, whose fault is it?

We need to start turning the pointer finger in the opposite direction and look at ourselves.

Ego is usually the main culprit. I don’t want to look foolish or admit I messed up so I blame someone or something else. But what does that accomplish?


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Think for a moment about someone you know that is a success and always seems to be doing great things. Does that person frequently pass the blame on for the circumstances in their lives?

Not likely.

These are the people who, when an issue arises say, “I’ve got this. This is on me.” or “I’ll make this happen.” These people are inspiring. These are the business leaders whose companies are growing and the individuals who are in great financial positions.

Here’s an example from this past year’s NCAA basketball tournament of Extreme Ownership.

Whether it’s in our government, businesses or personal finances we can all take total responsibility for failures. It’s how you learn and get better.

If you run a business that isn’t where you would like it to be, it’s not your employees.

If you’re not in the financial position you’d like to be in it’s not the economy, your job, your loans, or prices at the store.

It’s you.

I challenge you today to look at your situation and instead of making excuses for why things are the way they are, say, “I’ve got this. This is on me and I’m going to make the changes necessary to move forward.” We need more people who are willing to step up instead of stepping back.

If you’ve read the book Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win, I’d love to hear your thoughts. Just shoot me an email: john@visionwealthpartners.com


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