book review: extreme ownership

By Jocko Willink & Leif Babin

OKAY SO. SERIOUSLY. I LOVED THIS BOOK SOOOOOOO MUCH. I found it hard to put down, and so smashing it in a week was inevitable.

Also, as a side note (you probably don't even care haha but hey), as things are starting to pick up and more work is coming in, my reviews are most likely going to be fornightly / monthly, just as I need to divi up my reading time between epic personal development and nutritional biochem/physiology etc. so I can better serve my clients and THE ENTIRE WORLDDDDDD. 

But fuck that for right now, coz this book was epic.


So any tangible insights and lessons. I not only have such an epic enhanced respect for all the men and women who serve their countries and defend our freedom and safety, but reading this just makes me excited to implement and execute on the principles in real life, whether you’re an employee, employer, leader, role model, older sister, son, teacher, whatever. There is so much wisdom and golden nuggets in this book.

Also, as each chapter starts with examples of U.S. SEAL Team Task Unit Bruiser & Charlie Platoon’s missions and experiences serving in the Iraq war, the aspect of story telling and taking you to another world created (for me anyways) a refreshing break from always reading non-fiction, and just created so much magic for me. AND IF JOCKO & LEIF YOU EVER READ THIS, I LOVE AND THANK YOU. 


-       You have to take responsibility and ownership of everything that goes wrong. No more playing the blame game. “The leader must own everything in his or her world. There is no one else to blame. The leader must acknowledge mistakes and admit failures, take ownership of them, and develop a plan to win”. (pg. 30).

e.g If your boss isn’t supporting you team, blame yourself. Not your boss. ‘Examine what you can do better to convey the critical information for decisions to be made and support allocated” (pg. 237).

-       Taking complete ownership =  gaining respect and trust from our teams and those in our lives. (win win bruh). 

-       “...You must remove individual ego and personal agenda. It’s all about the mission. How can you best get your team to most effectively execute the plan in order to accomplish the mission” (pg. 35). 

-       “leaders must always operate with the understanding that they are a a part of something greater than themselves and their own personal interests” (pt. 76-77). And believe in this cause, with unwaiviering confidence.

-       Focus on the immediate goal.

Complete. Then the next immediate goal. This not only, ensures maximum effort and energy is exerted, it also enables us to feel accomplished, build confidence, momentum and can blunt the pain, inertia and procrastination that often overwhelms us when we have a big mission to accomplish. 

-       Following on from this; “determine the highest priority task and execute” (pg. 161) aka prioritize & execute.

-       “Own problems that inhibit performance, and develop solutions to those problems”(pg. 50). And keep these to being simple. Simplicity is key. Less confusion. Less complexity, less chances of compounding into disaster. This also ensures every team member understands the plan, increasing the chances of success, as they “commit to the mission, [and] persevere through the inevitable challenges” (pg. 74)

-       “its not what you preach, its what you tolerate” (pg. 54).

-       “if substandard performance is accepted and no one is held accountable – if there are no consequences - that poor performance becomes the new standard” (pg. 54).  – Leaders must push the standard.

-       “leaders should never be satisfied. They must always strive to improve, and they must build that mindset into the team: (pg. 55). Good leaders identify weaknesses, and seek to strengthen them.

-       Striving for greater performance and standard starts with the individual and spreads to the team, creating a culture of high performance and where everyone is held to the same standards.

-       Leaders “must remain calm and make the best decision possible… Relax, look around, make a call.” (pg. 161). “Don’t try to do everything at once, or you wont be successful” (pg. 165)

-       And when we’re pressed with an order in which we do not understand, we NEED TO ASK WHY. It is the why that enables the full belief, the confidence and a full deploy of energy and efforts to achieve the order.

-       In regards to management “human beings are generally not capable of managing more than 6 – 10 people” (pg. 183). Leaders need to empower and communicate effectively to subordinates, to enable larger teams to function and move as one unit. And to establish junior leaders to be “proactive rather than reactive”. (pg 184.) Enabling junior leaders (in whatever context) ensures us as leaders are able to strategise and see the larger picture, spot holes and ways to improve.

-       “Open conversations build trust. Overcoming stress and challenging environments builds trust. Working through emergencies and seeing how people react builds trust” (pg. 191). 

-       Never assume hazards aren’t waiting for you. Assume they are. And plan for them.  

-       Evaluation of outcomes and performance is key. Constantly analyse, and “implement lessons learned for future missions”. (pg. 106) aka check yoself.

-       “leaders must…act on logic, not emotion” (pg. 253). FEAR = inaction. 

-    We  “must act “decisively amid uncertainty; to make the best decisions [we] can based on only the immediate information available” (pg. 254). and this applies to EVERY DECISION WE MAKE. don't let indecision paralyse you (lol says me)

-       “waiting for the 100% right and certiain solution leads to delay, indecision and an inability to execute” (pg. 255). DON’T PROCRASTINATE OR SIT ON A DECISION. Educated guesses have to happen. None of this “wait and see” mentality. Make the outcome happen.


In regards to time, being disciplined enough to get up when that FIRST alarm goes off (discipline) gives you more free time (freedom) which propels you forward.

-       “a true leader is not intimidated when others step up and take charge”. (pg. 274). Don’t fear being outshined by someone else, that = a lack of self-confidence. We all gon be able to shine. Abundance mindset babies


That’s the end of my love of and review of Extreme Ownership

Get your copy of Extreme Ownership

Peep Jocko's (@jockowollink) TEDx talk below (too good)

xxx E aka TMN aka April's speed reader 


deep dive - it’s not me, its you.

Literally though. (unless, maybe it is you because you're a jerk. but in contexts, it's usually them haha, so jus hear me out)


So, unapologetically i wrote this last week, because there was this crazy reoccurring theme that I kept being confronted with (and no lie, this week was no different either hey). Whether its personally, or friends sharing their experience, or just it being brought up in conversation. This idea of, how others treat you, respond, interact, react, is never on you. It’s always on them.

Newton's third law of physics (essentially says) - for every interaction, there is a reaction.

And most people's reactions are their armours (Brene Brown ya queen). How they deal and interact is based upon their own environment, experiences, habits, limiting beliefs, stories that define them and their upbringing. (and guess what, you are also one of these 'people'!!! haha). 

This can play out in many scenarios. most of which, i'm damn sure you've experienced, and been left over-thinking, replaying, confused, upset and just like "wtf".

Whether it’s a friend who always puts you down, whether directly or indirectly, sneakily, just those little comments that you catch yourself being like “am I really like that?”.

Whether it’s a parent’s comments or lack of support in a decision you’ve made or want to make, that makes you second-guess yourself and think maybe you should do the opposite (theres a time and place though yo).

Whether it’s a boss that loses their shit at you, and makes you feel worthless, guilty and belittled.

Whether it’s a customer that made you feel inadequate and useless.

Whether it’s a lover no longer interested, that makes you replay things in your head and wonder what you did wrong.

And I’m here to tell you, nothing. In all these scenarios, you didn’t do anything wrong. It’s not you. It’s them. 

You’re never not enough.

You’re never worthy of being treated unfairly. It’s always just an insight into their pain, vulnerability, insecurities and lack of self-awareness.

They’re armoured up. They’re standing there, hiding their vulnerability, shame, confusion, and instead, inflict a type of self-pain via you, their outlet, to ease their misalignment.

Inside, they’re not aligned with their purpose, their magic, their why, their soul, whatever you want to name it. They’re not happy. Not content. Not fulfilled. Not abundant. Not thriving. So, the only way to ease the pain, is to dish it out, and make others seem the same, feel the same, so we’re not alone. Which is our human condition. To connect. To not be alone. To relate. So, by these actions, they feel less alone, less insecure, less vulnerable.


It’s often difficult to separate other people’s opinions and perspectives of us, and our own intuitive internal one. I feel as humans we depend on the external to align and reaffirm our internal. We’re constantly in taking cues and signals from the periphery, to the central, to relay information to our brains and keep us safe and in check. And I don’t see why this is any different with other people.


We’re constantly in a feedback loop, and when the people around you, are not aligning with your internal perspective, things can get skewed.

Like our self-worth. Our self-esteem. Our confidence.

And these things are essential arsenals to get through this life of ours. They cause us to either armour up, shut out, or just let ourselves be hurt and confused, OR be thriving millennials.

So I write this, as a reminder that, whether it’s happening to you, has happened, or in preparation for when it does happen. In these times, when you come face to face with these people and situations, where you feel you’re not enough, not worthy, stop. Be aware of this idea. And realise, it’s not you. You are enough. You are worthy. This is not a flaw of yours, but rather a flaw of theirs. And it is to take no impact upon you, your heart, soul, mood, or state. It shall not dim your light, distract you, impact you, it shall pass on through. And all we can wish for, is that these people wake up to their vulnerabilities and flaws, meet them face to face, and progress, self-develop so they too can pass on the message of, it’s not you. It’s them. 

Also, as I sit on my couch, listening to G-Eazy, the nostalgia of remembering how for so long, I was so UNAWARE that it wasn’t me. That I wasn’t the one not worthy. That it’s them. They’re not worthy. Of your energy, friendship, love, effort, apology, and time. And all we can do is see it for what it is, and let is pass through.

And check yourself also. As you're also the them. so be aware.

wake up to the kind of patterns of behaviour you're repeating, based upon your own armour and insecurities.

And sit with it. think about it. and make the conscious choice to go forward separated from this automated behaviour. rewrite your own interface. 

I also feel, as a side note that this message is intended to be consumed by those already on the path of self-awareness. And is encouraged not as to instil a victim mentality, but rather a self-preserving idea. That this concept, doesn't really apply to those situations where you're indeed, being an asshole, and it is, indeed your fault. haha

One love

E aka TMN aka check yoself before you wreck yoself