Should You Read Extreme Ownership? An Eclectic Review

Extreme Ownership:
How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win
-by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin

Extreme ownership is a book written and narrated by two former navy seal commanders to translate battlefield leadership lessons to everyday life. It contains many lessons about what leadership is and how to apply it and is a must-read for anyone seeking personal growth or a new outlook on how to be a more effective leader.

My Rating


My summary

The core lesson of the book is in ownership, Taken to an extreme degree. You are shown how to adopt a mindset of being responsible for anything you could have an impact on as the book goes through both everyday and life and death scenarios for each concept. Thus, illustrating the importance ownership plays in all aspects of a task and preparation for it.

Overall this book is a mixture of an action novel, a slice of life comedy, and life coaching all wrapped up into one book you can take on in one or two reading sessions. That is if you can avoid re-reading chapters to learn more about the concepts described.

The books greatest strength

The greatest thing about this book is how direct comparisons are drawn between the leadership concepts used in a combat situation versus how to use them in a much broader range of ways in everyday life, particularly in business. 

This comparison allows the reader to gain a deeper understanding of what leadership is and how it can be applied to every day life.

The books largest weakness

The most considerable downside to this book, looking back at it, is that I cannot recommend this book to everyone. This book includes many mature themes, and due to the sometimes graphic nature of the stories being told about live combat some people may have issues getting through this book for various reasons.

The Audiobook

The audiobook is available on audible and was my preferred way to consume this book. It was narrated by the two authors and decorated members of the U.S. armed services Jocko Willink and Leif Babbin.

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The Authors

Jocko Willink and Leif Babbin are retired  U.S. Navy S.E.A.L. officers, co-authors and founders of Echelon Front, a leadership training company. 

They were both members of SEAL Team 3 Task unit Bruiser with Leif serving as a SEAL platoon commander, and Jocko serving as Commander of Task unit bruiser which went on to become the most decorated Special Operations Unit of the Iraq War.

After retiring from armed services they founded Echelon Front, where they primarily provide presentations and leadership training to clients through a lens of ex-military experience.

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