How to Be a Great Leader

Four Principles of Leadership used by U.S Navy Seals

If you want to be a successful entrepreneur, leadership is amongst the most important skills that you must master. A strong leader makes the difference between success and failure.

Having a great idea or an innovative product is not enough to build a great business if you are unable to inspire and guide the way of the people that work with you. Without the leadership of men like Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Tony Hsieh, and Jeff Bezos, you probably would not have heard of Apple, Microsoft, Zappos or Amazon.

Here are four principles that you can follow to become a great leader, taken from the lessons taught by U.S. Navy Seals Jocko Willink and Leif Babin.

1. Extreme Ownership

When things go wrong, a true leader does not blame others or looks for excuses. He takes full responsibility for the outcome. A leader takes extreme ownership of everything that happens within his team. If someone is under-performing in the team, the leader must mentor him. A leader must put aside his ego and be open to criticism and commentaries. This attitude will inspire others in the team to increase their performance.

leadership quote jocko willink

2. Belief in the Mission

A leader must not only know what the mission is but also believe in it. Why is it that he is doing what he is doing? Once a leader believes in the purpose of their mission, he must communicate that purpose to the rest of the team. Everyone must understand the why behind their actions and believe in it. If a team has a purpose, the will work extra-hard to achieve it.

3. Decentralized Command

A leader must not attempt to control everything. It is not only impossible but also impractical. He must empower those around him to take responsibilities of their own. It is easier to sub-divide one big group into smaller groups, with one defined leader for each sub-group. Each sub-leader must understand the mission and report to the general leader.

4. Discipline

A disciplined leader makes a disciplined team. Discipline is not about rigidity. It is about consistency and results. The leader must create the right environment for everyone in the team to perform at the highest level possible. He must get to know his team members, and know what drives them. The more disciplined a team is, the freer it is to apply decentralized command.

leadership teams

If you want to learn more about leadership, I highly recommend the book Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win. If you prefer audiobooks, you can also listen to it on audible for free with a 30-day free trial. You can look for more book recommendations in the Recommended Books section.

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