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Best Books I've Read - Extreme Ownership

Posted by John Posey on September 10, 2020

Are you looking to expand on your infinite wisdom and add some books to your reading list? This is the first post in a series of posts I’m calling, The Best Books I’ve Read. Included is a summary of one of the most enlightening and transformative books I’ve read with links and information on where to find it. And here’s the spoiler – none of the books are specific to investing. If you are looking for some material in that category, check out the Financial Freedom Field Guide.

The following book may challenge the way you’ve been conditioned to think and act in a way that opens your mind to new possibilities you may have never considered. Below I’ve summarized key takeaways but you need to read it for yourself to experience everything the book has to offer which I could never give justice in a summary. What you find could be life-changing. At a minimum, it could give you some gift ideas for a graduation or birthday. I often choose the audiobook versions to listen to on the daily commute which has helped me fit books into my schedule. I hope you find this material as valuable as I have.

Extreme Ownership by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin

What’s it about?:  Leadership, self-improvement, and achieving desired results.

Who’s it for?:  Ages 13 and up. Business owners, managers, teams, and any person who aspires to better themselves.

Extreme Ownership is focused on the topic of leadership and thinking about how we behave and react when faced with adversity. I can’t think of anyone better than ex-Navy Seals and Iraq war veterans, to speak to adversity and leading successful teams and missions. Defining and identifying “good leadership” is subjective as it lies in the eye of the beholder. It’s like defining success or a good haircut – everyone has their own opinion. Other leadership-based books haven’t resonated with me nearly as much as this book has. In summary, there is one overriding principle all leaders need to embrace: you must take absolute, extreme ownership for EVERYTHING. You must accept responsibility for everything that impacts your situation – no excuses. In times of adversity, you always shift the focus from complaining, defending, and playing the blame game to:  What could I have done or what could I do to produce a better or desired outcome? When leaders and teams take extreme ownership, the results can be remarkable.  Next time you catch yourself pointing a finger at someone or a problem (and hopefully not flipping the finger), I challenge you to step back and take an extreme ownership mindset. I have never heard these principles explained and presented as well as Jocko and Leif have. They share real experiences and it is extremely educational, interesting, and engaging. I strongly suggest the audiobook version to get the full experience of Jocko and Leif’s voices telling their stories and sharing their wisdom. If you like this book, you should also read or listen to The Dichotomy of Leadership which is the sequel focused more on the balance you must try to strike when leading to be successful. Also, Jocko has put together a series of children’s books called the Way of the Warrior Kid in addition to the Warrior Kid podcast. My 9-year daughter has read the Warrior Kid books trilogy and loved it. She keeps asking me when the next Warrior Kid book is coming out. The Warrior Kid books are a great way to introduce ways to deal with the challenges all kids face without it coming directly from mom and dad – extremely impactful for anyone with young kids or grandkids.

If Extreme Ownership strikes a chord with you, check out Jocko’s website for more great resources. Do you have a book that made a significant impact in your life? Email me and let me know. I’m always looking to add new material to my reading list.

Advisory services offered through Plains Advisory LLC, an investment adviser registered with the State of Nebraska. Insurance products and services are offered and sold separately through John Posey, a licensed insurance agent. No investment strategy can guarantee a profit or protect against loss in periods of declining values. Opinions expressed are subject to change without notice and are not intended as investment advice or to predict future performance. Past performance does not guarantee future results. Any information provided is designed to provide general information on the subjects covered, it is not, however, intended to provide specific legal, tax, financial or investing advice and cannot be used to avoid tax penalties or to promote, market, or recommend any plan or arrangement. Material presented is believed to be from reliable sources and no representations are made by our firm as to another parties’ informational accuracy or completeness.  All information or ideas provided should be discussed in detail with an advisor, accountant or legal counsel prior to implementation.