Booked Morning Podcast
Summary: One of my favorite quotes in life by Warren Buffet “The best investment you can make, is an investment in your self… The more you learn the more you’ll earn”. And that is exactly the goal I have for this podcast, to continue expanding my life, learning from the best mentors and examples of success in the world, both living and not, through their stories and books to achieve the successful life we ourselves and our families deserve. The Booked morning PODCAST is produced daily for your enjoyment where I Bring you my take aways, gold nuggets, and summaries from some of the best books I read every day. Show notes can be found at www.bookedmorning.com.
We hear it all too often when we turn on the news today, jobs getting shipped out to other countries and millions find themselves out of work. Earlier in the century, during the industrial revolution, work changed dramatically. The high skilled work that dominated the century prior started being replaced by processes and machines. And so came the production line and factory mindset where productions were split into simple processes that even the most unskilled people could do. This drove the cost of labor low and was extremely profitable for companies, but created the problem we have today of people loosing jobs to outsourcing and more and more robots. Even previously thought to outsource proof white collar careers like banking jobs, assistants, stock brokers, analyst, those who just show up and followed instructions are finding their hours cut and having their jobs replaced and outsourced. Best selling author and one of my favorite marketing thought leaders offer us the idea, that to be irreplaceable, we need to be indispensable and remarkable, or what he calls the Linchpin. Seth says “The only way to get what you’re worth is to stand out, to exert indispensable, and to produce interactions that organizations and people care deeply about.” Linchpins don't need a set of instructions, they create opportunities and apply their vision without being told what to do. They humanize and connect their artistic problem solving to their daily work. We all have what it takes to bring this out and become a linchpin, we simply need to fully understand what goes into being a linchpin and start applying it to our works today. Allow me to leave you with this In today’s modern workplace, being a good team member, following instructions and being able to do things that everyone else can makes you very replaceable. The key to succeed and get the best jobs today, we need to become indespensable and be that linchpin for every company. We need to be the catalyst for members of our company, deliver our domain knowledge and contribute generously. Manage complex situation with clear judgements, lead our customers and inspire our staff. We cant allow our lizard brain and fear stop us from getting out of our comfort zone and embracing our inner artist in solving problems. We need to lay our heart on the line and make our work a platform for our art and get things done outstandingly and become an indespensable linchpin.
We all know that some of the most successful brands and individuals, share something in common, and that is their ability to share their message and tell a story. As leaders and entrepreneurs we often wonder how we can get better at story telling. And some of us are even scared of public speaking. Many sucessful people today, who often give inspiring talks once found themselves battling the same jitters of public speaking that most of us do. But we need to realize that storytelling is in our evolutionary DNA. We are here today as a species because of story telling. Imagine our ancestors 400,000 years ago in camp fires passing down stories to the next generations of what we needed to do, from the foods to eat, how to hunt and how to survive. Inspiring storytellers have changed the course of history and made us lead better lives. Business leaders such as Warren Buffet and Richard Branson and political leaders like John F Kennedy and Nelson Mandela are great storytellers who inspired various people. This book by Carmine Gallo is dedicated to featuring 50 visionaries who have mastered the art of storytelling. We learn to tell our story persuasively and achieve our dreams. People from different walks of life – business, entertainment, and politics use stories to put their point across. Carmine says, ”Storytelling is the act of framing an idea as a narrative to inform, illuminate, and inspire.” It teaches us that a good story can explain an idea but a great story, educates, entertains, inspires, and even launches movements. The author has interestingly and effectively divided each chapter into three sections. The featured storyteller, a complete guide on how to apply the tools and also the storytellers secret. Whether it's our goal to pitch a business idea, ace a job interview, build a company, improve our teamwork, give a presentation. Storytelling can be our unique competitive advantage. Mark Burnett left the UK to come to Los Angeles with only $200 in his pockets. To make ends meet, he hung t-shirts on fences in Venice beach and sold them. But he had a skill for telling stories which he parlayed to become one of the most successful executive producers on TV with shows like Survivor, Apprentice , The Voice and Shark Tank. Allow me to leave you with this final thought To become a great story teller. We need to sharpen our presentation skills through practice and be passionate and inspired about our own ideas. Illustrate our stories by Introducing heroes in our stories who overcome hardships and learn valuable lessons. Build our stories with the rule of 3 in mind, Use pictures and make our story not only readable but compelling and memorable. Share stories to strengthen our organization and teams culture, and use metaphors and analogies to communicate our difficult concepts. Great stories, move us to change the world. It’s time that we take our place in history and become among its greatest story tellers.
In our business, workplace and in life, we all experience the tough times or the squeeze of the bad economy. I found this very relevant to my work, being the head of marketing for a brand and also my own ventures. When these times come, it's important that we are on the top of our career or business, because this presents us with major advantages to dominate our market. It's very dangerous not to be number 1. If you’ve listened to my review on Grant Cardone’s 10X rule, read his books or listened to him speak, you know he is a no nonsense guy and not only talks but walks the walk. Grant Cardone is a well-known business speaker and sales guru. He shares with us his specific process and actions he took and we should too, to move us from where we are now to the front of our field, regardless of our products and services. My favorite excerpt from the book is this. "Your Success is not limited by the economy; it’s only limited by the people you know and the amount of interest you can generate in your products and services." My final key takeaway is The most important skill needed to advance and conquer. We all need to learn how to sell. We can plan and organize until we are blue in the face, but if we can’t sell our products, what does it matter how organized you are? Let's not kid ourselves and think that there is a line of people waiting for our products, We actually need to work and generate interest, sell our products and services and close the deal. The most needed and protected people in the workforce are those who can sell and bring in the money. We need to realize that There is no shortage of money, but there is a great shortage of people who are willing to take action and follow-through.
When we think of millionaires, we typically think of those we see on TV or instafamous driving nice cars, Hollywood Hill mansions, flashing wads of cash and blowing their money on parties. Last week we talked about the book about Billionaires, I know that most of us will not be able to achieve that. So I wanted to do a book about millionaires, how that can be realistically achieved. What we may not realize is that many of today's millionaires living below their means, save and budget their income and spend wisely. They main concept of The Millionaire Next Door book is that our societies concept of a millionaire is based on false assumptions and that most actual millionaires live a very simple lifestyle. Most of us, when we expect to get a tax refund, get a nice commission or bonus check, we are already planning what to do with it before we even receive it. The authors suggest, sticking to some basic money habits and we too can be on our way to becoming a millionaire. The authors Thomas and William were obsessed with studying the wealthy, or as they call them “affluent”. And what they found was 7 key traits of most of the millionaires they studied. Allow me to leave you with my final thoughts. We need to realize that our dream of accumulating wealth is not a pipe dream reserved for a few, like most of us may think. 80% of the millionaire households are ordinary people who have accumulated their wealth over one generation. The lessons in this book are quite straight forward but a great reminder to us all. We need to manage your finances responsibly, save more and spend less and not take on too much debt that we cannot afford. And being consistent about making smart investments as early as possible to take advantage of compound interest. We all need to find our own balance between denying our selves of what we need an want and over consumption take control of our finances today.
In our study of some of greatest achievers in history, we find that they seem to be smarter, gifted and talented in many ways and appear as though they are just flat out geniuses. What may surprise us is that we have the same potential as those geniuses and muses of history. But in todays world full of distraction and immediate gratification, we limit our opportunities to grow and develop. The key to our greatest potential and highest level of achievement comes from Mastery. But it has become very rare. Most of us want to achieve success superficially, with low level of work and not put in the hard work and don’t appreciate the process. Mastery takes great effort, passion and persistence and very often requires us to break through obstacles and even sometimes earn the animosity of our peers. But most people lack the work ethic and the willingness to really invest in themselves and get stuck in the mire of mediocrity. Multi Best Selling Author, Robert Greene reveals that Mastery wont be easy, but is extremely fulfilling and a worthwhile endeavor if we are willing to put in the time, blood, sweat, effort to mastering our craft. Allow me to leave you with this. In order to achieve the level of success in our lives to that of the Einteins, Mozarts, Darwins, the Ben Franklins of the world. We need to start by finding our true calling or our life’s task. Then apprentice to acquire the necessary skills to master our life’s task, where we learn the rules and the necessary skills. Where we show up, shut up, and take notes. Then Follow what our mentors teach religiously and not stray from it until we reach the next stage. Next in stage comes in the so called creative/active phase. This is when we practice what we’ve learned during our apprenticeship and make additional connections. We get to see the bigger picture and develop our own unique style, our own way of executing our craft like no one else. Then, after we've invested 10,000 or more hours and years worth of learning and practice, we achieve the holy grail of our lives… and that is mastery.
Early on in our lives and in school, we have been taught that to succeed, we must be competitive against others. On our journey to achieving our goals in life, we often come across individuals who seem to only care about themselves. Wether it may be family, friends, coworkers, bosses or even employees, there are those who completely brush off the needs of those around them. They seem to only care about money, status and being admired by others. They often promote themselves and focus on “I” rather than “WE”. We all know that to really succeed, it takes interacting with others. We all know the power of Reciprocity, Gary Vaynerchuk, built his wine empire into a 60 million dollar business by helping people. But there are different reciprocity styles that we employ in our careers or businesses, Adam found that most of us operate as givers, matchers or takers. Let us First learn a quick Breakdown Of Adam's 3 reciprocity styles 1.Takers They are those who focus on getting more for them than they give. Their taking mindsets either makes them uber careful so they don't get taken advantage of or cut through so they can get as much as possible from others by any means necessary. They say “If I don’t look out for myself, no one else will.” 2.Matchers Are those who believe in quid pro quo. They operate on the principle of fairness. When they do favors, they expect a favor of equal value later on. On the receiving end, they feel indebted to those who did them good. They say “I’ll do it if I’m pretty sure I will get something in return.” 3.Givers Are those who are "other-focused." They don't weigh the pros and cons of others. Instead, they give without keeping score. Simply put, givers seek to enrich the lives of the people they interact with. As Grant writes, "If you're a giver [...] you simply strive to be generous in sharing your time, energy, knowledge, skills, ideas, and connections with other people who can benefit from them." They believe “I’m happy to share my time and energy with those who can benefit.” Allow me to leave you with this final thought. Lets remember that People fit into one of three reciprocity styles. Givers like to give more than they get, paying attention to what others need. Takers like to get more than they give, seeing the world as a competitive place and primarily looking out for themselves. And matchers balance and give on a quid pro quo basis, willing to exchange favors but careful about not being exploited. - adopt a giving attitude. If this isn’t your natural orientation, start with small giving behaviors to people you care about. - ask in every interaction, how can I help you? - make your giving reputation known – this will increase reception by people approaching you, no matter which of 3 stances they belong to. - to avoid burnout from giving, make the impact of people’s work tangible – create customer videos, publicize testimonials and results. - Five-minute favor: if you can help someone within 5 minutes, do so. Give honest feedback and make introductions. - giving is contagious - by becoming a Giver, you slowly infuse others with the same collaborative, sharing values. This translates to a lot more for everyone in the long run.
Being a millionaire today is no longer what it was years ago. If you find the right high paying job or build your skills and stay long enough in the workforce, most of us will earn a million in our work life. But have you ever considered becoming a billionaire? That might sound far fetched, but why not aim for a goal high enough that would alter entire generations. Often when talking about Billionaires, we think of old money like the Rockefellers, Vanderbilts, and even Waltons, or tech wiz kids. But did you know that 2/3 of today’s billionaires are self-made and not from inheritance? So what do self-made billionaires have that create such massive value? Amazon’s description of this book says. “John Sviokla and Mitch Cohen decided to look more closely at self-made billionaires because creating $1 billion or more in value is an incredible feat. Drawing on extensive research and interviews, the authors concluded that many of the myths perpetuated about billionaires are simply not true. These billionaires aren’t necessarily smarter, harder working, or luckier than their peers. They aren’t all prodigies, crossing the billionaire finish line in their twenties. Nor, most of the time, do they create something brand-new: More than 80 percent of the billionaires in the research sample earned their billions in highly competitive industries.” So let's first talk about Myths of Self-Made Billionaires: We often think of Young Age, but 70% of today’s self-made billionaires happened after that age of 30 and nearly 40% were older than 40. We also think of the Tech Industry, but less than 20% came from tech, with other industries such as finance, consumer products, oil and gas, apparel, food and beverages, publishing, printing, entertainment, hotels and real estate. Often we think of Blue ocean, but more than 80% of these Self-Made Billionaires earn their millions in highly competitive, red oceans. Such as Red Bull, Spanx, and Amazon. We also often think , they just got lucky. But data shows luck alone does not explain it. 90% of self-made billionaires are not one trick ponies, they have started up multiple successful companies. Slave labor you say? A large number of billionaires have promised to give away more than half of their net worth. And finally we think of overnight success stories. It's important to note that 50% started working before 18. 30% were hit by the entrepreneur bug bug before age 22 and 75% before age 30. And 75% were raised in the middle class or higher level households. So lets dive into why exactly do Billionaires Succeed Jon and Mitch label a majority of those who can succeed within the constraints of organizations or established systems, as performers. Billionaires, on the other hand, are producers. “They envision something new,” they explain, “bring together the people and the resources to create it and sell it to customers who didn’t know they needed it.” Allow me to leave you with this final thought. The billionaires of our world thrive when presented with complexities because of their ability to practice dual thinking. When we train and dedicate ourselves, we will also be able to develop and increase our working memories and be able to do some extraordinary things. Self-made billionaries combine, ideas and actions that most of us keep separate. We need to undertand that billion dollar ideas are a combination of Empathetic Insights and imagination that allow us to see what customers want and need and the imagination to come up with ideas to bring them into fruition. And finally, we need to build our skills or find performer partners to build the foundation for our billion dollar ideas to flourish, and have the patience to wait for the right timing for our ideas and then push to act on them when we see the opportunities are ripe.
Our careers today have become more demanding than ever before. We have access to information in real time. In my line of marketing work, leading a global brand presence, it is important for me to be able to take in data from the world, both positive and negative and make intelligent decisions to move us towards our goals. In order to not only survive but thrive and succeed in todays overwhelming work life, and still feel the energy and accomplishment to spend our time with our families or our other passions. We need to understand how to optimize the way we use our brain. David Rock is amazing because he is able to take such a complex concept such as how our brain works and make it accessible for us to understand. This book is told in Acts like a play where he tells the story of a couple living their life with the wrong point of view and then tells us with the understanding of how the brain works, they are able to affect their lives positively. We follow the day to day life of Emily and Paul, a married couple with two teenage kids. We see how they react to the normal stresses and occurences in life. Emily is promoted as an exec of an event planning company and deals with a variety of stresses that come with her new promotions, that add to her normal day to day stresses in an information driven world. We see her jumping in to her emails, meetings, being thrown into unfamiliar situations and working with her team members, Paul on the other hand is a software consultant who tries to handle everything, clients, suppliers, budgets and pitches. We see his pain and he try to weave his way in the world and keep his business running. We learn in the book that even with all the advances in technology, our brains remain the greatest business asset to any team or workplace. But the secret to efficient and productive performance is to first understand how we think and improve at directing the way we think instead of just letting our default survival driven brain control our lives. If we truly understand how our brain works in detail, then we will be enabled to enhance our effeciency and performance at work and at home. David talks about being a director of our stage, which in our brains case, the stage is our Pre Frontal Cortex. And the things we store in our PFC are actors who we need to direct so that they don’t default to their pre evolved settings to our detriment. We all know the concept of a director in the theater, so keeping with the theater theme in the book. “The director” is our ability to take a step back and observe our own mental functions. It helps us develop the ability to alter our mental states and reactions to achieve the best performance that we can. Allow me to leave you with this. It is very common for us today that if we are not performing at our best, we simply have to work harder. But we need to understand that our brain requires more fuel and rewards to function optimally. This is simply because our brains get tired like any other muscle in our body and is very prone to distraction. It gets is rewards from status, certainty and control. We need to remember that the Pre frontal cortex of our brains have a limited capacity to deal with distraction and process the rest of our brain power because it can only work on one thing at a time, so it then defaults us to getting stressed to try to deal with things and thinks we are in danger of getting attacked by a lion, even if its just a small problem. In order for us to perform optimally and eliminate day to day distractions, we need to find out what it takes to have more choices and autonomy in our lives and the most important of all, to train our brain to be able to stop and reflect, change label of situations so that our fight or flight response does not default to flight which causes our stress levels to jump up.
We are all born with gifts and a purpose in life; we are all here to make an impact and a difference in the world. But very often, we lack the confidence, commitment, and the drive to apply ourselves. We question our abilities in life and feel we are just living day by day without any purpose. We need to realize that we have inside us the potential to change the world and touch the lives of those around us. This takes self-mastery, which will allow us to take control of our lives and live up to our full potential, shape our destiny and achieve everything we’ve ever wanted. This is a very special book review for me, as Tony Robbins really touched my life years ago, when I took his course Personal Power, when I was 15 years old. I graduated HS younger than most, and my mom was a single mom and did not have the finances to support my college education. So I started going to college full time and had to work a full time job plus 2 part time so that I could be able help my mom out and go to college. It was a struggle as my classes would often end at 11 and I had to be at work the next morning and take the bus to Downtown LA because I did not yet drive at the time. One late night as I was studying, I had the TV in the background and saw an infomercial by Tony Robbins and I was intrigued by the stories of success that he help touch. So I took the plunge and used by Debit Card with my last money to buy his program. That was the day that changed my life and set me on a journey and help me find my inner power to start my own business in my bed room, failed, started another one, and failed again, and continued getting back up because of the lessons I learned from him and putting my mindset in a position to learn from my mistakes and get back up. I eventually graduated and received Highest Honors and started a full-time job while building my company on the side. So reading this book today, which is pretty hefty at over 500 pages, seems like a summary of all the books I have done in this podcast over the last 47 previous episodes. I have 2 special books lined up for Episode 49 and culmination with Episode 50 which I am very excited to share with you. The lessons in this book has helped me commit my time, even with my busy life with a demanding career and 3 kids with the support of my beautiful and amazing wife. This podcast is a passion project for me, and is my way to be able to inspire others to find their inner power and Awaken their Giant Within. So let's dive into my four main takeaways from this amazing book by Tony. Allow me to leave you with this. We need to understand, that one small decision or change in the way we behave can have a dramatic effect on how we live our life and impact others. To become the person we really want to be in life, we have within us the power to make the change, we just have to recognize our own power. So decide what we want, take the necessary actions to achieve the desire, figure out what isn’t working and change our approach until our desires come to fruition.
Our lives today are consumed with goals, plans and thoughts of wishes and wants in life. We are often a victim of time. Constantly trying to figure out what we need to do tomorrow. Or even dwelling on our past, and regretting what could have been or should have been. How often do we actually enjoy our work? Or do we get caught up thinking about getting things done and meeting deadlines, and not give our self the chance to actually enjoy the process. We get stressed out trying to impress others with our work that it keeps us in a cycle of worry and not be able to perform to our fullest potential. As a father with a very busy life, I sometimes get distracted thinking about tomorrow that it keeps me from enjoying the quality time I am actually spending with my family. I remember listening to a speech by Jeff Bezos, the founder and CEO of Amazon, tell a story when they were a young, up and coming startup, they were packing their orders on the floor, and their knees hurt so bad. And then he came up with an idea, which he felt was the stupid, that they needed Knee pads. One of his employees laughed and said, no we need Packing tables. Which he often credits as brilliant. When he thinks back to those days. He remembers, those long days and weeks as one of the luckiest experiences that had ever happened to him. Not the surge of orders, but the challenges they faced itself, which they learned to accept. He said “It formed a culture of customer service — in every department, every single person in the company — because we had to work with our hands so close to the customers, making sure that those orders went out.” “It really set up a culture that’s served us well, and that is our goal to be earth’s most customer-centric company.” And he did this by being present in the moment for those customers they were serving at the time. That is what the author Spencer Johnson tries to address in this book in a form of a parable. Similar to his other best selling book, which I love, Who moved my cheese. Which I did a review on Episode 4. This book, tells us to live in the present moment. Our past is already done and we can’t redo while our future is hard to predict. The Present is a story about a young man who discovers a way to live. The man didn’t understand life and became bitter and was letting his life unravel. Then a mentor gets him going in the right direction.
Often as parents, leaders, and entrepreneurs, we are afraid of happiness. Or we don’t fully understand it. Because we feel if we become happy, our pursuit of success will change. We think that if we are happy, we will become complacent or not have the hunger to push ourselves to achieve our goals in life and in business. Modern society associates happiness with pleasure, but pleasure is fleeting. This is what Shawn tries to open our eyes on. At a very young age, we are taught to study hard, find a safe secure job and be successful, and then we will find happiness. But every time we achieve something in life, we move the goal post, because of this mindset, tells us to keep pushing forward. This rat race never ends, because we are always in pursuit of happiness that seems unattainable. And when we attain it, we feel temporary pleasure, before the goal is moved again, and the cycle of unhappiness continues. Shawn Achor the author is from Harvard and is one of the world’s leading experts on the connection between happiness and success. What he found in his research was that Figuring out what makes us happy, pursue it and we’ll find happiness and success will follow. His research shows, that happiness is one of the primary tools we can utilize to increase our performance, which helps us move faster toward our goals. He tells us that “Happiness is not the belief that we don't need to change; it's the realization that we can.” We wants us to consider that Happiness is the joy we feel in striving after our potential. He offers seven (7) principles to help us to do just that. So lets dive right in. Allow me to leave you with this final thought Success does not equal happiness. On the contrary, our success, depends on our level of happiness. It starts in our brain, and radiates outwards and jumps to another person, then to a group, a community, and beyond. While the investments in happiness can be small, the dividends of happiness are enormous. Discovering happiness does not mean big changes in our lives, in fact, all we have to do is adjust our mindset, and notice positive things that are there already there and build on that to start living a more positive and happy life.
As entrepreneurs and leaders in organizations, we come up or are presented with many great ideas. We’ve all had those products, or business startup that we sank our time, money in and ended up being a black hole, draining our motivation, resources and more importantly our time. Eric says “A startup is a human institution designed to create a new product or service under conditions of extreme uncertainty.” ― Eric Ries, Imagine if there was a way for you to semi-scientifically avoid that, and find a sustainable business model and a product that our target audience clamors for. That is exactly what Eric Ries presents in this book. He came up with this, through his own personal struggle in a Start up. In 2004, he was a part of a Startup called IMVUm which was a 3D social communication platform to chat and meet other people. Being a part of the founding team and was its CTO, they all believed their idea. They spent almost a year developing their platforms. They integrated all know communication and popular chat engines of the time. They put their heart and soul into building all the best features they could think of in their platform. And were excited to launch. When they did, to their surprise. CRICKETS were what they found. Very few were interested in their platform. And they were demoralized. I am sure we would be too if we experienced this. So they then talked to their customers and found that their main assumption of integrating exisiting social chat platforms was completely wrong. Users preferred a whole new platform and did not want to use their existing chat networks. If they knew this ahead of time, they would not have wasted time building all those features and focused on what their target audience really wanted. That is how the Lean Startup Methodology was born. Today IMVU is the #1 avatar social community in the world with millions of users. Allow me to leave you with this final thought As entrepreneurs, we often rely on our guts and intuition for our businesses, but we should consider utilizing The lean Startup methodology to test the core assumptions of our product or business. Our goal should be to develop a viable business model based on validated and actionable metrics, instead of solely relying on our guts. We should employ the build, measure and learn loop in order to put our ideas to the test. This will allow us to test and validate our ideas as fast and as often as possible to know when to pivot or persevere. By applying the Lean Startup Framework, we can ensure viability, profitability and create a growth engine we can semi-scientifically bank on before sinking our entire life on an idea that may or may not work.
Today’s modern life is a constant battlefield. We fight with ourselves to extract the best versions of ourselves, we compete with others in business for market share, we are constantly problem-solving in order to be successful. Sun Tzu advised the King of the state of Wu, Ho Lu, and eventually becoming his most trusted military strategist and general. Using psychology, deceit, strategy, and diplomacy, he developed these principles of warfare that we can learn from today. It could be our war on procrastination, unhealthy habits, the war against complacency and even a war against our own mind. We need to understand that everything we do to achieve a positive change is a constant battle or war. One of my favorite quotes from this book is this. “If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.” ― Sun Tzu The lessons of this book talks to us about the universal laws of war and its how we can apply these strategies to our modern life that will what I took away from the lessons So let's dive into my key takeaways. My favorite quote from Sun Tzu is this. The art of war teaches us to rely not on the likelihood of the enemy's not coming, but on our own readiness to receive him; not on the chance of his not attacking, but rather on the fact that we have made our position unassailable. Allow me to leave you with this. We can apply the lessons taught by Sun Tzu in our business and in everyday life, in order to win our modern wars today. We need to understand that meticulous planning and preparing is critical. To be the best leaders or generals, we need to choose to fight only when we know we can secure victory for yourself and team and prepare when we are not ready to fight. We need to be observant, resourceful and adaptable in our strategies to overcome obstacles. And impose our will on our enemies, irritate him to drive him to make fatal errors so that we can use our weapons and information to overcome him, even if this enemy is our own self.
Whenever we hear about the NAVY Seals, what comes to mind, is that they are one of the highest performing teams in the world. Another thing SEALS are well known for is producing great leaders. I remember when I was young, watching, Undersiege with Steven Seagal, playing US Navy Seal Captain Casey Ryback. Even if that was fictional, I had been fascinated and admired SEALS in their determination and character to lead and win and to sacrifice themselves for their team. Yesterday’s book review “Leaders Eat Last”. I felt was the right lead into this book. Focusing on the Marine Officers lesson of leaders sacrificing themselves. Today’s book, focuses on extreme responsibility or 100%, not 95 or 99. 100% responsibility. The two authors, Jocko Wilink and Leif Babin, both decorated combat vets who fought in one of the toughest war zone of the 21st century, in Ramadi Iraq. By using their experiences as a SEAL leaders, they share lessons that can aid any leader in any role. Jocko wrote in the book that he realized during his 20 years as a SEAL that, "Just as discipline and freedom are opposing forces that must be balanced, leadership requires finding the equilibrium in the dichotomy of many seemingly contradictory qualities between one extreme and another." By being aware of these seeming contradictions, a leader can "more easily balance the opposing forces and lead with maximum effectiveness." There are so many lessons and inspiring stories in the book, but let us focus on my main take aways and lessons from Jocko and Leif. So lets dive in. The Dichotomy of Sucessful Leadership presented in the book. Leadership requires a balance between seemingly opposite traits: - We Must lead but also be able to follow, its important that we put aside our ego to follow better ideas and those who take charge. - Remain Calm, but not robotic.We need to be Logical but not devoid of emotions. Team members must know we care. Leaders who lose temper, also lose respect. People do not follow robots. - We Must be Brave but not reckless. We must Mitigate risks that can be controlled. - Be Aggressive but not overbearing. Courageous but not foolhardy. Strong but also with physical and mental endurance. - Close with subordinates but not too close. Know our people and their motivations. But not so close than one member becomes more important than another, more important than the mission. - Confident but never cocky. Confidence is contagious. Overconfidence causes complacency and arrogance. - Have a competitive spirit but also be a gracious loser. Push our team to perform at the highest levels but never put their own drive for personal success above mission success. - Attentive to details but not obsessed by them. A good leader does not get bogged down in the minutia of a tactical problem at the expense of strategic success. - Quiet but not silent. We are expected to Speak up when it matters. - Humble but not passive. Act with professionalism and recognize others for their contributions. The leader is in charge. Able to execute extreme ownership while exercising de-centralized command. - Finally, Exercise Extreme Ownership. Recognize limitations. Admit mistakes and take ownership of mistakes.
Have you ever wondered why in our society, there are people who wield more authority than others, and some of us that follow them, even to our detriment? There are those people who run towards danger to serve and protect others, sometimes without regard to their own well-being. Simon Sinek the author, while working as a consultant with the US Marine Corp, posed this very question to a Marine General, when Major William Swenson received the Medal Honor, the highest honor given to those who distinguished themselves with acts of gallantry and selfless service for the country. He wanted to figure out why some individuals, had that selfless determination, to lead and save others. The general said, our "officers eat last. " Eat Last meant - Leaders, sacrificing themselves for others. We all know the story of the 300 Spartans lead by King Leonidas. Sparta a relatively small city state was a “warrior society”, they had a small army, but were among the most feared in the ancient world, because of their courage and discipline. They also had this very strict custom from the lowest rank to the king that losing a sword or helmet was acceptable. But, reserved their toughest punishment, which was to lose their Spartan citizenship, which was their most prized possesion, to those who lost their Shield, because it meant, they would not be able to protect the man to their left or to their right. Spartan mothers would popularly say. , "Come back with your shield - or on it”. Simon drives home the idea that an organization is only as strong as the trust its team hold for each other. To relate this to today’s modern society, Simon shares why some people hate their work and why some people love it. And he finds that work satisfaction is directly related to the culture that we, leaders establish. As a leader, we must not be too concerned about our title and importance, we must focus on making our organizations culture, a place where our team members feel safe and belong, he introduces us, the concept of the Circle of Safety, which empowers our teams to grow, learn and become real contributing assets to the organization. We are informed that true leadership – is the ability to infuse those who we lead, with an unshakeable trust in our intentions. Giving them zero reasons to believe we have anything than their best interests in mind. So let's dive deep into some of the roots of human biology and psychology to find out what make us great leaders.