Leadership rules from American special forces

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5 Leadership Rules from American Special Forces Jocko Willinka and Leif Babin. Ideas from their new book, The Dichotomy of Leadership.

No matter how you care for your people, you must fulfill the mission

This is the most difficult and painful contradiction. The leader must take care of each member of the team, while at the same time accepting the risks associated with fulfilling the mission. This means that any of his subordinates is exposed to these inevitable risks, and the leader takes full responsibility for this, no matter how his soul aches for his people.

The leader must find a balance between complete control and complete freedom.

The style in which the leader tries to control the actions of each subordinate is called micromanagement. People quickly get used to the fact that they need an order from above to act, they lose initiative and creative enthusiasm. They become mindless automata, going where they are told. Willink believes that instead of controlling each step, the leader should explain the team’s mission and discuss the role of each in that mission.

The leader needs to know when to insist on following the rules and when to give the team room to maneuver.

In the main things, high standards must be set and adhered to. But if there are little things that are not strategically important, you should not show excessive authority and inflexibility and insist on your own. You should insist on priority things, you can give a little slack on insignificant ones.

If the lagging team members fail despite their best efforts, then it’s time to let them go.

A leader must mentor, teach, and help the laggard. But if he concentrates all his efforts on one person, it will come at the expense of other team members, and the whole team will suffer. The leader, taking care of each member of the team separately, should not forget about the team as a whole and its mission.

Training should be hard, but not exhausting the team

Coaching identifies leaders and prepares them. But when they are too difficult, it breaks the team and hinders its growth. This dichotomy must be remembered and a balance must be struck: let the training be difficult, but built wisely. Learning must simulate real-world problems and put pressure on decision-makers.

Do you want to become a strong leader, resistant to any trials and vicissitudes of fate? Then read on! These are the key ideas of the world super-bestseller “The Dichotomy of Leadership” by former SEALs Joko Willinka and Leif Babin.

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