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Extreme Ownership


The book Extreme Ownership, ISBN 978-1250270962, by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin is available as paperback, ebook or as audiobook. I recommend listening to the audiobook, since the book is read by the authors.

I read, or better listened to the book Extreme Ownership years ago. That was during the time I worked as a lead architect for a customer. I applied the principles to my work and got good results. Although it is hard on oneself not to be able to blame others, if failures occur, it leads to better results of one’s own work. During the Corona lockdown in Q1/Q2 2020, I listened to the book again.

Extreme Ownership is first and foremost a change in perspective and attitude. It changes the mindset to a more constructive one where one can realize that he has influence and some degree of control over almost every factor. If you have a bad boss, then lead up the chain of command. If the communication does not work, go ahead and change it. If the other team does not do what you want, then influence that team until you can both work together to acomplish the goal.

The concepts in the book are easy to understand. However, that does not make them easy to apply. Extreme Ownership is extreme. Hence, it even has extreme in its name. It requires extreme discipline and focus. It is intense. It shows you the mirror. But in the end, taking ownership always works.

Book Summary

Extreme Ownership

Relax, look around, make a call

No bad teams, only bad leaders


Decentralized command

Manage your ego

Cover and move


Prioritize and Execute

Sound planning

Lead up and down the line

Be decisive

Discipline brings freedom

Further information