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Leif Babin and Jocko Willink served together as U.S. Navy Seal officers in SEAL Team Three's Task Bruiser Unit. They fought in some of the fiercest, sustained urban combat in SEAL history. Their service in the Battle of Ramadi resulted in their task unit becoming the most highly decorated special operations unit of the Iraq War. 

Babin and Willink believe that the Navy SEAL combat leadership principles translate to business life. They believe "combat is reflective of life, only amplified and intensified." Their powerful, transferable concepts are captured in their best-selling book, "Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win." 

One of their most powerful principles is "The leader is truly and ultimately responsible for everything. This is the fundamental core of extreme ownership and what constitutes an effective leader. The leader must own everything in his or her world. There is no one else to blame. The leader must acknowledge mistakes and admit failures, take ownership of them, and develop a plan to win." 

According to the authors, that "Extreme Ownership" winning plan includes:

  • Evaluate the highest priority problem. 
  • Develop and determine a solution. 
  • And, direct the execution of that solution, focusing all efforts and resources toward this priority task. 

One very recent example of this focus is a successful franchise owner I began coaching. Last year their business suffered some significant sales setbacks. It was a year of "sales combat." This year we partnered together to right the ship. From the first day of 2020 they have lived out "Extreme Franchise Ownership" by doing the following:

  • Evaluated their highest priority (new business).
  • Developed and determined a solution (Daily prospecting plan that included 50+ phone contacts a day, weekly email campaigns, weekly content driven social media posts, and aggressive daily pipeline management through each stage of the sales cycle).
  • And directed the execution of that solution (i.e. worked long and hard hours with great execution of their daily prospecting plan). 

As a result of their focus, they were at the top of their franchise network's new customer acquisition stacked ranking for the month of January. They have established a pace to bring in over 100 new customers for the year which will put them in the top 5% of their nationwide franchise network. They've captured the concept of extreme ownership!

This is not only the the first quarter of a new year but also the beginning of a new decade. This is YOUR year. Seize it with Extreme Ownership! 

Below is a link to a value added resource. It is an article from Inc. Magazine on Navy Seal leadership lessons that are transferable to franchise and SMB ownership. Enjoy!

12 Leadership Lessons To Learn From The Navy Seals

Topics: Goal setting, Sales, sales habits

Dan Whitfield

Written by Dan Whitfield

Dan is dedicated to "coaching up" small business owners and leaders of growth-oriented sales organizations. His goal is to help you get where you want to go. Faster.