The are many incompetent people in leadership positions. People who were star performers before but suck at leading people. Yet, there they are in a leadership position. Then there are people who have the potential to be great leaders, who set the example, own the outcome and bring out the best in others.
Most people view leadership as a position which brings a higher salary, perks and power. But leadership isn’t a position; it’s a responsibility. You are responsible for the success of your team; their success is your success. Simply put: There is no leadership without a team. And, the failure of a team is a leadership failure.
Those are the stakes.
With that said, a few weeks ago one of my supervisors had a leadership lesson. A moment where he had to own up to the mistake his team made. That’s right, his team made a mistake and he had to take the fall. He asked me straight up to be penalized for the mistake his team made; and never hesitated.
I never doubted he would take ownership of the situation. Nevertheless, I watched him do it and celebrated him in front of his team because he did it. I later sent a message to my management team, and other teams in the organization informing them of the lesson learned by this particular supervisor.
I want everyone who leads teams to learn to take ownership of their team’s mistakes, and search for solutions rather than point fingers.
Extreme ownership is the practice of owning everything in your world, to an extreme degree. It means you are responsible for not just those tasks which you directly control, but for all those that affect whether or not your mission is successful.
On any team, in any organization, all responsibility for success and failure rests with the 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.
The concept of extreme ownership comes from Jocko Willink, co-author of Extreme Ownership. Watch the short review below:
Bottom line: Setting the example is the most powerful form of influence a leader has. And having extreme ownership is about owning success no matter what because if your team is successful or not is up to you; the leader.