You’re rooting for your employees to succeed, but sometimes things go wrong. Rather than playing the blame game, start taking extreme ownership over your team. Here’s how this Navy SEAL-inspired management technique can help improve overall performance.
What Is Extreme Ownership?
Extreme ownership is a concept in which YOU take responsibility for everything in your world. This includes both things over which you have direct control as well as anything that could impact your success. Jocko Willink and Leif Babin popularized the concept in their book, Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win. Although extreme ownership may sound like a tall order for leaders, it is based on Willink and Babin’s firsthand experiences in the Iraq War.
How Do You Start Taking Extreme Ownership?
- Own Mistakes
Unfortunately, today’s society is quick to point out, and often ridicule, any mistakes. However, in their more productive form, mistakes are learning experiences. Leaders who recognize, admit to, and work to correct both their own and their team’s errors are wonderful role models. After all, they aren’t wasting their time thinking about whom to blame or how to cover things up. Instead, they are asking helpful questions such as, “What should I have done differently?” and “How can I prevent this from happening again?”
- Stop Making Excuses
Ultimately, Excuses are obstacles. When leaders and teams spend too much time focusing on the obstacles, they lose sight of the goal. Extreme ownership encourages everyone to stop fixating on what’s stopping them and start looking for workarounds.
What Are the Benefits of This Technique?
- More Productive Teams
Taking ownership of one’s mistakes may seem like a daunting task, but in the end, it is a straightforward process. People don’t need to invent coverups or search for scapegoats. And this leads to a more positive and productive working environment. Employees aren’t wasting energy framing, backstabbing, and complaining about their colleagues. They are taking responsibility for their own actions and working to overcome obstacles together.
- Better Solutions
As Jocko Willink points out in his TED Talk if no one takes ownership of the problems, the problems never get solved. Everyone skirts around the issues hoping things might eventually work out. On the other hand, when leaders and their teams recognize and own their challenges, they can tackle them head-on.
Are You Looking for More Management Advice?
Halpin Staffing Services publishes weekly blog posts on topics ranging from ethical leadership to positive management styles. And if you’re looking to add talented employees to your team, our recruiters can assist with that too. Halpin places general laborers, skilled trades workers, and administrative staff throughout Southeastern Wisconsin and Northeastern Illinois. Make your hiring process faster, easier, and better. Contact Halpin Staffing Services today!