The Learning Leader Show

“As the leader, you are responsible for EVERYTHING that happens in your organization.”

Show Notes:

  • Commonalities of leaders who sustain excellence:
    • Humility
    • Constantly looking to improve
    • Learning
    • Willing and able to take criticism
  • Incredible story of a mutiny within the ranks because of a platoon commander’s ego
  • Way Of The Warrior Kid – The message for children
    • Be humble
    • Don’t give up
    • Work hard
  • Ramadi — The epicenter, insurgency in Iraq
    • The confusion/fog of war
  • A firefight… Between friendly forces: Who’s at fault?
  • Jocko took ownership – “As the leader, I’m responsible for everything that happens on that field. It wasn’t your fault, it’s mine.”
  • “If you make a mistake, you must own it.”
  • Owning the mistakes created confidence and trust with Jocko’s boss
  • How do you handle a bad boss?
    • Make them look good
    • Ask for feedback, advice, ask for their approval, build them up
    • Isn’t that manipulation? “Yes…”
  • “It’s not just what you preach, it’s what you tolerate.”
  • Decentralized command — Empowering junior leaders to make important decisions. Front line leaders must be empowered. Why? Speed
    • Being empowered as a quarterback to call an audible — Why this was an optimal way for us to attack a defense and ultimately win games. The coaches needed to trust and empower me to do this
  • Are leaders born or made?
  • Characteristics of great leaders?
    • They take complex things and simplify them
    • They are articulate
    • They are loud (seems strange, but it’s true for military leaders and a quarterback)
  • How much can you learn?  You must detach emotion, and be decisive.
  • Why wake up at 4:30 am? “It is time for me to own, it’s before everyone else is awake”
  • Favorite part of work? – Podcasting and working with companies
  • How has Jocko created this lifestyle? — Many years of consistent, sustained work
    • “Discipline Equals Freedom.”
  • His discipline for many years has helped him create a lifestyle that he loves

“It’s not just what you preach. It’s what you tolerate.”


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