Rich Diviney draws upon 20+ years of experience as a Navy SEAL Officer where he completed more than 13 overseas deployments – 11 of which were to Iraq and Afghanistan. Through his career, he has achieved multiple leadership positions – to include the Commanding Officer of a Navy SEAL Command. Since retirement in early 2017, Rich has worked as a speaker, facilitator, and consultant with the Chapman & Co. Leadership Institute and Simon Sinek Inc. He is the author of The Attributes – 25 Hidden Drivers of Optimal Performance.

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  • The process to select Navy SEALs:
    • Rich created a program to effectively articulate why someone made it through SEAL training.
    • “It’s not about training to be a Navy SEAL, it’s about proving if you can be one.”
    • “Skills are not inherent to our nature. They are learned.”
  • Attributes are wired into our internal circuitry, always running in the background, dictating how we behave and react and perform. Attributes should not be confused with personality traits. A personality is built from patterns of behavior that emerge over an extended period of time. It’s an outward expression of all the things that make you you – your skills, habits, emotions, perspectives, and attributes all blended together.
  • What is optimal performance? “It’s not a peak. It’s doing the best you can, with what you have, in the moment.”
  • What are some of the surprising attributes that helped or didn’t?
    • Drive – Some of the most driven people weren’t necessarily cut out to be a SEAL
    • The difference between Self-Discipline and Discipline:
      • Self-discipline is about controlling those things that the outside world has no say in.
      • Discipline is the ability to move through the challenges of the world.
    • Narcissism – Some of the benefits of it? From Rich: “Why did I want to be a Navy SEAL? I wanted to see if I could be a badass. I desired to standout and be admired. That’s a little narcissism.”
      • “However, extreme narcissism is awful. Excessive narcissists are rarely loyal– loyalty requires trust and a sense of safety– so their tribes are inherently unstable: Healthy members tend not to stay long, and new ones are let in only when they show the requisite deference. Those who do leave usually suffer a disproportionate amount of wrath from the person to whom they once deferred– because defectors are considered enemies. The energy and effort of the highly narcissistic person will be used to prop up their fragile egos rather than to achieve shared objectives or serve a common purpose.”
  • Did he ever think about quitting during Hell week? “The training trains you to compartmentalize. You can’t ever entertain that thought. You have to chunk things down to the moment. You’re running around and saying, ‘this sucks!’ But you have to focus on just getting to the next berm. And then the next one. Think, ‘what can I control right now?’ And focus on your three foot world.”
  • The highest performing people ask better questions:
    • Think: “What’s the better question to ask right now?”
    • “What can I control right now?”
  • Introspection is vital. Why aren’t we better at being introspective?
    • “Because we escape too much.” We have devices to ensure we’re never bored. Never lost in thought. On long car rides, children never have to look out the window anymore to pass the time. They have a device or a screen to watch.
      • You need to allow your brain space… Need to spend more time in our heads.
  • “Knowledge is not power. Applied knowledge is power.”
  • Be decisive. Take action. “Decisions are final, but not permanent.”
  • Be adaptable like a frog. Frogs have survived five extinction level events. “If you don’t adapt you will become a dinosaur.”
  • Rich has narrowed it down to 5 segments of attributes. They are: Grit, Mental Acuity, Drive, Leadership, and Teamability.
    • Grit – Beware of the fearless leader (Courage), Fall 7 times get up 8 (Perseverance), Be Like the frog (Adaptability), The Benefits of Little Tragedies (Resilience)
    • Mental Acuity — The art of Vigilance (Situational Awareness), Wired for Efficiency (Compartmentalization), The Multitasking Myth (Task Switching), Forged in Plastic (Learnability)
    • Drive — Mastering the Pivot (Self-Efficacy), The Self-Disciplined Loser (Discipline), A Fish Is the Last to Discover Water (Open-Mindedness), The Princess and the Dragon (Cunning), It’s All about Me (Narcissism)
    • Leadership — No One Cares How You Feel (Empathy), If it Doesn’t Hurt, You’re Doing it Wrong (Selflessness), You Can’t Hide You (Authenticity), Many A False Step Is Made by Standing Still (Decisiveness), Don’t Be A Mediator (Accountability)
    • Teamability — The Subjectivity of Right and Wrong (Integrity), There’s Always Something to Do (Conscientiousness), Play Black, Not Red (Humility), Honor The Class Clown (Humor)
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