Extreme Ownership: The Only Way Things Get Done

I've been telling my employees for years.

You regularly have to do people's jobs for them.

I've learned this through experience.

If you've never relied on the cooperation of other people to get something done, you can't understand how brutal it can be.

People go at their own pace. They have their own agenda and priorities.

They sometimes miss things. Most people suck at email.

Generally, people are notorious procrastinators. And few have any productivity system beyond what they remember.

When a project requires more than one person to complete, one link can bring the process to a standstill.

I also tell my employees:

When you send an email, you have to assume no one will read it.

You might think I'm being pessimistic. I wish that were so. This is just the reality of the world we live in. The sooner you accept that, the better.

I'm an epistemic person. That's why I'm still surprised when the things I know happen over and over.

I shouldn't be surprised all.

What all this means is this: A First Principle for making things happen is complete ownership.

There's a book about this topic I recommend called "Extreme Ownership."

I don't think there's anything extreme about it. Everything you want in life is our responsibility.

That's not extreme when you think about it—and when you have any life experience whatsoever.

So it's on you to make sure your emails get a reply. To make sure you call people, not expect them to call you back.

It's your responsibility to pester, poke, prod, and question until you get what you need.

There is no more empowering concept in life.

When you take ownership of everything, you drop blame. You execute expectations.

This is easy because you know there is no other way.

You realize people don't owe you (even if they do, they don't).

(This is why I'll never lend money to a friend again because it becomes a full-time job getting paid back.)

You owe yourself, and that's it.

If you want anything done, you have to do it.

Even though I know this first hand, I still get frustrated waiting on others. I like making things happen, so I should expect that most people won't operate on my schedule.

Every ounce of energy I invest in complaining is a waste.

Nothing but waste.

With your next project, business, or effort, assume the following:

  1. Every step of the way it is my responsibility to help others get the job done
  2. I will have to followup, followup, followup.
  3. I accept this is the reality of life—If I want something done, I am responsible for making it happen. No one else.

This concept applies to marriages, friendships, partnerships. Expectations are often the root of relationship conflict.

If we all took ownership of the things we want and need, the world would be a much better place.

Take ownership of everything you are trying to do.

Anything less is a fairy tale.

Daily quote: “Extreme Ownership. Leaders must own everything in their world. There is no one else to blame." -Jocko Willink

Daily tip or recommendation: Routine, Routine, Routine - This is the key to success in anything. Don’t even

Daily tip or recommendation: Routine, Routine, Routine - This is the key to success in anything. Don’t even think about a RESULT you want if you haven’t identified exactly what you are going to do on a daily basis to get it. Most people think about this in reverse. They want money, riches, fame, fancy things, but they can’t sit still long enough to do anything to actually get there.

Daily book recommendation: The Magic of Thinking Big - This is one of Tim Ferriss’s most recommended books. It is great. And it’s something we should all eat yearly to make sure we are thinking bigger.

Daily health tip: Eat Real Food. The key to everything you want for health is found in what you eat. Are you eating out of a bag or cooking raw ingredients? Are you relying on cheap, convenient restaurant food? Or are you shopping at your local farmers’ market?

These are the only questions that matter for what your body looks like and the primary question you must figure out for long term health.

Daily Cooking Tip: Preseason steak. Take your streak, pat it dry, rub it down in salt and maybe a dash of ghee or avocado oil, then let it sit uncovered on a rack for 1-2 days. When you cook it, it’ll be delicious. (Make sure you use a lot of salt)

Daily thoughts about money: Use something like simple as a budgeting tool. It’s a free debit card with no fees, so you can put in the amount of money you have each month then use that exclusively. the card will decline when you run out of money. Ideally, you would check in to see where you are spending so you catch this ahead of time, but it’s a useful tool if you are a chronic spender.