Leadership Training Fundamentals with Navy SEAL Jocko Willink: Service Drive Revolution #6

(groovy instrumental music) – [Voiceover] Welcome to
the Service Drive Revolution podcast with your host,
Chris the Bulldog Collins and Gary Daniel, the G Man. – Welcome to Service Drive Revolution, I’m your host Chris Collins, and my co-host Gary Daniels,
better known as G man. Now recently Gary and I went to San Diego and interviewed Jocko Willink, who’s going to be a speaker
in our upcoming top dog event here in Los Angeles where the top service
managers and advisors from all over the country
get together and workshop for a couple days. Now if you don’t know about Jocko, he was a Navy SEAL for two decades, he fought in Iraq where
he was highly decorated and his unit there was Task Unit Bruiser, which was instrumental in
retaking and stabilizing the city of Ramadi, and just on top of that, just a cool name, Task Unit Bruiser, and after Iraq Jocko
became an officer in charge of the Navy Special Warfare Detachment for three years where
he oversaw the training for all the west coast Navy SEALS, and from his work in Iraq, he was awarded numerous medals including the bronze and silver stars. And how we came to know
Jocko is by reading his book, which is a New York Times bestseller, the name of it is Extreme Ownership, How US Navy SEALS Lead and Win. It’s an amazing book, best book on leadership I think I’ve read in the last five years. And if you haven’t read it, it’s a must read. And Jocko currently has a company called Echelon Front where they do
leadership and consulting for businesses, and he
makes parallels in the book and in his leadership
training from the battlefield to business. And the stories and analogies are amazing. Now it’s hard to not appreciate, on top of the great leadership
training and everything that we learn from Jocko, it’s also hard not to just
really appreciate the fact that guys like Jocko are
out there representing our country and sacrificing what they do, cause you know it’s not about the money, it’s very selfless and love of country when they serve in the
military at the level that they do, so we owe
him a huge, you know, huge amount of gratitude for that also, and everybody else who serves. It’s you know, awe
inspiring that these guys are out there protecting us. So you’re gonna enjoy this podcast, Jocko was very generous,
we learned a lot from him, and it was a lot of fun. So enjoy. (grungy guitar) Hey welcome everybody to the podcast with the world famous Jocko, and G Man. – Jocko you’re kinda like Madonna in that, it’s kinda one name really. Jocko. – I guess there’s not that
many Jocko’s in the world. – No. – It’s a brand, that’s good. It’s a brand now, Jocko. – And then G Man, I recently
got my cholesterol back, do you have your cholesterol
checked regularly? – I haven’t had it checked in a while, but I eat and live pretty clean, so it’s not like huge factor for me that I’m thinking about all the time. – So we consider tequila a food group, so we’re getting checked quite frequently. – You need to have it with every meal. It’s gotta be there. – We have tequila right
over there actually. – So I started working
with Chris in the office, and he’s got this doctor, Dr. Lal, and Dr. Lal’s like a, his whole girl is to make,
and he’s only for men, to make every day the best day possible. So he doesn’t want you to have bad days. So he runs this blood panel on you and he’ll go through and figure out ways you can improve your chemistry. So he runs a panel on me
when I first got there, it was pretty bad. And so he gives me this
regimen and everything and I start working out
with Chris every day, every morning we go to the gym, so I’m working out, I’m eating right, I’m losing weight, I was on the road for two years, I put on like 25 pounds, and I was eating french
fries with every meal, french fries and
hamburgers for every meal. – I can’t even laugh at that. (laughs) – It’s bad. – I don’t like that. I don’t like that at all. – I can laugh at it. – So anyway, so I got the best wife in the planet, and she gets up at 4
o’clock in the morning and presses fresh juice for me, fresh vegetable juice and
puts it in these mason jars, packs it, protein shake, – It’s like ginger, and
like beets and everything, it smells like it’s,
you know, good for you. – Yeah so I’ve been getting
in shape, I feel better, I start riding my bike
again, things are going well so I get my next blood
test which I think is gonna go well, and this time I’m
on the phone with Dr. Lal, and Dr. Lal’s like I
just can’t believe it, he goes you gotta do something,
change your diet today, you gotta step eating Carl’s Jr., you gotta get on the treadmill, so he starts telling me all this stuff I’m like whoa, whoa, whoa Dr. Lal, I’m drinking vegetable
juice three times a day, I’m eating clean, I don’t understand. He goes well when I look at your blood, what I see on the other
side of the phone is a guy that’s 300 pounds, and
eats Carl’s Jr. For lunch every single day. I’m like oh my god. So I don’t know. – So my theory is that he
should go the other way, and his blood type probably
answers to milk shakes and cheeseburgers better, and the healthy stuff
is what’s killing him. Maybe? – I really cut all that stuff out, my cholesterol didn’t move. – When you say you cut all that stuff out, what did you cut out? – I stopped eating out, stopped eating french fries
and burgers every day, and started eating more
chicken, vegetables, brown rice, pasta. – So just FYI you may
wanna check out cutting out all those carbohydrates, when you say brown rice and pasta, that stuff is not good for you. – Yeah. – He eats a lot of carbs. – I do. I probably still eat too many carbs. – And you drink too much. – Yeah. And the alcohol thing too. – It’s not good. You need to go on, a fast on that I think. So we’re super excited
Jocko that we have you at our top dog event this year, and I was telling you
we give your book away, we have a stack of’em in our
office when people come in we give’em away. Best leadership book I’ve read, in you know, five plus years, and the thing that got me, when
I started reading the book, is the way that you wrote it is like, you give an analogy from war, and then you relate to a business lesson. And the thing that I got right away in it, is that we’re such pussies
in business because the first story you
tell is life and death, and then it’s like oh yeah
and in the board room, and it’s crazy how leadership, how terrible leadership is nowadays, and how it’s life and death really, when you’re talking about it in your book. – Yeah and I usually have
to explain that to people when we start working with customers, and for me customers
are businesses that help with their leadership and management, so when we start talking a lot of times, they’ll throw something
at me along those lines, such as well you know
when you were overseas you were dealing with life and death, and we’re just dealing with paychecks. And I always throw it back at’em like, well we were dealing with lives, but you’re dealing with livelihoods. If I take away your mortgage payment, and I take away your
ability to feed your kid, I mean that’s your life,
that’s what you do. So even though it may not be
as extreme as life and death it is a person’s livelihood,
it’s how they make their money it’s how they pay their mortgage it’s how they feed
their kids it’s how they take care of their family. And so when you take that away from them because you failed as a business leader, that has a huge impact, and that’s why, that’s what causing stress in business. That’s what causes stress in business, that’s what causes stress in combat from a leadership perspective in combat, what worried me was something
happening to my guys. That’s what worried
me, it wasn’t about me, like oh I hope I don’t get wounded, I hope I don’t get killed, I didn’t care about that. What worries you is can
you take care of your guys, are they gonna be okay. And so as a business leader, when you’re in charge of a business, okay so maybe you’re
concerned a little bit about your own financial good, but your real concern
should be am I taking care of the people that are trusting me, and counting on me to lead them, and that’s a lot of pressure regardless of what the business is. – Yeah and I think on
the flip side of that is the companies or leaders living
up to their full potential. Because the thing you laid
out there as a roadmap and some of the recipes you give, and a lot of it is mindset, but the mindset is
companies living up to their full potential and not just being average. Which, there’s the part of losing, but really most leaders don’t
realize their real potential is probably four times what they’re doing. At least. – Absolutely. Every human has better, they can do better than they’re doing right now. Everybody in the world can do better than they’re doing right now. So recognizing that, and then it can be, it’s a big step, and it takes work, hard work, to improve, especially the better you get the harder it is to improve more. So the better you get, the more you have to work to get better, and it’s a challenge, and you do find people that
are okay with being average. They’re okay with being okay. And to me that’s not a good
way to go through life. – That’s that top 20 percent
that’s always the hardest, like getting them to move
into that 80 percent range, usually you could pull a
big lever and they’ll move really fast but that top part’s
really hard to get there. You have to have a lot of discipline. – Yeah and we’re very much
conditioned in our country that average is okay. A lot of things that are taught and said are you know, in the tone
of keeping us average, and we do it to ourselves,
more than anything else. – That’s very disturbing. – So when you come into a company, like you were talking about,
and you wanna get those guys to move and do something, do you ever get, how
much pushback do you get when you come in? Like it seems like there would be, are there ego involved? How do you get past that? – Well you can definitely get egos, there’s always egos
involved in every situation, but most of the time when
we’re talking to people, there might be a couple, a
small percentage of people that will give some pushback, but most of the people are saying yeah, yep, that’s right, I
wish we would do that. Yes, I could do that better. The things that we’re talking about aren’t revelations, and they’re not, usually
not radically different, than what people already know. So I didn’t invent anything new, but through the application
of those simple things, simple not easy. That’s another thing we wrote in the book, simple not easy. These things are simple to understand, they’re not easy to execute. – We were talking about
that the other day, just talking about the
nutrition part of it, and there’s this billion
dollar weight loss industry, and all these books written
on a million different diets on how to do it, and really this thing’s simple. – There’s a new discovery
on how to lose weight, it’s new from NASA, on how you
lose weight and get in shape. – Yeah, work out and eat less. (laughs) Eat the right foods and exercise more. – It’s hard to find someone who doesn’t know how to lose weight, it’s doing it that is the problem. Everybody knows how to do it. – So the strength is like
having a coach like yourself, right, is that what you guys bring into those organizations and being
able to carve out the path for them and clear the
forest and get’em through? – Well sometimes I think
it’s an analogy I use a lot, or a story I talk about a lot, is the movie Terminator, and in the movie Terminator,
in the first one, somewhere in there it
says, the beginning opening narration says, You’re in August 27th, 2023,
the machines became aware. And a lot of this is about awareness. And people are going through the motions, and people are just not
aware of the mistakes that they’re making. So when we point out hey
this is the situation that you have going on, and here’s what’s causing it, and they go ah, I kind of knew that. Yeah, they kind of knew that. But when we explain it to
them, and show it to them, and hold up the mirror so they can see it for themselves it becomes very obvious, and you know the first
part in winning any battle is recognizing the enemy, and identifying them and
knowing where they are, and so when you become
aware of your own faults and your own mistakes that you’re making, that’s when you can finally take the steps toward your improvement. – Yeah and by the way you
have a voice for movies, you could be doing those intros. (laughs) – from Star Wars. – So what characteristics
do you see between the businesses that you
work with that perform at a high level and
the ones that struggle? What are the different characteristics between the two? – It’s the same bulk of
problems that people have, and it’s a variety, but I tell you the number one
thing, and this goes with, people ask me all the time, what’s the most important
characteristic about leader, about a business, you know what I the same
question you just asked me, I get asked that question a lot, and the key component
that I always talk about is humility. And when you lack
humility, what that does to your personality and
thereby does to your team’s personality is immensely impactful. So when you’re not humble, so that means you think you’re the best, that means you think I
can’t do anything better, you know, I’m doing the
best that anyone can do. That means you’re not
listening to anybody else. That means you’re not
taking suggestions from anybody else, that means you’re not even
doing a self assessment, a critical, honest self assessment and saying hey what can I
do and no you’re thinking you’re doing everything great, so right there, and oh yeah, what do you think about your competitor? Or the enemy? For us from the battlefield, what do you think of your enemy? We’re smarter than them,
we’re better than them, we don’t have to worry about them. What do you think about in business world? What do you think about your competitor? Oh, we’re the best. We’re the industry leaders, therefore, we don’t have to work hard, and so then, we can start cutting
corners, then we can start taking shortcuts, then we can start to rely
and rest on our laurels, so that’s the difference
between people that excel, and people that don’t, is the people that excel
are constantly saying what can I do better, how can I improve, I’ve
gotta watch out behind me, cause the enemy’s trying
to sneak up on me, the competitor’s trying to sneak up on me, I’m gonna work today harder
than they’re working. And that’s the huge difference
between people that excel and people that don’t. – Yeah and they’re willing to take, they’re willing to take
feedback and process it. – They don’t take it personally. I’ve heard you say that before Chris, too, you like people that
are hungry and humble. – Hungry and humble. – Hungry you wanna climb that mountain and then humble they got humility, right? Cause without that, then you
don’t see the mountain, right? You think you’re at the top of it already. – Indeed. – What would you say
Jocko is the one thing when you walk into a business scenario, what is the one thing that
you see that everybody else doesn’t see? – Well immediately you have
an outside perspective, which is very helpful. Now as an individual, I call this being able to detach yourself. So in other words when
you’re on the battlefield, there’s all kinds of mayhem happening, there’s craziness happening, there’s people wounded,
there’s people dying, there’s things blowing up,
there’s bullets flying around, and if you get emotional
and your head goes into that scenario, all of your
head goes into that scenario, you can no longer make
good clean decisions. Cause you’re emotional, your
mind is trapped in the chaos, you’re not perceiving what’s
really happening around you cause of the things that are going on are so overwhelming, and so what you have
to do as in individual is you have to be able
to detach from all that. You have to be able to
step back and say okay, here’s what’s happening, I’m not gonna be emotional right now, I’m gonna look at the things as they are, and I’m gonna make decisions based on what’s really happening, not on emotions and chaos. And so when we walk into a company, that’s the first advantage we have that most of the companies don’t have, is they’re in it,
they’re in the firefight. They’ve got the chaos going on. They don’t see those egos. I walk into those companies and I can see, you know you talked about egos earlier, I can see these egos, they’re very clear of who’s got’em, who
they’re rubbing up against, who they’re offending. And so it becomes very
easy to walk in and say, because I’m walking in,
I’m already detached. I’m de facto detached from the situation, I’m not part of the company. So we’re able to come in and
look and assess very easily where the friction points are, and what we have to do to fix them. – Yeah we have a painting
in our office that says you can’t read the label
of the jar you’re in, and it’s always a fresh set of eyes, and I’ll tell people like
we’re really not that smart, what it is is we’re a fresh set of eyes, and we get to go to all
these other companies and see what they’re doing
and what isn’t working, and then we’re sharing that with you, and you know we have some
basic fundamental skills, but we’re a basic observant. We’re students more than anything. – And that is the danger, I
traveled for a couple years, consulting, and you’re out
there kind of on your own, and when you first get there, you get the freshest perspective. But when you’ve been at
the company for a year, and you’re showing up
there month after month, that you do get to that point
where you get sucked into their reality. – You become a part of the team, and then you’re not as fresh. – You can’t be objective anymore. So yeah we talk about that with our group. – We flip our guys. – Yeah we’ve got it so it’s
like you gotta pull back, and I love that, that chapter in your book, I think you bust through a door
and there’s a bunch of guys and there’s a lot of chaos
going on and you literally almost I think physically took a step back and had to assess the situation, and I think that is just
such a clear example of what you have to do, you know, is you really literally gotta get out from a 30,000 foot view and
look down on the battlefield and see what’s going on. – I think you tell that
story on our podcast, I don’t think it’s in the book, but you talk about taking
somebody up on a hill, and you were watching the
battlefield from up there, and you’re like this is
where you really see it. – Right, and that was just one of the guys who had worked for me
and now he had stepped up and taken my position, and to make a long story short, yeah we were out there watching this, it was training, we were
watching this event happen, we have all kinds of chaos
going on in the training, and it’s so obvious when you step back, we weren’t even on top of a hill, we weren’t on top of a hill, we stepped back you know 20 meters, that’s all it took. Just 20 meters out of the chaos
and the answer is so obvious when you’re out there, and he looked at me and said, wow it’s so easy to see from here. And I said, and when we
went through and were going through training together, and he was a guy with me,
and we were in the jar, so to speak, we were in the chaos, I still just stepped back mentally, a little bit physically,
maybe you can’t get 20 meters, but you can get three meters, and you can change your perspective, open your mind, open your
ears, open your eyes, you can dislodge your
emotion and you can make a much better assessment in everything, and again the answer becomes very clear when you aren’t caught up in all that. – Yeah you can train your
mind to go there quicker when you’re aware of that. I loved that analogy when
you talked about going up on the hill, though, that you have to mentally do that, even if you’re in it. It’s funny. So one question we wanted to ask you what about your kids. And them serving in the military. What advice would you give them? – The same advice I give everybody. Be humble, work hard. I don’t think, you know
I’ve got three daughters and one son, I don’t think my daughters
are gonna go in the military, they might, I don’t know, my son I think is more encouraged by, or he likes the idea of
going into the military, you know he’s kinda seen my life and said, that looks like it was pretty fun, so he’s a kid who likes being outside, likes to surf, likes to shoot guns, you know I can’t, when I was a kid, did I think about hey, it would be really fun to
go to a hot office somewhere and sit in a cubicle and
look at a computer screen. I never thought that. I never had that idea. I thought to myself, you
know what would be cool? Jumping out of airplanes and
hucking grenades at people, that would be cool. That’s what I wanna do. And so it’s not shocker to me that my son kinda has the same type of feeling, I think a lot of boys
have that type of feeling. But at the same time I’m
trying not to pressure him to go in, I’d want him to make
the decision on his own, and if he makes that
decision, that’s cool, and if he doesn’t make that decision, and wants to go do something else that’s cool too. I try not to put massive
expectations on the kids, try not to do that. It’s hard not to, cause
you know you want your kids to be the President of the
United States of America and everything else, but, you have to, if you try and put that on them, they’re probably gonna
end up with you know, a not good situation. – Yeah. (laughs) – You know my wife and I
were talking about that, I have two kids, a boy and a girl, and they’re 19 and 20 now, and so we were saying, we pushed them to do better in school, and try to you know excel, and keep talking to them about
trying to get into college and the thing that all
parents get their kids to do, and so then they get accepted, and my wife’s like this is
gonna cost a lot of money, I don’t know, can we do this? I’m like well we told
them the last 12 years they gotta do this, I dunno, it’s time to poney up. (laughs) so they’re both in college now. – Well that’s good, and good for you. That’s one of the things that I think, the mistake that parents
make is they don’t, just like business leaders
or military leaders they don’t explain why something
is important to their kids. They say you need to go to college, you need to get into college, and kids never connect that, that sounds like four more
years of high school to me, that doesn’t sound like a good deal, I wanna go out and make
money and get a job. But we don’t explain to the
kids why this is important, what it will do in the long run, how much money you’ll be
able to make in the future if you do go to college and that’s not necessarily
the right path for everybody, I think in this day and age
there’s a lot, a generation of kids that are coming up, if they make this move and
go become an electrician, or a metal worker, or a plumber, they’re gonna end up more
in demand than a lawyer or a software developer
because guess what, everyone’s trying to become
a lawyer or a software developer, a finance guy. Who’s gonna fix your
toilet is my question. Who’s gonna rewire your house, who’s gonna fix your car? Who’s gonna do that? And so I think there’s
gonna be a generation possibly in the coming years
of people that decide to go more in the trade route, and I think they’re actually
gonna be very successful. – Yeah I was a mechanic
for 15, something like. – There you go. – That’s a how I started my career, and it was good, it did very
well for me and my family it was a good business. And that’s what we talk about now, when I came into the business
I was the only apprentice in the shop full of master techs, and now it’s just so
hard to find people who wanna do that job. And I agree with you, the
coming trend has got to be, those jobs are gonna be more in demand, the income potential for
that’s gonna get higher, and people are gonna
start going into that. It’s a good field, it’s
just it’s a dirty business, you know it’s not glamorous,
not everybody wants to do that, everybody wants to sit behind
a computer screen and create apps and games and don’t wanna
get their knuckles dirty. – What kind of cars do you have? – I have, well my pride and joy, is a 1974 Ford Econoline Quadravan, which is a factory four wheel drive van that was made in the 70s, so that’s my kind of, – is it a Starsky and Hutch kind of thing? – It’s, it could be, the
Ford Econolines at that time had the snub nose, so it’s like a really flat nose, and the engine is right
in between the seats, it’s a pretty awesome, – is it lifted? Big tires? – Yeah, it’s lifted with big tires. It’s, turning into a project. So I need to, I’ve got a ton
of work to get done on it. I, yeah. – Do you work on it yourself? – I did work on it myself, but right now I don’t have the time. You know you either
don’t have time or money, and right now I have more money than time, so I gotta find, if I’m gonna, that’s why I’m holding off. Something I kind of wanted to do myself, but now I’m thinking
okay do I do it myself, do I wait, or do I do it, do I pay someone to do it now, and then I told my son, I said hey, this could
be your chariot of glory for years to come if you
wanna break out the wrenches and make it happen. (laughs) So. – This is what you get son. This is what I’m handing down. – Does your son wanna do it,
does he like the wrenches? – He’s been fired up, but I would say he’s not got the craftsman gene. And so I dunno, we’ll see. And you know these day
and age there’s not, a lot of, you know when we went to school, at least when I went to
school, you could take auto shop, you could take wood shop, you could take metal shop, those things are gone. – They’re writing code. – Yeah they’re writing code now. – I’m shocked that’s gone. – So unfortunately you know
he can’t bring it into school and work on it as a project as
a freshman and sophomore year and junior year when he gets his license, he’s the man. – Yeah right? – The man with the van. Instead, maybe he can
program apps, I dunno. – That’s funny. One commonality that I
see in top performers, and I call it like, sometimes
I feel like I’m sadistic but you were talking about
this in something else I heard about how when you were
going through SEAL training, you like, the harder it
is the more you like it? Am I saying that right? Like when everybody else
was struggling you were like well that’s the fun part for me. – Yeah I think that, and
again, I would say this, SEAL training when
you’re on the SEAL team, SEAL training is just no
big deal, no one cares about SEAL training, and in the civilian world
people think SEAL training is a big deal, but you know
you compare it, SEAL training, which is hey I had to carry
a log around and put a boat on my head and I had to
run and swim a bunch, and it was hard and it was
cold and I didn’t get to sleep a lot, okay, that sounds real rough. But then you compare that to combat, where I got guys rolling out
for their sixth night in a row into downtown Ramadi on a foot patrol where they got in three
firefights over the last three nights and they’re gonna
get in another one tonight, there’s IEDs all over the place, they could get killed,
they know it, I know it, we all know it, and so the SEAL training
thing is just like whatever. Some people make a big deal out of it, it’s just, it’s not that big of a deal. But back to your question, yes, I want things to be hard. I’m looking for a challenge, I wanna push myself, I wanna push my team, and get after it. So, when you’re going
through SEAL training and people are quitting, again, I was watching
people that are quitting, because they don’t wanna be
cold, they don’t wanna be wet, they don’t wanna be tired, hey, right, okay cool, you can quit, I am actually gonna take
possession of your soul and use it to build my own strength up and become more of a destroyer,
that’s what I’m gonna do. – That’s so funny Jocko cause you’re like, you know it’s SEAL training,
it’s not that hard. But, isn’t it, what’s the
percentage of the guys that make it through? – There’s like an 80
percent attrition rate. – Yeah so there’s 80
percent of people that if I was sitting here they
would be like oh my god, it was the worst thing ever. – Well that’s one way to look at it. But 100 percent of my
friends made it through. So the guys that I knew
that were good dudes, 100 percent make it through. It’s 80 percent of, – So the other guys look like Gary and I? (laughs) Actually I think if I committed to it, I’d make it through, it would
just have to be something that I wanna do. That’s what, we were talking
about this yesterday, I have this flaw, I won’t do something unless
I know I’m gonna win. And I’ve been that way since I was a kid, and we were debating
whether that’s good or bad. Probably is a little bit of both. But I think if I decided to do it, I would do I, there would be no quitting, but I’d think about it really
hard before committing. – Yeah it’s really difficult
to tell who’s gonna make it through and who’s not. It goes beyond are you gonna quit or not. There’s actual physical
limitations that human bodies have and they’re weird. For instance we had a guy
in my SEAL training class that was an NCAA water polo
team captain and champion, so the guy was a physical stud, but for whatever reason he
didn’t have strong forearm grips, so he couldn’t climb ropes
and hang on the ladders, and they just broke him
down on the obstacle course, which is very grip intensive, and he just quit. And so here’s a guy that’s a
way better athlete than I am, but he just had this one weakness that made him quit. The other thing that happens
is people get injured, people get pneumonia,
people get hypothermia, people get stress fractures, so there’s a whole litany
of things that can catch you that have nothing to do with
your will to make it through. Now your will, to make it and not quit, definitely goes a decent distance, but I can’t, even if I
knew you were a completely committed person, that’s
never quits at anything, I still can’t give you, I still wouldn’t put money on it. I can’t put money on anyone
going through SEAL training just like I can’t put money
on people going into combat and what they’re gonna be like. – It’s the durability. – Yeah it’s 100 percent
chance that I would decide that I didn’t want to do it anyway. (laughs) I wasn’t, I didn’t, you know you know when
you grow up as a kid there’s just certain things
you know you wanted to do that, my passion was something else. But how much of that, cause
that’s an interesting thing that you’re saying, how much of it is mental and
how much of it is physical and just luck of not getting hypothermia? – It’s both. Because if you can’t
climb a rope physically, it doesn’t matter how
much mentally you want to climb the rope, if you can’t do it physically,
you’re not gonna make it. – But you don’t now that
before you get there? – You do and you could put
that back on the mental side and say well if you know
and you’re mentally tough then you’re gonna train
yourself to a certain point, but there’s people that break
down and don’t make it through and they physically break,
they physically break and they can’t make it. And there’s also, also some people that are really gifted athletes,
they’re making it through more based on their
physical attributes than their mental attributes. Now you get a kid that’s
a horrible athlete, that’s slow and weak,
but he’s good enough, he’s gonna make it through
on his mental toughness and his grip, so it varies for different people for what’s gonna get’em through. – What was your favorite
part of that, the training? – I loved it all, I
thought it was all fun. You know there’s a week in
there that’s called hell week which is you know a week for five days and you do physical
evolutions the whole time and you’re not allowed to sleep. And everyone’s scared of that, and that’s where the vast
majority of people that quit quit, during that week, and to me that week was a joke, it was very easy for me because, all you had to do is keep going, all you had to do was keep
going and you make it. There wasn’t, you run, but
there’s not time limit on the run you swim but there’s not
time limit on the swim, you have to paddle the
boats all over the place but there’s no time
limit on getting there, so you just have to keep going. And they’re trying to break you mentally, and I wasn’t breaking mentally, so it was a fun time for me. I was laughing. – That’s awesome. When you’re training to be a Navy SEAL, how much of it is the mental and like, I would call it like school book part where you’re reading and learning, the mental side of it,
not diving and jumping. – Well the first part, when
you go through the basics of SEAL training is 95 percent physical. You learn a little bit
of stuff along the way but it’s nothing important, and they’re basically
making sure that you have a functioning brain, that’s all they’re doing. Can you figure out dive physics, can you figure out the weapon systems and know the nomenclature
of the weapons systems, so you do that but again
it’s all just basic memorization almost. But none of that really matters, and then you get to the
SEAL teams which is where you actually become a SEAL, where you learns the tactics,
techniques, procedures that make you into a SEAL
that learns how to close with and destroy the enemy, learn small unit tactics, learn fire maneuver, that’s the stuff, and
that stuff is all mental. There’s a little bit of
physical stuff on it, but it’s almost all mental, of, okay, here’s where the enemy
is, here’s where I am, here’s where my team is, here’s where my supporting elements are, here’s how I’m gonna move
these pieces on the chess board to win this situation. And that is all mental. Now part of the reason it
feels like it’s all mental is your physical baseline
has to be good enough that just because you’re carrying
a heavy load and sweating and getting dehydrated and
moving at a high rate of speed through a long distance, you’re not gonna pay attention to that and you’re gonna be mentally aware, and paying attention, and again, learning how
to move those chess pieces on the battlefield. So, there is a physical
component, that’s a baseline that’s just always present, but the mental training is then a, the primary part of it. Especially for the guys in
the leadership positions which everybody in the SEAL teams, as they come up through the SEAL teams, they grow and advance into
more and more leadership positions. – Pardon my ignorance
cause I’ve never been, you know I don’t understand it all, but the one thing when
you’re dropped in somewhere on a mission, and there’s like a small group of you, like six or eight on a special mission, in your experience was there ever a time where it was hard getting out? – Sometimes it is. – So how do you get out? – It just depends on the situation. It just depends on the
situation and where you’ve been placed and you know one
thing that we do well is we plan contingencies, so we would look at a situation
and say oh, we’re going to this location, this
seems like a place where bad things could happen, it seems like a place we
might not be able to get helicopters into this spot, so let’s figure out a way, let’s figure out a secondary
location that we can get to. Let’s have a way to bring
in closed air support that can come from the sky and drop bombs and then provide cover while
we bring in helicopters in, or we have a secondary place
where we can get picked up by vehicles, so we will plan accordingly
to prevent as much as possible getting into a situation
where we’re feeling like we can’t get out of here. We’re gonna plan accordingly. – Was there a situation in
reference to getting out where you were on like
the third contingency? – Well I think a great
story in the book that Lafe, and Lafe is the guy that
wrote the book with me, Lafe Baben, he was one of 10
commanders that worked for me in Ramadi in our deployment to Iraq and he’s my business partner, and he wrote a great story in there, and they were in an overwatch position, which meant they had
snipers, they were watching an area of Ramadi looking for bad guys, killing bad guys, and the enemy, this was in a building, so they’re in a big building, and while they were in the building, and enemy came and planted an
IED outside the front door. So the guys, the EOD guys, the explosive ordinance
disposal guys that do that you know look out for
bombs and try and keep us safe from IEDs, those guys
spotted it before the platoon broke out and left the building, so luckily they saw it. And they said okay, now
what are we gonna do? How are we gonna get out of here? Well, for whatever reason,
this building had one door, and that was the only door, and the bomb was right outside the door. So Lafe and his guys sat
there and thought about it, what can we do? Well we can’t, if we
walk out the front door they’re probably gonna have an ambush, they’ve got the bomb, it’s gonna be bad, so what else can we do? How can we get out of here? Can we put, can we repel
out one of the windows? And what they ended up
doing was getting out their sledgehammers and sledgehammering
through a concrete wall to get out the building from
another, another egress route. So there’s a good example of hey, we’re in a really bad
situation, how are we gonna get out of here? Oh I know how we’re gonna get out of here, we’re gonna get out
sledgehammers and pound through this concrete wall. Until we make a man sized
hole and then we’re gonna crawl out. – Literally smash through a wall to get to the objective. – Breaking down walls. – Yeah it’s good. So if I can shift gears for just a minute, in the book you talk
about mentors and people that you had with you when
you were in the military, and then I was listening to your podcast, with Steve Austin, and you were talking
about when you came out, and you stared to get recognized, somebody asked you to speak
to a group of managers and leaders, and share some of the principles
that you’ve learned, and it kind of grew and
escalated from there, and you grew a business out of it. Did you have a mentor, so that when you said hey man, I got something here,
this could be a business, did you have someone that helped you, that walked you through
it, that kind of showed you the path? – No. – Not on the business end of it, nobody that, – Nope. Now what I did have was good relationships with people that were
in the business world, and as I talked to them
and uncovered things, plus it all just makes sense. It’s leadership. The fundamental principles of leadership they don’t change. Do they nuance? Yes. Are there little variations? Yes. But the fundamental
principles of leadership, they don’t change whether
you’re on the battlefield or you’re in business, they just don’t. Or you’re running, an eight year old and
under girl’s soccer team, the leadership principles stay the same. I don’t care what situation you are. Leading humans is a, there’s a science to it. Now there’s also an art to it. There’s an absolute art to it. So you have to understand the science, and you have to know the fundamentals, and you have to understand the disciplines of the science in order
to become an artist, and start to work those nuances. It’s like you were showing me earlier a guy that’s a woodworker. Well, the fundamental principles
of woodworking are the same but this guy gets a, every piece of wood is different. It’s got a different grain to it, it’s got knots in it, it’s got all these
different types of wood, you know I’ve got wood at my house, Brazilian Ipe, that’s four
times harder than teak, so there’s the principles are the same, but you have to use a certain technique. And it’s the same thing
with being a leader, the principles are gonna stay the same, but the techniques that you use and the tools that you use to lead people are going to vary and change, but they all, they won’t violate the basic principles of leadership. – Yeah we always say
you’re painting a Picasso. You have to, it’s the timing,
it’s all of it at one time. Especially when we’re trying
to turn something around real fast, the timing is a big part of it. Cause you have to do everything, you can’t, there are just certain stages that if you don’t do it
it doesn’t get momentum, and once you have momentum
it’s hard to stop, but yeah we always say painting a Picasso, it is art. And that’s the fun part. Is great leaders, it is like art. Like Steve Jobs it was art in a way. – Yeah and I think a good
example is Jimmy Page from Led Zeppelin, are
you familiar with him? – I am. – Okay. He was a studio musician
for many many years, meaning they told him play
this piece of paper right here, you follow this music. And he did it and he did it
perfectly for all those years and he was highly
disciplined and he understood the fundamentals of music. But then when he, in Led Zeppelin, you know he was able to just
take that and now create. And that’s why he’s considered
to be one of the greatest guitarists of all time, because he knew those
fundamentals so well that when he broke out, and
he’d set his mind free, he was able to just express
in a way that many people haven’t been able to do. – Yeah, and in a lot of
ways he kind of reinvented some of it with his approach to it. What kind of music do you listen to? – I listen to primarily heavy metal. And old school, – Specifically which bands? – Well, I mean we’re
talking about Led Zeppelin, but Black Sabbath would likely
be my all time favorite. Actually it would be. – Oh see I thought you were
gonna go heavier than that. So that makes sense. Gary’s a Journey, Foreigner, what else? – I’m sorry to hear that. – He’s always making fun of me. – You can’t be all Journey bro. – Come on bro Journey comes on in a bar, everybody goes nuts. – What do you think about Kanye? – Who’s that? – Oh he’s just a rap guy. He’s married to Kim Kardashian. – No. – He’s actually pretty good. I like him. But he’s pushing some boundaries for sure. Cool, anything else G man. – So when I went to high school I was in the weightlifting class, you know I listed a lot
when I was in high school, and everybody always wanted
to know what your bench was. So I am curious, Chris
and I lift at the gym we do a lot of power cleans and dead lifts and all that, bench and squat, so I’m curious do you have a number. – I don’t bench a lot anymore, I just, you know my shoulders,
I just don’t find it to be good for my shoulders. If you ever trained any jujitsu, there’s certain moves in
jujitsu that are actual submission holds that make you tap, and submit because they’re
hurting your shoulder and some of them are very
similar to bench press. But you know I think the
most I’ve ever benched was like 350, I’m not a very strong bencher. I can dead lift around 500, and you know, squat, you know I do a lot of higher rep squat, where I, and I also am very particular
about full range of motion all the way down for my squats, but yeah I squat, you know, some higher reps with a decent weight. – Is that your routine though, you do mostly power lifting
exercises like that? – I do calisthenics, I do, you know I have rings at my
house so I do all kinds of gymnastic type, well that’s a stretch
cause gymnasts are actually you know incredibly, they do a lot more than
what I play around with, but I have rings at my house, I have bumper plates, so I squat, clean, dead lift, clean and jerk, snatch, I have cattle bells, I
have a rowing machine, I live by the beach, I sprint, I run, I do jujitsu every day just about. And, so yeah, I surf. I definitely stay active as much as I can. – What about the surfing? So I recently, I lived up in San
Francisco most of my life and I moved down to LA to work with Chris and I live by the beach, I
live out by Venice Beach, and so I took up surfing, had a guy teach me how, and I’m still struggling with it. But I’m trying to get the hang of it. When did you pick up surfing? I grew up in New England, and so I started surfing,
I had an old lifeguard guy that was older than me
that just for whatever reason, said hey I’m gonna teach you how to surf, and that was when I was 10 years old. So it was a real help to me, because that water, that
familiarity with the water, and comfort in the water
that really tricks up a lot of people going
through SEAL training, because a lot of it is in the water, and they come pretty close to drowning you in a lot of situations, and if you’re not
comfortable in the water, you’re not gonna make it through, so I was super comfortable in the water from growing up surfing
in the winter time, cold water, you know hurricane
swells up in New England, so it was a real benefit for me that that guy reached out
and said I’ll teach you how to surf. It’s funny that you mention
that cause when I talked to people about surfing, that’s the one thing they say, that they’re afraid of the ocean. Like they’re afraid of drowning, they’re afraid of the waves tumbling, you know sometimes you get under a wave and you just gotta wait for it to stop before you come up. – Yeah and if you’re not
comfortable in the water surfing is not gonna be fun for you. I would tend to agree with that. – Yeah absolutely. (laughs) That’s it, I’m out of questions. I mean I probably have 100 more, but we don’t want to hold him up all day. – Yeah, no it was fun,
thank you for doing this. – Thanks for having me. – Appreciate it. – It’s pretty sweet of you, and we’ll see you at the event. – Awesome, looking forward to it. – Thanks Jocko. – Thank you. (grunge rock music)

26 Replies to “Leadership Training Fundamentals with Navy SEAL Jocko Willink: Service Drive Revolution #6”

  1. It's actually normal for your cholesterol values (more specifically LDL) to get worse while you lose weight. They get better afterwards.

  2. He is right about kids not connecting with stuff their parents say. My parents used to say never spend more money than you have (credit card) and I had no idea what they meant at the time. Anyways.

  3. First things first: I have never heard of Chris before, never mind seen him. But I have to say, I think that is possibly the greatest beard I have ever seen. Seriously.

  4. About the cholesterol, have your doctor check for familial hypercholesterolemia. It's a condition that my dad has and it turns out it's very commonly undiagnosed and leads to early heart attacks in people (he had one at 52 with all of his arteries clogged more than 65%, some at 95%). He can eat as healthy as he possibly can and he'll still show up with a very high score.

  5. JOCKO!! You have to explain the importance of why your asking your leaders and subordinates to accomplish or take on a mission ??

  6. What an epic beard. How much coconut oil would you have to use?
    "You're kind of like Madonna where you are a one-name brand"
    (SILENCE) Jocko W. "hm… yeah… I guess."
    Why in the heck would you open with that? And yes you do have the best wife on the planet, evidently.

  7. Why are interviewers justifying their experiences in elaborate ..simply sidetracking Jocko's substance.

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