The Dichotomy Of Leadership
Updated: Dec 15, 2019
The Dichotomy of Leadership, by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin is the 2nd book they've written together. While I didn't find it quite as compelling as their first book, Extreme Ownership, it is a very good book that dives into important qualities required for successful leadership in order to give leaders a deeper understanding of some of the theories they discussed in Extreme Ownership, furthering the discussion about what an effective leader looks like.
Using lessons from their experiences as US Navy SEALS throughout their training and their service in the Battle of Ramadi during the Iraq War, Willink and Babin have compiled another leadership handbook that offers strong support for their first masterpiece. "Extreme Ownership is the foundation of good leadership. But leadership seldom requires extreme ideas or attitudes. In fact, quite the opposite is true: leadership requires balance."
The Dichotomy of Leadership examines the idea of balance in leadership and how it applies to the decisions that leaders face on a daily bases on a multitude of topics. It provides practical application from their experiences working with leaders in the corporate sector, and addresses how to lead both up and down the chain of command.
I particularly like the practical application sections because they outline how a particular problem was identified and explain how their ideas were put into action, which is, perhaps, the most important part.
The purpose of writing these reviews is to give others a bit of insight into the content of the book. Ultimately, however, for a book to really impact your life, you've got to be willing to put the ideas into action if you deem it worthy. Learning is all well and good, but without action, you are just obtaining useless knowledge. If you want that knowledge to change your life, or if you want to impact positive change in the lives of others, taking action is a requirement.
"Good leaders are rare; bad leaders are common."
In order to be a good leader, you have to be willing to learn and change and grow. Even when it is uncomfortable. Especially when it is uncomfortable. "There is no growth in the comfort zone."
"Leadership - at every level - is the critical factor in whether a team succeeds or fails." When considering that it only makes sense to get outside of your comfort zone, seek to learn more, and to put what you've learned into action.
I wrote about Extreme Ownership a few times if you'd like some additional thoughts.