Book Review: Extreme Ownership - How U.S. Navy SEALS Lead And Win- A Joey Slaughter Blog

Contributing author Joey Slaughter is the owner of Blue Ridge Transport, LLC. A Ringgold, VA based carrier. Joey started his company in 2010 after serving time as an unhappy employee with a local trucking company. The time spent there was not fun but, in hindsight, was a turning point that propelled Joey into the wonderful world of being an entrepreneur. Please visit for more insightful blogging.

“Extreme Ownership- How U.S. Navy Seals Lead and Win” is a book written by two Navy SEALs that peaked my interest recently. I learned about the book when I saw both authors, Jocko Willink and Leif Babin, on FOX News being interviewed. I have a lot of respect for all military, but especially our special forces and knew I wanted to read this book and possibly learn some new leadership philosophies.

In a nutshell this book is about military leadership and how it can be applied to business. I really enjoyed the war stories contained within as both authors were Seal officers that spent a considerable amount of time in Iraq. In their book, they take lessons learned from their training and actual battles and apply them to the business world. Believe it or not, killing bad guys has a lot of applications in civilian life.

The battle scenes that they describe are very riveting and I was surprised how often fratricide (friendly fire) either happened or almost happened. They truly describe the fog of war and the dangers within. It was situations like these where the authors applied the lessons learned to the business world. Effective communication may not be a matter of life or death in the business world, but it’s definitely important. And it’s one that bigger companies struggle with. According to the authors, ineffective communication is one of the biggest weaknesses in larger companies today.   I can personally attest that anyone can surely take principles of military leadership and apply them to their individual business.

I’ve heard these guys interviewed extensively, both on cable news and on podcasts. I can assure you- they are VERY intense. They have both seen a lot of “tip of the spear” combat and even served with Chris Kyle, the deadliest sniper in American history, whom a movie was made about: “American Sniper” starring Bradley Cooper.

If you’ve served in the military, I’m not sure you’ll learn anything new. My experience as a soldier in the Army taught me just about every leadership principle that the authors mentioned. Of course, their real world Seal experience really modeled outstanding examples of the principles they are teaching in the book.

If you have never served in the military I recommend this book to you. It describes the military decision-making process and will help you to focus on the right things in order to complete the mission (whatever it is) in a satisfactory way. Once the mission is defined, you will need to identify the tasks that are required to be mastered in order to fulfill the mission. It’s similar to backwards planning. Start with the end result and then determine the steps needed in which to get there. Focus on the process and the end result will be success.