#136 The leader's attitude

Happy Sunday, everyone.

In a recent interview, I heard Jocko Willink diving into a few stories that influenced his best-selling book, Extreme Ownership. If you haven’t read it, the overall premise is — in any organization or on any team, all responsibility for success and failure resides in the leader.

The story he shared was about how an attitude of personal responsibility adopted by a group of POWs in a Vietnamese prison camp created an environment for survival.

While simple, it’s really hard to do. I tried it for a few days and let’s just say I have plenty of room for improvement. Here it is.

If any external factor impacts your attitude, it’s your issue.

If your spouse’s snoring or your kids’ constant silliness bothers you, it’s on you.

If your co-worker’s communication style gets under your skin, it’s your problem.

If your client or customer gives you terrible feedback or the result of your marketing leaves you frustrated, guess what?

And this attitude isn’t off base, is it? After all, we can only control our attitudes and actions.

What a different business, relationship, and world we’d have if we took 100% of the responsibility and stopped playing the victim. Sure, sometimes we may be a victim of something but it doesn’t mean we have to play one.

Here are my notes from last week.

Notes on Personal Responsibility

  • I don’t remember where or when I jotted this down, but it’s been a good framework for me to follow when developing areas of personal responsibility

  • K.A.S.H

    • Knowledge: not only depth of logic but strength of conviction

    • Attitude: take every thought captive, taste every word that leaves your mouth

    • Skills: stay curious, learn by doing

    • Habits: first develop the habit, then improve it

Until next time, friends.


P.S. Commercial artist and Pentagram fore-father, Bob Gill, passed away last week. I had the pleasure of watching him present at High Point University a couple of years ago. It was a blast watching the students squirm with his non PC candor. Michael Bierut posted this tribute to some of Bob’s timeless advice for creating ads and designing solutions.

P.S.S. This photographer’s site reminds me (metaphorically and literally) that one of the greatest skills you can ever develop is the art of noticing.

P.S.S.S Wavve (a Calm Capital Company) launched its new website recently, ahead of the rollout of a pretty significant Zapier integration.

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