What Effective Team Leadership Looks Like

Valuable tips from a former Navy SEAL

Jim Farina


Photo by Tobias Mrzyk on Unsplash

A team of sharpshooters is slowly approaching an offshore oil rig — the motor on the Zodiac inflatable raft is quietly humming in stealth mode. Your team of Navy SEALs is on a risky training mission, pumped with adrenaline, waiting, and ready for any contingency that might arise. Breath held. Weapons are poised.

Things aren’t going as planned. You have to make a quick call on how to best adjust to this situation. You freeze. For some reason, you can’t make the call.

You realize there are too many places for enemies to hide on this rig. The team is desperate and looking to you for a signal. Time is ticking. You attempt to bark out a command, but your voice is paralyzed. You call again, but no sound comes out.

Suddenly, you wake up in bed. Your heart is pounding. You sigh heavily with mixed feelings of anxiousness and relief.

It’s just another bad dream. A nightmare that is prompted by your role as a team leader. Thankfully, your work is not a matter of life and death, though your business often seems that way.

Learn leadership techniques from an experienced Navy SEAL

If you’re a team leader or in any management position, you know what it’s like to juggle multiple responsibilities, make hard calls, answer to superiors, and balance the tough and tender. You must often work to overcome your insecurities and put your ego in check.

Drawn from his days leading a Navy SEAL platoon and author of the bestselling book Leadership Strategy and Tactics, Jocko Willink uses many skills he’s learned in the field and applies them to business leadership.

Willink knows about practicing humility, building trusted relationships, and tempering his ego. We can all use these lessons, whether in leadership roles or managing relationships within our family sphere or almost any group structure.

Good leadership is less about aggression and more about balance

We’re all familiar with those over-aggressive, militaristic references in the business realm — terms like “take no prisoners” or…