What Makes A Good Commander?
From Tim Ferris’ interview with, Jocko Willink
Tools of Titans Page 416
“The immediate answer that comes to mind is ‘humility.’ Because you’ve got to be humble, and you’ve got to be coachable…. Later, when I was running training, we would fire a couple of leaders from every SEAL Team because they couldn’t lead. And 99.9% of the time, it wasn’t a question of their ability to shoot a weapon, it wasn’t because they weren’t in good physical shape, it wasn’t because they were unsafe. It was almost always a question of their ability to listen, open their mind, and see that, maybe, there’s a better way to do things. That is from a lack of humility….
“We put these guys through very realistic and challenging training, to say the least. If there are any guys who went through training when I was running it, right now now they’re chuckling because it was very realistic. In fact, it was borderline psychotic. We put so much pressure on these guys and overwhelmed them. A good leader would come back and say [something like one of the following], ‘I lost it, I didn’t control it. I didn’t do a good job. I didn’t see what was happening. I got too absorbed in this little tiny tactical situation that was right in front of me.’ Either they’d make those criticisms about themselves, or they’d ask, ‘What did I do wrong?’ And when you told them, they’d nod their head, pull out their notebook, and take notes. That right there, that’s a guy who’s going to make it, who’s going to get it right. The arrogant guys, who lacked humility, they couldn’t take criticism from others – and couldn’t even do an honest self-assessment because they thought they already knew everything. Stay humble or get humbled.”