Extreme Ownership by Jocko Willink & Leif Babin
This book is all about how you can be a better leader.
Truth be told, I wasn’t expecting a lot from this book. I assumed (from the title Extreme Ownership) that the whole book was going to be about you taking 100% responsibility and 100% ownership on everything.
And yes, that principle is mentioned in this book, but there is also so much more!
Overall, I was pleasantly surprised, and the book was much better than I expected it to be.
The structure of the book
The book is broken down into three parts:
- Part #1. Winning the War Within
- Part #2. The Laws of Combat
- Part #3. Sustaining Victory
Within each of those parts are various principles, and each principle is then structured as below.
- A military story that illustrates the principle in action
- A definition and an in-depth explanation of what the principle actually is
- How the principle is applied to business
Not just about team leadership!
Although Extreme Ownership is about how to be a better leader, there is a lot that you can take out of this book even if you don’t lead a team.
There’s plenty of beneficial information in the book that can help you to understand your behavior, how you interact with other people, and how you can improve yourself and your performance as an individual.
I myself do not lead a team, however, I still found the book to be very valuable.
Jocko Willink & Leif Babin
It was great to have both authors taking equal parts in reading the book, rather than hearing from just one of them or having someone totally different narrate the book.
I thought that the authors’ strong voices added to the stories, especially the military ones, and that did enhance the whole experience for me.
Easy to navigate
This is the first audiobook I’ve read where the chapters are titled correctly within the Amazon Audible app, which is excellent.
It’s easy to listen to the book and know exactly where you’re at and it also makes recapping quick, easy, and convenient.
A couple of downsides and upsides
On the negative side, the book did take an awfully long time to get going.
If you add together the introductory phases of the book, you have about 50 minutes before the book really starts to get into the meat of the message the authors are sending.
Also, it’s obvious that the book is being read, rather than spontaneously narrated, and that can detract from the reader experience.
Although you can find yourself tuning out at times because of the style of the author’s delivery, some of the stories and experiences were quite captivating, and that draws you back into the book quite quickly.
Another nice feature is the odd sound effect that is used throughout the book.
For example, if the military story refers to a bomb going off, there’s a sound effect of a bomb exploding in the background. That’s a nice touch that helps to keep the reader engaged.
My overall thoughts
Overall, I think this is a great audiobook that gives you good value for money.
I learned a lot of principles from the book that I found useful to me in my professional role, even though I don’t lead a team. So, there’s plenty to take from the book that will help my performance.
I like the way the book is structured, and the application to business sections were very valuable. So, all-in-all, there’s a lot to like about this book.
Have you listened to Extreme Ownership?
This book review is my personal opinion and experience of Extreme Ownership.
If you’ve listened to this audiobook (or read the physical book) please remember to share your thoughts in the comments section below. And give the book a score out of 10 by using the Reader Rating Bar in the box above.