Jocko Willink – The Moment with Brian Koppelman

Key Takeaways

  • Deep down, you know what the right thing to do is
    • If more people listened to the voice inside their head telling them to do the right thing, their lives would be much better
  • When you impose discipline in your life, your will to be a better person becomes stronger
  • “As a leader, if I have to yell at you, I made a mistake, I haven’t led you correctly”
  • Leadership advice – losing your temper or being hyper-emotional is a weakness
    • If you can’t control your emotions, how can you control your subordinates?
  • The best leaders are humble, the worst leaders are arrogant
  • The best way to tackle fear/risk is to mitigate it through planning and preparation

Intro

Books mentioned:

First, Some Background

  • Jocko recently made an appearance on Season 4, Episode 8 of Brian’s hit TV show – Billions
  • Jocko has written books for adults on leadership and also books for children on how to be strong and healthy
  • Jocko joined the Navy without telling his parents as an act of rebellion
    • His parents told him he would hate it because Jocko hated people telling him what to do
      • When Jocko got into the SEALs, he always tried to do more than what was required of him. This way – no one could tell him what to do.

Standards & Willpower

  • Brain thoroughly enjoyed Jocko’s recent podcast about setting high standards
    • People know what they should and shouldn’t do – if more people listened to the voice in their head telling them to do the right thing, their lives would be much better
      • A lot of time people do the bare minimum they can get away with – those on a diet sneak in a slice of pizza slice or a donut even though they know it won’t help them
        • “Your will as a human being gets beaten by a donut…that’s ridiculous”
  • When you impose discipline in your life, your will doesn’t get weaker, it gets stronger
    • Ex. – People who work out in the morning are more likely to want to eat a healthy breakfast. People who don’t are more likely to go for the donut when given the option.
  • None of us are living up to our full potential, but we should all strive to come as close as possible

Proper Leadership

  • While in the SEALSs, Jock had the guideline – “As a leader, if I have to yell at you – I made a mistake, I haven’t led you correctly”
  • You want your boss to respect your opinion so when they make a wrong decision, they’ll heed your advice
    • Sometimes you have to “play the game” – if your boss wants something done in a slightly different way, do it their way to build that relationship and not hurt their ego, but if they ask you to do something dangerous, then you have to pull them aside and talk to them
      • If you raise your hand against your boss too much, you become the boy who cried wolf. But if you rarely raise your hand, your boss knows something serious is up when you do.
  • Bad egos can be found everywhere, in both military and business organizations
  • Losing your temper or being hyper-emotional is a weakness
    • If you can’t control your emotions, how can you control your subordinates?
  • The best leaders are humble, the worst leaders are arrogant
  • As a leader, it’s okay to say that you don’t have the answer for everything
    • The person that thinks he knows everything comes across as an arrogant jerk
    • The person who says he doesn’t have the answer looks humble and open-minded

Presidents & Politics

  • Jocko says the last great U.S. President was Ronald Reagan
    • Reagan articulated himself well, showed emotion when necessary, and listened to experts
  • Jocko isn’t worried about the U.S. becoming an authoritative country
    • “I don’t want the government to have massive power”
  • “America is stronger than one man”
    • A President can always be impeached or voted out the following election
  • If you want to talk with someone on the other side of the political spectrum, the worst thing to do is to bark at them
    • Most people aren’t on the extreme left or extreme right, the vast majority of people are somewhere in the middle
      • You want different opinions, views, and debates to find the best solutions to problems
        • Be open to hearing the views from the other side, no one knows everything

Creativity Advice

  • Jocko doesn’t create content (books, podcasts etc.) for the purpose of consumption, he doesn’t care if people love his work – he just works on stuff that personally means something to him
    • Jocko does his podcast because he truly wants to understand things better
  • When writing, not every page or word will be awesome – you’ll have to write, edit, and rewrite several times to make it as clear as possible
    • Sure, some people are geniuses and can get a song right the first take, but the vast majority of people are mortals that have to constantly work and work on their craft to create something spectacular

Additional Notes

  • The best way to tackle fear/risk is to mitigate it through planning and preparation
    • If you’re worried about something happening to your kids, teach them how to defend themselves and who to call during an emergency and practice those scenarios
  • Be able to detach yourself and step back from situations to better understand what’s going on
    • When you start to breathe heavy – make a fist, feel your emotions, take a few seconds to detach, and look around

These notes were edited by RoRoPa Editing Services

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