Resources That Can Help You Grow


Becoming a good leader takes work, whether that’s in business or at home. Jocko Willink has shared his decades of leadership experience in these books. And if you want to learn more about becoming a great leader, you should probably read them!

Extreme Ownership

Extreme Ownership laid out the initial principles of combat leadership,” says Jocko.

Those principles include things like decentralized command, keep it simple, and cover and move. The book teaches you how to take responsibility as a leader so you can help your team succeed.

Jocko wrote Extreme Ownership with fellow Navy SEAL officer Leif Babin, and it hit number one in the Business category on The New York Times Best Seller list in 2015.

The Dichotomy of Leadership

According to Jocko, “The Dichotomy of Leadership is about the balance that a leader has to maintain. Even with those laws of combat, there has to be balance.”

This book teaches you how to not go overboard—so you don’t become the controlling, egotistical boss people can’t stand.

Instead, you’ll learn how to balance your responsibilities. The Dichotomy of Leadership helps you know when to lead and when to follow, when to move and when to pause, and more.

Leadership Strategy and Tactics

The book Leadership Strategy and Tactics talks about “the actual skills to put these things to work . . . It gives people the ability to take these principles and apply them,” Jocko says.

Companies in all industries ask Jocko the same questions over and over again, so he took those questions that he gets asked all the time and rolled them into this book. It answers the overarching question, which is, “How do I lead?”

Jocko says, “People can read the book and go, ‘Yep, I've got this issue. Here's how we're supposed to handle it.’”

Children’s books by Jocko Willink

Jocko has written several children’s books. The Way of the Warrior Kid series teaches kids values like discipline, persistence, good character, inner strength, and more. Mikey and the Dragons teaches kids how to overcome their fears.

Jocko started writing children’s books out of necessity.

“When I was raising my four kids, I wanted to them to have books to read. There weren’t a lot of books that I thought really had the values that I wanted my kids to have . . . so I wrote some books that have those values embedded in them,” he explains.

Jocko adds, “Kids can learn at a young age to be humble, to work hard, that discipline equals freedom—all these things that I talk about. You can learn those things as a kid, and they will benefit you . . . I figured why not start early?”

What to know about Jocko’s books

As Jocko puts it, the concepts in his books are “simple not easy.”

“If you think you're going to read the book one time and be like, ‘Cool, I've got it’ you’re wrong. I work with people who . . . have read all my books, they've listened to every podcast, and they'll still say, ‘Well, this team didn't do it right because they don't have the right attitude,’” he says. So then that team has more work to do.

It takes practice and patience to learn this stuff. But if you work at it, you’ll be better for it.  

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