How Do You Lead When You Work for a Large Company?

If you’re working for a large construction company, you probably have times when you feel like your leadership capabilities are shackled. After all, unless you’re the CEO, isn’t your influence minimal if you’re working for a 100 million dollar company with over 200 employees?

Not so, according to Willink. In fact, the size of the company you’re working at doesn’t have to be an obstacle to building your leadership skills. Here’s how anyone can get better at leadership even if they’re working for a larger company.

Learning and implementing the Extreme Ownership principles.

There are a number of ways for companies to work with Echelon Front to train their people in leadership skills. “We offer a bunch of options,” Willink said. “And we serve them up in many different ways, depending on the size of the company, its scope, and its specific status or situation.”

Live workshop sessions

When larger companies work with Echelon Front, Willink often puts together workshops, either in-person or virtual, for those in leadership positions in the company. These workshops are live sessions, incorporating a blend of presentation, interactive discussions, Q&As, practical exercises, and breakout sessions.

The result? Program participants obtain a deeper understanding of the Extreme Ownership principles, and get the opportunity to build specific leadership skills — for example, how to have those tough conversations — through experiential learning activities.

Extreme Ownership Academy

There’s also an option for companies looking specifically for online training. “We might enrol their people in the Extreme Ownership Academy, our online training program,” Willink noted. This online program offers weekly virtual sessions with direct access to Echelon Front’s leadership instructors, as well as a number of courses where students can learn individualized skills to solve problems specific to the management and leadership issues they face every day.

Leadership Development and Alignment Programs

Echelon Front’s Leadership Development and Alignment Programs are customized to meet a company’s specific needs and objectives, and can incorporate training sessions with every level of leadership within the client organization. The programs are based on outcomes and metrics, and participants obtain in-depth knowledge of the Extreme Ownership principles, which they then implement by applying the principles to the specific leadership challenges they face.

Getting everyone in alignment.

One important goal of the training is to get everyone in alignment around the same form of leadership. What exactly does this mean? “It’s not about aligning your company,” Willink pointed out. “It’s not about saying, Hey, we’re aligned towards this mission. It’s about aligning our methodology of leadership.”

When a company can achieve this kind of alignment, its people are able to communicate about leadership in a coherent way with each other. “When we’re aligned, we all have the same principles, and we all understand them,” Willink said. “And we can all see what our shortfalls are, so we can start to correct them.”


You might feel you can only ever have minimal influence as a leader if you’re working for a large company. But leadership training works to build skills you can use, no matter what size of company you’re with.

The key is to get the people at your company aligned around the same form of leadership. When you do this, your leaders and managers will all speak the same leadership language, broadening their ability to communicate with each other about the leadership challenges they face.