jocko willink

Raising Kids with the Dichotomy of Leadership with Jocko Willink

How can we detach from chaos and our emotions so we can make the best decisions in our lives? How do we know when it’s time to lead and time to follow? How do we apply the balance of leadership and detachment to our family and work life to reach a victorious outcome in any situation?

Today we are pumped to have Jocko Willink on the show. He is a former Navy SEAL, powerhouse podcaster, and co-author of The Dichotomy of Leadership: Balancing the Challenges of Extreme Ownership to Lead and Win with our former guest, Leif Babin.

Jocko tells us how to navigate life with a mindset of extreme ownership, humility, and wisdom. He also talks about raising kids with the dichotomy of leadership so that they can become more resilient, independent, and make the smartest choices for themselves.

Your kids are not going to be who you want them to be, they’re going to be who they are.—Jocko Willink


Jocko Willink

JOCKO WILLINK is a decorated retired Navy SEAL officer, author of the book Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win, and co-founder of Echelon Front, where he is a leadership instructor, speaker, and executive coach.

Jocko spent 20 years in the U.S. Navy SEAL Teams, starting as an enlisted SEAL and rising through the ranks to become a SEAL officer. As commander of SEAL Team Three’s Task Unit Bruiser during the battle of Ramadi, he orchestrated SEAL operations that helped the “Ready First” Brigade of the US Army’s First Armored Division bring stability to the violent, war-torn city.

Task Unit Bruiser became the most highly decorated Special Operations Unit of the Iraq War. Jocko returned from Iraq to serve as Officer-in-Charge of training for all West Coast SEAL Teams. There, he spearheaded the development of leadership training and personally instructed and mentored the next generation of SEAL leaders who have continued to perform with great success on the battlefield.

During his career, Jocko Willink was awarded the Silver Star, the Bronze Star, and numerous other personal and unit awards. In 2010, Jocko retired from the Navy and launched Echelon Front with Leif Babin where he teaches the leadership principles he learned on the battlefield to help others lead and win. Clients include individuals, teams, companies, and organizations across a wide-range of industries and fields.

Jocko Willink had a fairly normal childhood. He grew up in a small new England town and his parents were school teachers. Jocko says he was a rebellious as a kid, and once he grew up, he joined the military to challenge himself and channel his headstrong personality. He chose the SEALs because he, “liked the water and heard it was really hard.”

Jocko is now a family man and has been married to his wife since 1997. He has four children—three daughters aged 19, 18, and 10 and a son who is 16. Jocko applies SEAL experience and leadership training to his household just as thoroughly as he did in the field. His secret is practicing a state of emotional detachment so that temporary feelings do not interfere with executing the best course of action.

When you detach, you make better decisions. You can see more. You’re just an infinitely better human being.—Jocko Willink

What You’ll Learn

  • How Jocko takes charge of his team and family by applying the same tools to both aspects of his life
  • Why it’s critical to distance yourself from chaos, mayhem, and your own emotions in order not to make rash decisions
  • How even though you may know the right course of action for your kids, you shouldn’t force decisions on them
  • Why you must explain to your kids the “why” behind everything you ask them to do and not to do
  • The red flags of emotion that signal it’s time to step back and reflect
  • How to think about the end result and the long game. How does your kid view you? How much leadership capital will you use one small argument? Be strategic.
  • Why yelling is self-defeating. Though there is a temporary outward respect for power, there is an inward disrespect and resentment.
  • Building trust by allowing your kids to execute things on their own
  • How to be realistic and recognize the limitations of your kids
  • How to push your kids beyond their limitations without overwhelming them
  • What happened when Jocko pushed his kids too hard
  • How to constantly modulate to make sure sports are fun
  • How sports and athletics help kids realize that suffering, discipline, and training will bring them fun (wins) and long-term gratification
  • Why specializing in one sport is not as effective as giving them a broad range of athletics
  • How to get your kids off screens and devices
  • The balance of ego and humility in parenting and leadership
  • Jocko’s guidance to his son about getting into fights (it will surprise you)
  • How to assess your kids for confidence, ego, and humility, fear
  • How to encourage low-confidence kids
  • How to humble cocky kids
  • Jocko’s most valuable lessons about marriage
  • Why he says that if you’re annoyed at your partner for something, it’s your fault
  • Why being 100% honest all the time is wrong
  • How to take ownership of what’s going on instead of blaming everyone else
  • How Jocko balances all the demands in his life to show up as the man he wants to be with his family
  • Why it’s not only about how Jocko interacts with his kids, but also about what they see from him
  • Why Jocko’s happy his family doesn’t need him
  • His advice to young SEALs who think about getting out of the military for their family
  • Why he wants his kids to see someone who succeeds from working hard and not because of natural gifts and abilities


Extreme Ownership for Fathers with Leif Babin

Stop Drifting and Consciously Design Your Future with Dominick Quartuccio

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Jocko Willink’s Links






The Dichotomy of Leadership: Balancing the Challenges of Extreme Ownership to Lead and Win

Way of the Warrior Kid: From Wimpy to Warrior the Navy SEAL Way: A Novel

Marc’s Mission: Way of the Warrior Kid (A Novel)

Way of the Warrior Kid 3: Where there’s a Will… (A Novel)


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