I’ve been having a blast with my new Kindle. It is small enough (around 6") that it fits in my pocket, so I can carry it around when I’m running errands and do some reading on the go.
So far I’ve only read one book on it, “Extreme Ownership” by Jocko Willink (@jockowillink) and Leif Babin. It is a book about practical lessons on leadership drawn from the experiences they both had as Navy SEALs deployed in Iraq for many years. Each chapter starts with an anecdote from their time in Iraq to showcase a leadership principle that they then apply to real businesses that they’ve helped through their company Echelon Front, a consulting business that provides leadership advice to companies.
The book is very actionable. Regardless of your opinion or judgment about the US military and wars in general, there are many lessons we can all learn from.
In particular, what caught my attention was the constant reminder that leaders must always check their egos. They must be the ultimate team players:
"On any team, in any organization, all responsibility for success and failure rests with the leader. The leader must own everything in his or her world. There is no one else to blame. The leader must acknowledge mistakes and admit failures, take ownership of them, and develop a plan to win."
The book also provides insights into the life of the soldiers and their operations. I was surprised to read that before and after every mission, the SEALs would prepare PowerPoint presentations about their plans. They also perform “retrospectives” to use an Agile term:
“We owned our planning process. After each combat operation, we pulled our platoon together and talked through the details in a post-operational debrief. In a concise and to-the-point format, we analyzed what had worked and what hadn’t, how we might refine our standard operating procedures, and how we could do it better. As a result, we constantly learned and grew more effective. That ensured we performed at the highest levels.”
Nerd Corner 🤓
Following advice from people I read and from Jocko Willink himself (check his Twitter for discipline inspiration), several months ago I started experimenting withmorning routines.
It has been a wild but fulfilling ride. I’ve learned a lot about myself and have regained time to work on my projects. I can’t recommend enough that you find a morning routine that works for you.
Twitter’s CEO recently announced the ban on political advertising on the platform. At first, this sounds like super good news, but some questions about the effectiveness and implications of the decision are still unclear (think about second-order effects). I am preparing a blog post about this 📝. Stay tuned!
The US has amassed a 48-ton pile of bacon 🥓. This is the largest pile in US history mostly driven by demand on the Chinese market.
It is fire season here in California 🔥. This Twitter thread by WIRED magazine summarizes the many issues and challenges related to these fires. Spoiler alert: climate change doesn’t get all the blame.