Successive Approximations

Jocko Willink on Putting Others First

Jocko Willink on Putting Others First

Jocko on Episode 135 of the podcast talks about not trying to hog credit and:

So, the reason [extreme ownership] works, is because I'm not out there doing it for me. That's the big difference.

So if you're out there, thinking "Ah, cool, I'm gonna learn these tactics so I can get further in my life and I can get things out of the world." It's like, no, it's not gonna work out well for you.

On the surface, because I'm gonna tell you what, you gotta take that one step further because guess what. This is the amazing thing.

If what you're doing is you're focused on taking care of the team, taking care of your people, doing the right thing for the right reasons, and you think to yourself, if you listen to this right now thinking "Well, I really want to get ahead. And Jocko just said I'm not gonna get ahead if I, if I put myself [first] to get ahead. It's not gonna work. So this isn't for me."

Here's the dichotomy in this thing. And it's a huge dichotomy.

If you're there and you're in a leadership position, or you're just in a position, or in a relationship, and you're doing things for the team, you're trying to take care of the others, you're puting other people above you: in the end, you're going to win.

And you're going to win way bigger than you could if you were clawing and scratching and ripping things and bringing them back to yourself. The end that person that thinks that they're doing the right thing or thinks that they're doing something good for themselves but what they're really doing is taking things from other people. That person, they might get a couple tactical victories along the way, but in the end, the person that puts everyone else first is going to win. They are going to win.

So, it's kinda hypocritical. On the one hand, it's like "No, I don't care about myself. I'm not trying to improve. I'm not trying to improve my station in life." But, by doing that, you will improve your station in life and you'll improve your station in life beyond anything that you could have done if your goal was to improve your station in life.

The way to get ahead is to not put yourself first and serve others. And eventually you'll get ahead. Which rhymes with the idea from yesterday that the way to build a successful business is not to set out to build a successful business. But just to build something useful for others and something you yourself would like to use.

Don't chase the goal. Follow the process that leads to the goal.

Ben Berry

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