Study Notes: Jordan Harbinger/Jocko Willink Interview

The Analysis: coaching insights from a warrior (ex Navy SEAL). Notes jotted in chronological order (a few with rough time stamps) and taken from a coaching perspective.

The Notes:
•if Jocko could tell his 20-year-old self anything, it would be that he doesn’t know anything. Growth happens in five year increments — when you’re 20, you think you know everything. When you’re 25, you go, “oh wow, at 20 I didn’t know anything, but I know it all now.” Etc, etc, through 30 and 35, and by the time you hit 40 you realize there’s a pattern and you still don’t know anything.
“The best deliverer of humility is life itself.” — Jocko Willink
•to teach humility, give somebody a project that they can’t handle — slightly outside their competency level, “hey, since you’re so smart, go ahead and do x” (~6 min)
•to teach confidence, give somebody a project within their competency level “hey, this is a big project, can you handle this for me?” And when they successfully complete it they’re more competent. And then they can move up to take your job and you can take somebody else’s job.
•don’t feel threatened by other people taking your job. You want to train people to take your job, and you’ll move up too.
•to give feedback to somebody above you, don’t tell them they’re wrong (unless they’re a great leader, they’ll be offended). Instead, ask them to elaborate on a couple points you’d like clarification on (why are we doing this x way, etc.) This forces them to think about it. You’re coming from a perspective of wanting to help their plan, and they’re open to you. Maybe their plan is actually fantastic, and you didn’t understand it, and if you still don’t understand you ask “why are we doing it this way instead of this way?” You can do this DOWN the chain of command too. ~10 min
•”If you want freedom in your life, there’s only one way to do that, and that’s discipline.” — Jocko Willink
•external discipline vs internal discipline — external discipline is good, but it’s finite. You need internal discipline to sustain it.
•to avoid having people tell you what to do, get ahead of the curve and do it before they ask you to.
•people know what they need to do. They know what they need to do to make their life better.
•Jocko watched his leaders when he was in the SEALs and he figured out what he liked and what he didn’t, to mimic when he was a leader.
“When you write things down, you have to think about it. The more you think about something, the better you understand it.” — Jocko Willink
•the path to misery is a comfortable path. The path to slavery is a comfortable path.
•if you did burpees today instead of watching TV, if you eat beef jerkey instead of a donut, you won’t notice a difference in your life trajectory. But if you did that every single day, your whole life trajectory would change.
•the stakes are just as high in the real world as they are in combat, it’s just harder to see. You have one life and death is coming fast. Your life is on the line every day when you wake up (and the trajectory and quality of your life).
“Do not accept your weaknesses. Fight every day to change them.” — Jocko Willink
•when you don’t like anything at all, but you know it’s something you know you should do, you gotta lean into it, because that means you need it.
•most of the time when humans think they need rest, they don’t. Take rest when you know you need it, but take it tomorrow. Err on the side of pushing yourself.
•logic and emotion work in tandem, especially wen you have to dig a little deeper. When your logic tells you it’s time to stop, you need to dig into the emotions and push it. If your emotions are struggling to keep going, you have to dig into the logic to keep going. (~43 min)

Leave a Reply