I first learned about effective leadership in chaotic environments as a Navy SEAL. Many, if not all, of those basic principles apply in business and life in general. We all have a different definition of success. But when we think of the more notable “successful” leaders out there, the narrative of their journey to the top can get clouded by the glossy exterior of their current existence. But in reality, people who find the greatest success in any endeavour do so through extreme discipline and consistency.
1 – They know the difference between “activity” and “results”.
Most things make no difference. Being busy is often a form of mental laziness – lazy thinking and indiscriminate action.
In the Navy SEAL Teams we used to say “find work.” Meaning if you find yourself at the end of your To Do list, that’s not when your contribution to the team ends. Make a new list of priorities and execute – not busy work, but activities that align with team goals.
2 – They wake up early and violently execute
Tim Cook, the CEO of Apple Inc., starts his day as early as 4:30am to send emails. Jeffrey Immelt, the former CEO of General Electric, says he wakes up by 5:30am for his daily workout routine. Many retired SEALs I know still get up at the crack of dawn to tackle their first workout and get a head start on the day. Always wake up before the enemy!
This of course requires discipline each night. Going to bed earlier isn’t always easy and must also become part of the daily routine.
3 – They focus on making small and continuous improvements
In the SEAL Teams, our training and the levels of expertise that must be reached in many given fields is unimaginable. So, we say eat the elephant one bite at a time. The same applies on the battlefield. If you have ten priorities, you have no priorities.
Kaizen is the Japanese word for “continuous improvement.” In order to effectively engage in personal and professional development, we must focus on small incremental improvements. Resilience isn’t about brief bursts of aggression in pursuit of short-term gains but rather the commitment to a lengthy grind towards long-term goals.
4 – They live with purpose and make decisions that align with their values
Great leaders inspire others and effectively align teams behind a concise mission narrative because they first have taken the time to define their own purpose and values. This allows them to lead with authenticity and by a set of values that drives their behavior.
The best combat leaders I’ve ever known always stayed true to their values, even when getting push back from the team. When we (or a team) deviate from our value system, we lose sight of our purpose and make decisions that don’t align with our desired results.
5 – They take care of their bodies
Mental and physical wellness have a direct impact on leadership ability. Leaders who engage in healthy lifestyles, eat clean, meditate, and exercise regularly make better decisions under fire. And they don’t collapse when running to the sound of gunfire!
In the SEAL Teams, we say that calm is contagious. Staying calm under pressure requires a fit mind and body. This lifestyle also inspires confidence in the leader and the team.
6 – They focus on what is in their immediate control
Another one of my favorite SEAL mottos is stay in your three-foot world. This means focusing on what is in your immediate control and de-prioritizing what isn’t. This isn’t to say we ignore internal and external factors we can’t control, because leadership is in large part about maintaining situational awareness.
Effective leaders focus predominantly on where they, and the team, will have the most impact. This mindset and approach reduces wasted time and energy and ultimately delivers better results.
7 – They ensure all goals are measurable and time bound
If any goal, personal or professional, individual or team, isn’t measurable or time bound, it’s not a goal. At TakingPoint Leadership, we forge high-performance teams and leaders for driving better business outcomes. One of the ways we do this is by coaching teams to engage in better planning, execution and debriefing.
Any goal or strategic imperative must be clear, concise, measurable, and time bound. Depending on the objective, we’ll also teach the OKR model: Objectives and Key Results. Regardless, the most effective leaders ensure the team is pursuing goals that have a clear intent and that all actions towards mission success are measurable and time bound.
YOU SHOULD NOT MISS THESE HEADLINES FROM NIGERIAN TRIBUNE
Massive shake-up in Aso Rock security architecture
THE recent serious fiasco in security at the Aso Rock Villa has warranted a massive reorganisation of the security architecture at the country’s seat of power. The development is connected with security breach, particularly the shooting incident that rocked the Villa for about two weeks… Read Full Story
Nigeria Records 661 New Cases Of COVID-19, Total Now 19,808
Nigeria’s coronavirus (COVID-19) cases, on Friday, increased to 19,808 as 661 new infections were announced by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC)… Read Full Story
APC crisis: INEC in dilemma over Edo primary
AHEAD tomorrow’s conduct of the All Progressives Congress (APC) direct primary to produce its standard-bearer for the Edo State governorship election, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) appears to be in a quandary on whether or not to supervise the process… Read Full Story
Panic, Gloom… •Experts Reveal What COVID-19 Pandemic Portends For Nigeria’s Economy
WHEN Nigerians, at the beginning of the year, expressed their reservations about the 2020 budget, especially the signing of the Finance Bill, which, they argued, would further impoverish the common man, little did they envisage the advent of a public health crisis, in form of COVID-19, throw economies of individuals… Read Full Story
COVID-19: EU, UN Hand Over Medical Supplies To Nigeria
European Union (EU) and United Nations (UN) have received and handed over urgently needed essential medical supplies to the Nigerian Government to fight COVID-19 pandemic in the country… Read Full Story
I Did Not Stop Investigation Of NIRSAL ― Malami
The Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN) has denied an online report that he stopped the investigation of the Nigeria Incentive-based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL)… Read Full Story
Security: It Is Buhari’s Call, Not Buratai’s
President Muhammadu Buhari, last Thursday, gave a damning verdict on the nation’s security and intelligence chiefs when he told them that their best was not good enough for the nation and that he would no longer take any excuse from them for the rising insecurity in the land. According to the National Security Adviser… Read Full Story
Edo: Of Oshiomhole, Saraki’s Snail And Naked Masquerade Allegories
COURT-SUSPENDED All Progressives Party (APC) Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, a few days before his court ouster, subtly flexed his power muscles and demonstrated a commendable grasp of African proverbs and aphorisms. Taking to his Twitter handle to do this, Oshiomhole had aptly announced that his smallish… Read Full Story
90 Days Of Pandemonium: A Nation At War With COVID-19
WHEN the Nigerian Presidential Task Force (PTF) on Coronavirus codenamed COVID-19 was constituted on Tuesday, March 17, the mandate was clear. With a timeline of six months, the body was assigned to “strengthen the national response strategy, particularly in the areas of testing, containment and management… Read Full Story
Resident Doctors Set To Call Off Nationwide Strike, As NGF Intervenes
The leadership of the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) on Saturday night communicated its resolve to suspend the ongoing nationwide strike which commenced on Monday, 16th June 2020… Read Full Story
Alleged Rape Saga: D’banj May Lose UN Ambassador Status
Just days after marking his 40th birthday, Nigerian singer and multiple award winner, D’banj has not been finding things funny as the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Adamu, has ordered a probe into the allegations of rape levelled against him… Read Full Story
Nigeria’s New Rapeublic: Where Repulsively Rapacious Men Prey On Female Gender
TWENTY-TWO-YEAR-OLD Vera Uwaila Omozuwa had hoped to become an evangelist due to her passion for the gospel of Christ. Since the lockdown and closure of places of worship occasioned by the dreaded coronavirus pandemic began, the young lady had always sought the quietude of her church premises to study… Read Full Story
76 Nigerians Killed By COVID-19 In One Week
SEVENTY-SIX Nigerians died of COVID-19 in the last week, data from the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) have shown. Also, 273 patients died of the disease in the country between May 20 and June 18, 2020… Read Full Story