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Wednesday, July 22, 2015
SEAL Team Six Member Shares Leadership Lessons
When a Navy SEAL comes up against an obstacle at work, he doesn’t head for the nearest pub where he complains about his problems or blames his inaction on a lack of resources. You won’t find him dragging his feet when times get difficult, and you won’t find him abandoning teammates because he thinks they have lousy ideas.
Well, sure, you might think — that’s because he’s a SEAL. These elite fighters are trained to never give up, and it’s unlikely that they’d sit around flummoxed by a shipping error in Toledo or a software glitch in Anaheim.
But what if you could train your team to respond to difficulties and challenges just like a Navy SEAL? Retired Chief Petty Officer Rob Roy of SEAL Team Six says it can be done.
In a new book, “The Navy SEAL Art of War,” Roy outlines how he trains business leaders to use SEAL skills to overhaul departments so that they are staffed by resilient, tough, competitive and smart teams ready to take on any challenge.
It all begins with letting go of limitations we place on ourselves, he says.
For example, if you ask a Navy SEAL how many pushups he can do, he won’t say he can do 20 or 45. “I can do at least 100,” he will respond. Roy explains that this isn’t bragging, but rather an indication that the SEAL has been trained to see possibilities, not barriers.
Such a mindset can be part of any team, whether it’s in a factory or high-tech office, he says. The key is understanding that “everyone wants to be part of something,” and leadership must communicate the mission and why it matters.
“We tend to limit ourselves and what we think we can do. We play it safe,” he says. “What I’m saying is that you can get people to push themselves and have a real sense of satisfaction. I’m not talking about overworking your employees – but getting everyone on the same page so they know what the goals are and what they need to do.”
An organization that keeps team members apprised of what’s going on – and encourages them to take the ball and run with it – will have a team that is smarter, more strategic and more focused, he says.
Here are some ways Roy says any team can be just as strong, well-trained, resilient and successful as a SEAL team:
SEALS often spend days, weeks, or months training for one assignment. They are given enough information and training so that if their plan needs to change, they’re ready. For example, close quarters defense (CQB) is one of the most difficult things a SEAL does because it can require intense hand-to-hand fighting and actions “aren’t debated or deliberated over, but are performed without hesitation,” Roy says.
“When you are well-trained, everything becomes instinctual,” he says. “That’s the game changer.”
For a business, it’s the same story. An organization that has a culture of endless training will deliver better results and better value. Employees will (read more here)