HIGH PERFORMANCE LEADERSHIP

SEMPER FIDELIS 

ALWAYS FAITHFUL

 

The definition of high performance: Consistently raising the bar and succeeding over the long term above and beyond standard measures.

Therefore, a high performance organization (HPO) is a team of passionate professionals that consistently achieve their chosen goals using positively aggressive campaigns as a motivating strategy to out-perform mediocre competition and win through mastery within their committed field of work and play.

A HPO can be a military group, government agency, corporate entity, financial firm, business branch, non-profit, sports team, band of musicians, chefs in a kitchen, school system, gang of friends, small family, or any other gathering of individuals, working together as an effective collective toward agreed upon goals.

In order for these kinds of teams to achieve magnificence and win, they need to wrestle mediocrity with discipline. (Often, the most fierce competition and threatening adversary, is the internal resistance within ourselves.) For this to happen decisively, we need leaders to step up now more than ever before. But not just ordinary leaders, we have enough of these puppets masquerading everywhere. I mean strong and effective leaders that inspire, compel, and earn the hearts and minds of the people who entrust their confidence.

 

WARRIOR WISDOM

 

A high performing person is one who responds to adversity with courage by confronting the situation and manuvers around or through an obstacle that stands in the way of their dreams. At the end of the day, a high performer is one who prepares for their death with optimism by getting the contents of their ultimate game organized in the present moment.

Creativity is evolution in our hands. We are the result of a myriad generations of high performing ancestors who always focused on increasing excellence. In modern times, many of us have forgotten some very important things and have become complacent in our ways. A lot of us have given our power away to intoxicating imitators who have led us down a confusing and dangerous path.

Now is the time to reclaim our sovereignty and recreate a thriving culture on a positively constructive course. Everyone is welcome to cultivate their own unique personal power. Single parents, independent artists, social entrepreneurs, non-profit board members, teachers and students, young and old. Even if we aren’t in an official leadership position, we each still have the personal responsibility to lead by example.

There are many tools and teachers that we can learn a lot from to help us increase the quality of our lives. I found a valuable source of experiential wisdom in the form of a military manual from 1950. It was written by the U.S. Department of Defense and is titled; “Armed Forces Officer”. It is a manifesto for how to be the best person we can be to ourselves, our communities and how to protect the ones we love and serve those we don’t know. It is a very well written document and worth every minute of time to read. This isn’t just about combat, it’s professional principles magified about business and life in general.

I heard about this manual from listening to this podcast by Jocko Willink who is a retired Navy Seal commander. He is a truly impressive leader, warrior (War: a sustained effort to deal with or end a particular unpleasant or undesirable situation or condition.) and man. Watch the video below to see him in action and hear him read excerpts from the manual.

While there is no guarantee of success in leadership, there is one thing that is certain: learning human nature and leading people is the most challenging, and therefore, the most gratifying undertaking of all human endeavors.
— Jocko Willink

The manual covers a lot of territory, is rich with details and reasonably deep. I took the time to distill the core essence of the entire book and condense it down to the most potent passages that apply to the broadest audience. The version I edited is much shorter and full of the most impressive maxims. I believe that my remix will be very easy for you to read, apply the wisdom and make a huge impact in your life.

 
 

The original document was written in 1950 by men of that era. The language reflects that state of mind and their objectives. In consideration for the general public today, I took the liberty to replace many of the words to in order to reflect what is more relevant to to those of us who are living and working in every field of play.

I also substituted their use of the words, "man" and "men", with other words that include women and everyone. It is important for me to make this reading clear, modern and all encompassing. Some of the language they used has a bit of humor in it and I chose to keep certain passages intact so as to preserve the comedy they employ because I enjoy the playful nature of a light-hearted lexicon.

The way that my remix reads is in the context of how we can all become effective leaders of any HPO. It is a manual for magnificence in the modern world of mediocrity. It is a provocative and powerful guide for anyone to transcend amaturism and turn Pro in our respective fields. If you’re ready to take your game to the next level, click on the button below to read the updated version that I composed for you and your team.

 
 
Do not be offended by the assurance with which I deliver my opinions. Correct them; that is the fruit I desire from my work.
— Marshal Maurice De Saxe

The spirit in which this work should be undertaken is clearly indicated in the words of Schuyler D. Hoslett: "Counseling is advising an individual on their situation to the extent that an attempt is made to help them understand it so they may carry out a plan for its solution. It is a process which stimulates the individual's ability for self-direction."

The following few paragraphs are highlights that I arranged together here for a broad overview of all the chapters in the book. I believe that these passages will serve as solid inspiration unto themselves. Within the context of the entire document, they resonate much deeper.

 
 

 

BOOK SUMMARY

 

The main purpose of this book is to stimulate thought and to encourage everyone, especially aspiring leaders, to seek truth for, and in, themselves.

Upon being commissioned in a high performance organization (HPO), one incurs a lasting obligation to cherish and protect their company and to develop within themselves that capacity and strength which will enable them to serve its goals and the welfare of their team with increasing wisdom, diligence, and loyal conviction.

The highest possible consequence can develop from the feelings of people mutually inspired by some great endeavor and moving forward together according to the principle that only those who are willing to serve are fit to lead. Completely immersed in action, they have no time for smallness in speech, thought or deed. It is for these reasons that those who in times past have excelled in the leadership of high performance teams have invariably been great people first and superior leaders second.

What is the main test of human character? Probably it is this: that one will know how to be patient in the midst of hard circumstance, and can continue to be personally effective while living through whatever discouragements beset one and their companions.

Any person who can carry out orders in a cheerful spirit, complete this work step by step, use imagination in improving it, and then when the job is done, can face toward their next duty with anticipation, need have no reason to doubt their own capacity for leadership.

The psychologists assure us that there is a sound scientific basis that, the first-class follower and an effective leader are one and the same.

The advancement within any HPO requires some sacrifice of leisure and more careful attention to the better organization of one's working routine. It means putting the completion of work ahead of golf and bridge. It means rejecting the convenient excuse for postponing solution of the problem until the next time. It means cultivating the mind during hours that would otherwise be spent in idleness or intoxication. It means concentrating for longer periods on the work at hand without getting up from one's chair.

A common experience is to witness team members doing nothing or worse, doing the wrong thing, without one commanding voice being raised to give them direction. In such circumstance, any person who has the nerve and presence to step forward and give intelligent orders in a manner indicating that they expect to be obeyed, will be accepted as a leader and will be given their support.

No competent team member sits around waiting for someone else to give impulse to movement if their senses tell them that things are going to pot. They either suggests a course of action to their leader, ask authority to execute it on their own, or in the more desperate circumstances, gives orders on their own initiative. To counsel any lesser theory of individual responsibility than this would leave every chain of command at the complete mercy of its weakest link, and throughout the general establishment, would choke the fount of inspiration which comes of the upward thrust of energy and of ideas.

It is difficult and essential to find people who can lead effectively. It is a point which we all need ponder, for we tend to overlook that strong leadership is the main thing, and that the best hands are not to be found behind every bush.

Once formed, the habit of getting down to the roots of organization, of seeing with one's own eyes what is taking place, of measuring it against one's own scale of values, of ordering such changes as are needed, and of following-through to make certain that the changes are made, becomes the mainspring of all efficient command action.

The art of leadership is the art of dealing with humanity. Only the leader who dedicates their thought and energy to their team can convert into coherent action their desire to be of greater service to the whole life community.

In an age when there is widespread presumption that practical problems can be solved by phrases, a HPO needs to hold steadfastly to core principles. It does no good for a leader to talk idealism to their team unless they stand four-square with the team, and they see in the leader a symbol of what is good with humanity. Under those circumstances, a leader can always talk to them about the cause, and what the leader says will be a tonic to their morale.

There are many who, thinking themselves workings all day, would still, if they had to make an honest reckoning of the score, be compelled to say that they had done exactly nothing.

It is harder to throw off sloth than to keep it from climbing onto one's back in the first place.

Self-righteousness about knowledge is less hurtful than the arbitrary use of it to limit action. To rule by work rather than to work by rules must be the abiding principle in HPO’s, for finally, in hard clutch situations, nothing else will suffice. In many professional urgencies, these forms frequently have to be swept aside, to achieve results and bring success as quickly as possible.

The professional moves ahead and organizational success advances with it because of those who have the confidence and courage to toss the rule book out the window when it doesn't fit the situation, and who dare to trust their own decisions and improvise swiftly.

 
 

We learn much from challenges, but some of the most obvious lessons are disregarded. One of the things that it can teach us is the tremendous adaptability of the average intelligent person, their ability to take hold of work altogether remote from any prior experience, master it, and find satisfaction in it, provided they are given help and encouragement by those who already know.

As to the making of mistakes, it is just not enough to comment that they have value, provided one has sufficient breadth to learn from hard experience. What is vastly more important is that the mistake, once made, will not be needlessly compounded.

 
 

 

EPILOGUE

 

I sincerely loved to read this, learn from it and arrange it for you. Read the expurgated version in order to get the maximum impact with the minimum time. Remember, these are combat lessons of HPO leadership that are simply magnified and apply directly to business and life in general. It's like a beautiful diamond, forged under pressure. A resplendent pearl, crafted from the grit of immense greif. It is a treasure and is now entrusted to you as a gift. May it bring you and your loved ones glory.

If you're ultra inspired and would like to read the original edition, here's a link to the PDF file. It's free to access and download.

Whichever route you decide to take, I encourage you to take one and get after it. The results will bring light to dark places. The reward is translating challenges into triumphs. Recognize the leader in you, wherever you are in life. Share this with someone. Save it for reference. May this manual be medicine in the making of your bright days and dark nights.

Final thanks to Jocko Willink for his service and contributions. He will continue to make a major difference in my life and if you give him a chance, I bet he will be a source of motivation for you as well. Click on the button below to listen to his powerful podcast. Also check out some of the other book recommendations below. His book "Extreme Ownership is a best seller and fascinating read for sure!

In this riveting talk, Jocko Willink explains from personal experience how war teaches you the most when things go wrong. Jocko asserts that when a team takes ownership of its problems, the problems get solved.