One Question Great Leaders Ask Themselves When Things Go Wrong (to prevent it from happening again)

One Question Great Leaders Ask Themselves When Things Go Wrong (to prevent it from happening again)
Photo by Luca Bravo / Unsplash

In 2015, Jocko Willink and Leif Babin popularized the concept of “Extreme Ownership.”

But if you’re not leading a team of Navy Seals into combat, how do you practice “Extreme Ownership” day to day?

Turns out there’s one simple question you can ask:

How did my actions (or inaction) contribute to this problem?

This question is so powerful because it:

  • Shifts the focus inward (instead of looking for something to blame)
  • Is short and simple (instead of being an exercise you’ll avoid)
  • Gets your thinking about next time (instead of dwelling on what you can’t change)

Start asking yourself this question and you’ll discover opportunities to improve. And as you notice these opportunities, the patterns that make them similar will start to become obvious. Which means you’ll be able to make a few changes and solve a lot of problems at once.

And part of being a great leader is learning and growing from your mistakes.