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Leadership Lessons of the U.S. Navy SEALS : Battle-Tested Strategies for Creating Successful Organizations and Inspiring Extraordinary Results Hardcover – December 11, 2002

4.4 out of 5 stars 40 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


"(Military teambuilding offers) more dimensions than a ropes course, and requires initiative, creativity, and discipline. I can easily see the parallels to the workplace." - Stephen Covey" --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

From the Back Cover

Leadership Lessons of the Navy SEALs provides you with hands-on, field-tested advice from authors with decades of experience in both business and combat. This straight-talking handbook shows you how the leadership and teambuilding techniques of the elite, no-nonsense Navy SEALs can help you forge a powerful and goal-driven workforce, one that is prepared to take on--and triumph over--every challenge. Here you'll discover how to create and manage small, skilled, and loyal teams that:

  • Conduct focused operations with a minimum of costly distractions
  • Quickly analyze situations to arrive at logical, effective decisions
  • Work with, instead of against, other team members, sharing victory and learning from defeat

Leadership Lessons of the Navy SEALs is filled with examples of how the SEALs have learned to operate effectively as a team. It discusses the necessity of giving each employee a specific and vital role; explains how you can acquire and keep essential team members without automatically resorting to pay increases; explores various methods you can use to expand or contract your workforce without taking on lethal business risk; and more.

While today's "Lean is better" mantra is great for businesses looking to control their costs, it can be excruciating for employees looking to stabilize and build their careers. Let Leadership Lessons of the Navy SEALs show you how to overcome this environment and instill confidence in each of your employees by creating, training, and leading teams designed to successfully carry out each phase of your company's long-term mission.

Leadership Secrets from the Navy's Elite Special Forces

"The SEALS are without doubt one of the highest-performing organizations on the planet. The secret ingredient is that every SEAL is a leader/teacher, engaged in continuous, interactive teaching and learning. This book . . . is a must read for all leaders."--Noel M. Tichy, Professor, University of Michigan Business School and author of The Cycle of Leadership

For nearly half a century, the legendary SEAL (Sea-Air-Land) organization has been creating strong, effective leaders who excel at developing remarkable teams and delivering extraordinary results. This elite group's unique approach to leadership, which has been successfully field-tested on grueling missions around the world, is just as useful in today's no-quarter business arena as it is on the battlefield. Built around firsthand examples from both the military and business worlds, this step-by-step success manual will show you how to:

  • Communicate objectives simply and forcefully
  • Build flexible, dynamic organizational structures
  • Gain the trust and loyalty of team members
  • Prevent bureaucracy within chains of command
  • Plan and prepare for crises

Enlist the Leadership Lessons of the Navy SEALs and transform your workplace from a group of disconnected individuals into a confident, goal-driven team.


Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill; 1 edition (December 11, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0071408649
  • ISBN-13: 978-0071408646
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 0.9 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #446,930 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I chose to buy and read this book because one of its authors was a Navy SEAL, and it promised to highlight military leadership lessons from a SEAL perspective. I soon discovered an outstandingly balanced and informative organizational leadership book that took an honest military leadership perspective and effectively applied it directly and indirectly to civilian business environments. This real-world leadership book should appeal to any military-related person and anyone interested in better understanding the military and business leadership connection.

This book was written by a brother duo, one a successful corporate executive and the other an experienced SEAL officer. In their introduction, they accurately assessed what made the book stand apart from other leadership books I have read: "Be forewarned: This book does not pay homage to godlike CEOs, legendary generals, and other corporate cult figures. It is our view that masterful leadership and effective teams, not colorful mavericks, produce success...Every great leader has a great team above, around, and behind him or her...[The book is] a collection of lessons from SEAL training and SEAL operations that have been tested in the business world."

The book is broken down into six chapters (Setting Goals, Organization-Create Structure or Fight Alone, Leadership-The Hardest Easy Thing, The Thundering Herd, Building a Thundering Herd, and Now Maintain Your Momentum), with embedded lessons related to each chapter title. Each lesson starts with a SEAL mission (a SEAL team sea-story or experience) and ends with a suggested business take-away. The lessons stimulated thought and offered ideas for improving individual and organizational leadership.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am a profession College Coach. I have read many books on so called "Leaders" in the sports World. Wooden, Knight, Bryant, Hayes, Lombardi, Coach K, Dean Smith, Patino could all learn something from this book. This book gets to the point and proves the correct and effective technique. I have read maybe 30-40 books on leadership and coaching and I will say that this book is the best book I have ever read. After reading this book I gave a copy of it to all of the Coaches in my Athletic Department, and my Assistant Coaches. I can tell you not one person has not thanked me for getting them this book.

If you are a professional business man or woman, a coach, a community leader, teacher, you need this book!
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Format: Paperback
If you are looking for a book on leadership this book will do more than you could imagine. If you could get a sneak peak into an elite group to see how they work together what would you pay? Better yet what would you learn? If you read this book you will find out. The book is written so it is easy to understand and follow. The book uses stories as ways to convey why something should be done as a leader. The biggest message that I got was doing something and moving is better than doing nothing and sitting, make a decision and go from there. You will not be dissapointed.

After I read this book I bought the cds and put them on my ipod. I listen to this book at least once a month. The voice of the reader is compelling. I look forward to traffic.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I liked the book. I think it hit the mark for it's intended audience. The lessons learned from the school of hard knocks are clear, simple, direct; very military at the front lines. Each point is illustraged with a war story from both the civilian and military perspective. Being ex-military I liked the war stories.
The lessons are very useful, but like many books of its ilk, not new. The key lessons were learned and documented many years ago by the Greeks and Romans. I think the thing to keep in mind is that communication has not ocurred until both sides understand the message. In that line, I think this book does a very good job of describing key leadership traits and tools and introducing them to a new audience.
The book is organized by chapters, and key points and illustrations within each. There are contradictions in the points that are not brought up or discussed. I think this is true due to the nature of human interaction and its complexities, that a tool or technique works until it doesn't. The key is for the leader to recognized the difference. The book is weak here, but I also think that is something better learned from experience.
Some major take aways for me was the dicussion on organizational structure, the need to follow SOP, until there is a greater need to not, good leadership demands good followership, followers have major responsibilities towards their leaders (how and when to tell the boss the path we are following is wrong).
For me this is not new, but it is great to be reminded of these things. This book is not the best I have read on the topic, but very useful for the key insights form practical life and death experience.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am a career firefighter and have seen far too many examples of weak leadership. I figured the seals were a rather successful organization to look into. Although our jobs are different, there are many parallels. This is a great book for anyone who works in a team enviroment and wants to make their organization more successful.
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