A retired Navy SEAL commander’s 12 rules for being an effective leader

A businessman avoids puddles at the International Financial Services Centre - the business district of Dublin May 27, 2007. Picture was rotated 180 degrees.

Leadership requires finding the equilibrium in the dichotomy of many seemingly contradictory qualities between one extreme and another. Image: REUTERS/Luke MacGregor

Dragan Radovanovic
Graphic Design Intern, Business Insider
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For their service in the 2006 Battle of Ramadi, Navy SEAL Team Three Task Unit Bruiser and its commander Jocko Willink became the most highly decorated special-operations unit of the Iraq War.

Willink is now retired from the SEALs, and he and his former platoon commander Leif Babin released a bestselling book last year titled "Extreme Ownership: How US Navy SEALs Lead and Win." In it, they explain the lessons learned in combat that they've taught to corporate clients for the past five years in their leadership-consultancy firm, Echelon Front.

Willink writes that he realized during his 20 years as a SEAL that, "Just as discipline and freedom are opposing forces that must be balanced, leadership requires finding the equilibrium in the dichotomy of many seemingly contradictory qualities between one extreme and another."

By being aware of these seeming contradictions, a leader can "more easily balance the opposing forces and lead with maximum effectiveness."

Here are the 12 main "dichotomies of leadership" Willink identifies as rules every effective leader must follow.

A retired navy seal commander's 12 rules for leaders
Image: Business Insider

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