By: Benjamin A. Paulding, Senior Accountant, McKonly & Asbury, LLP and 2019 YP Committee Chair

As a self-professed self-improvement junkie, I took some time over vacation to catch up on my reading list, which had grown significantly since I began my path to obtaining my CPA license.

One book I’m excited to share with you is called Extreme Ownership by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin.  Jocko and Leif, retired Navy SEALs who served with SEAL Team Three’s Task Unit Bruiser during the Battle of Ramadi, penned this book to share their lessons learned in war; lessons that transcend the fray of the battlefield to the everyday scenarios we face (in safety) stateside.

My top three favorite takeaways:

Blame no one else

  • When you make a mistake, take full ownership of both the mistake and developing a path forward to overcome the current challenge.

Control your ego

  • Ego disrupts everything from the planning process, to taking good advice and accepting constructive criticism.  Ultimately, your ego can even smother your own self-preservation.

Prioritize and Execute

  • When bullets are flying, problems multiply and accelerate exponentially, each issue complex and demanding attention.  A good team member, however, must remain calm and collected, and develop and execute the best decisions possible. To do this, SEAL combat leaders verbalize this principle with “Relax, look around, make a call.”

So next time you’ve made a mistake and are struggling to see a path forward, exercise Extreme Ownership of the situation by taking responsibility for the scene, stay humble, assess your surroundings, and make a call.  You’ll be glad you did.

December 18, 2018