Jocko Willink Quotes On Leadership, discipline and Success

Jocko Willink, is a retired United States Navy officer and former member of SEAL Team 3, was born in the United States on September 8, 1971. He is an author, podcaster, and former member of the Navy SEALs.

During the Iraq War, Willink participated in combat operations and oversaw SEAL Team 3’s Task Unit Bruiser, which participated in the Ramadi battle against Iraqi insurgents. Willink received the Silver Star and Bronze Star Medals in recognition of his service. He was promoted to lieutenant commander.

106 Jocko Willink Quotes

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  1. “The goal of all leaders should be to work themselves out of a job.”
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2. “There is no growth in the comfort zone.”

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3. “People do not follow robots.”

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4. “Identifying weaknesses, good leaders seek to strengthen them and come up with a plan to overcome challenges.”

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5. “Discipline equals freedom.”

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6. “Extreme Ownership. Leaders must own everything in their world. There is no one else to blame.”

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7. “The best leaders are not driven by ego or personal agendas.”

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8. “The goal of leadership seems simple: to get people to do what they need to do to support the mission and the team.”

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9. “Discipline is the pathway to freedom.” 

Jocko Willink Quotes On Leadership

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10. “Leaders must always operate with the understanding that they are part of something greater than themselves and their own personal interests.”

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11. “These principles empower those teams to dominate their battlefields by enabling leaders to fulfill their purpose: lead and win.”

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12. “Discipline is the way.” 

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13. “Our freedom to operate and maneuver had increased substantially through disciplined procedures. Discipline equals freedom.”

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14. “Our egos don’t like to take blame.”

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15. “To not move around, observe, and analyze, in order to make the best decisions possible, was to fail as a leader and fail the team.”

16. “A leader must be attentive to details but not obsessed by them.”

17. “Don’t count on motivation. Count on discipline.”

18. “There is no one else to blame. The leader must acknowledge mistakes and admit failures, take ownership of them, and develop a plan to win.”

19. “It’s not what you preach, it’s what you tolerate.”

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20. “Repetitive exceptional performance became a habit.”

Jocko Willink Quotes On Discipline

21. “Ultimately, they must fully accept that there truly are no bad teams, only bad leaders.”

22. “Where does discipline come from? It’s pretty simple and pretty obvious. Discipline comes from within. It’s an internal force.”

23. “Good leaders don’t make excuses. Instead, they figure out a way to get it done and win.”

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24. “Discipline is your best friend. It will take care of you like nothing else can.”

25. “Trust is not blindly given. It must be built over time.”

26. “The leader must own everything in his or her world.”

27. “This negative attitude infected his entire boat crew.”

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28. “A good leader has nothing to prove, but everything to prove.”

29. “Implementing Extreme Ownership requires checking your ego and operating with a high degree of humility. Admitting mistakes, taking ownership, and developing a plan to overcome challenges are integral to any successful team.”

30. “Live in defiance of the weakness and in rebellion against the decay.”

31. “Establishing an effective and repeatable planning process is critical to the success of any team.”

32. “Discipline yourself to free yourself.”

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33. “A good leader does not get bogged down in the minutia of a tactical problem at the expense of strategic success.”

34. “Your actions are a statement of what you believe.”

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35. “If frontline troops are unclear about the plan and yet are too intimidated to ask questions, the team’s ability to effectively execute the plan radically decreases.”

36. “Whatever problems or stress you are experiencing, detach from them.”

37. “Leaders must own everything in their world. There is no one else to blame.”

38. “There is no shortcut. There is no hack. There’s only one way. So get after it.” 

39. “Take care of your gear and your gear will take care of you.”

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40. “I learned that good leaders don’t make excuses. Instead, they figure out a way to get it done and win.”

41. “The test for a successful brief is simple: Do the team and the supporting elements understand it?”

42. “Staying ahead of the curve prevents a leader from being overwhelmed when pressure is applied and enables greater decisiveness.”

43. “Once people stop making excuses, stop blaming others, and take ownership of everything in their lives, they are compelled to take action to solve their problems.”

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44. “Keep it simple. Train hard. Train often. Lift heavy. Lift fast. Run hard. Eat steak. Pain is good.”

45. “Instead of letting the situation dictate our decisions, we must dictate the situation.”

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46. “Use the stress to make you a better you.” 

47. “Well done; you kept your composure and you made clear calls. You got the help you needed and kept the rest of your team alive.”

48. “In the business world, and in life, there are inherent complexities. It is critical to keep plans and communication simple.”

49. “Actions and words reflect belief with a clear confidence and self-assuredness that is not possible when belief is in doubt.”

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50. “Don’t let your mind control you. Control your mind.”

51. “Stop researching every aspect of it and reading all about it and debating the pros and cons of it. Start doing it.”

52. “Discipline created vigilance and operational readiness, which translated to high performance and success on the battlefield.”

53. “I know that somewhere out there, another man is also preparing. That man is the enemy.”

54. “The only way you could make time, was to get up early. That took discipline.”

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55. “No Bad Teams, Only Bad Leaders”

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56. “Weakness is strong. I must be stronger.” 

57. “After all, there can be no leadership where there is no team.”

58. “On any team, in any organization, all responsibility for success and failure rests with the leader.”

59. “The only meaningful measure for a leader is whether the team succeeds or fails. For”

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60. “Be humble or be humbled.”

61. “But I learned that good leaders don’t make excuses. Instead, they figure out a way to get it done and win.”

62. “In order to convince and inspire others to follow and accomplish a mission, a leader must be a true believer in the mission.”

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63. “The focus must always be on how to best accomplish the mission.”

64. “Challenges are what make life interesting and overcoming them is what makes life meaningful.” 

65. “Success resulted from determination and will, but also from innovation and communication with the team.”

Jocko Willink quotes To Live By

66. “Get out there and live and strive to be better, because the life you got it is a gift, so live it!”

67. “Give them what they need and try to help them if you can, but it sounds like they will make their own bed.”

68. “There is only hard work, late nights, early mornings, practice, rehearsal, repetition, study, sweat, blood, toil, frustration, and discipline.”

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69. “Admitting mistakes, taking ownership, and developing a plan to overcome challenges are integral to any successful team.”

70. “Leadership is simple, but not easy.”

71. “If you allow the status quo to persist, you can’t expect to improve performance, and you can’t expect to win.” 

72. “If you don’t have any discipline you’ll end up with absolutely no freedom. You’ll end up being a slaving to other people bossing you around.” 

73. “While you continually focus on what everyone else is doing – I’ll focus on what I can do right.”

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74. “Don’t expect to be motivated every day to get out there and make things happen. You won’t be. Don’t count on motivation. Count on Discipline.” 

Jocko Willink quotes On Success

75. “For leaders, the humility to admit and own mistakes and develop a plan to overcome them is essential to success.”

76. “A good leader does not get bogged down in the minutia of a tactical problem at the expense of strategic success.” 

77. “That’s it. When things are going bad: Don’t get all bummed out, don’t get startled, don’t get frustrated. No. Just look at the issue and say: “Good.”

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78. “If you want to be tougher mentally, it is simple; be tougher, don’t meditate on it.”

79. “Solid relationships up and down the chain of command are the basis of all good leadership.”

80. “Overconfidence was risky in such a hostile environment, a mistake most often made by warriors who had never truly been tested.”

81. “A leader must care about the troops, but at the same time the leader must complete the mission, and in doing so there will be risk and sometimes unavoidable consequences to the troops.”

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82. “When things are going bad: Don’t get all bummed out, don’t get startled, don’t get frustrated. No. Just look at the issue and say: Good.”

83. “Leaders who lose their temper also lose respect.”

84. “Extreme Ownership is a mindset, an attitude.” 

85. “So to me, it is not about nature or nurture: It’s about choice.”

Jocko Willink Quotes Om Freedom and Discipline

86. “Your plan violates one of the most important principles we adhered to in combat: simplicity.”

87. “The only meaningful measure for a leader is whether the team succeeds or fails.”

jocko willink quotes on Self-discipline

88. “Self-discipline is the root quality that will improve every aspect of your life.”

89. “Even if you can’t perform at a high level, showing up and doing something is still a thousand times better than not showing up at all.”

90. “Friends trust each other. To build trust you tell the truth. Even if it hurts your ego.”

91. “You are declaring martial law on your mind:”

92. “Leadership requires belief in the mission and unyielding perseverance to achieve victory.”

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93. “There can be no leadership when there is no team.”

94. “His attitude reflected victimization: life dealt him and his boat crew members a disadvantage, which justified poor performance.”

95. “One of the most important jobs of any leader is to support your own boss—your immediate leadership.”

96. “The leader is truly and ultimately responsible for everything.” 

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97. “The leader must own everything in his or her world. There is no one else to blame.”

98. “Stop checking social media and stop watching one more Youtube video.”

99. “But to make yourself better, faster, smarter, stronger. Because with those goals, nothing is ever finished.”

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100. “The more you practice, the better you get, the more freedom you have to create.”

101. “We learned that leadership requires belief in the mission and unyielding perseverance to achieve victory,”

102. “When a team takes ownership of its problems, the problem gets solved. It is true on the battlefield, it is true in business, and it is true in life.” 

103. When you’re too embarrassed to ask for help, that’s a little knock at your door saying, ‘you’re insecure’.”

104. “Hesitation is the enemy. It allows the moment to pass, the opportunity to be lost, the enemy to get the upper hand.”

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105. “Faster. Stronger. Smarter. More humble. Less ego.”

106. “Our freedom to operate and maneuver had increased substantially through disciplined procedures. Discipline equals freedom.”

A Must Read: Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy Seals Lead And Win By Jocko Willink 

Despite being written by two former U.S. Navy seals, this book is not a memoir of battle. Instead, it is a manifesto on how to lead that incorporates the lessons learned from the authors’ experiences in combat and demonstrates how they can be used in non-military contexts.

Additional Read: Jocko Willink

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