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Reflections: 5 August 2020

by Shaun Kober
August 6th 2020

In this short episode, I reflect on what I've been reading and watching over the past weeks and months, and reflect on the principles I've learned along the way, as well as how I've ... More

yo what is up guys welcome to today's live train perform podcast episode on reflections. I'm your host, Sean koba. I'm recording this on Wednesday the fifth of august and what I'm gonna do is cover off on some principles that I've been reading about and learning about over the last couple of weeks. So I've currently, I've just finished reading a book called the dichotomy of leadership by jocko willing and Leif Babin. These two guys are former navy seals who have taken the lessons learned on the battlefield in Iraq um into the corporate sector. Now I'm just gonna read an excerpt from their book and then I'm gonna kind of go down the rabbit hole and talk about different principles and um how I've related these principles and lessons into my own life. There are limitless dichotomies in leadership and leader must carefully balance between the opposite forces. But none are as difficult as this to care deeply for each individual member of the team whilst at the same time accepting the risks necessary to accomplish the mission, A good leader builds powerful, strong relationships with his or her subordinates.

But while the leader would do anything for these team members, the leader must recognize there is a job to do and that job might put the very people, the leader cares so much about at risk in war. This is the ultimate dichotomy. A leader may have to send his most treasured asset, his people into a situation that gets them wounded or killed. If his relationships too close and he can't detach from his emotions, He might not be able to make tough choices that involve risk to his men with that attitude, the team will get nothing done. That team fails the mission at the other end of the spectrum. If a leader cares too much about accomplishing the mission, he may sacrifice the health and safety of his men without gaining any significant advantage beyond the horrible impact it has on the men, it also impacts the team who recognized the leader as callous and no longer respect and follow him. The team will fall apart. So it took me a couple of weeks to read this book and this is the follow up to their first book, which was an international bestseller called Extreme Ownership.

Now, Extreme Ownership, amazing book. It is one of the top three books that I typically recommend people. Um, the dichotomy of leadership. It was a good follow up. I didn't, I don't think it's as applicable to the average person as extreme ownership was. However, if you are in a leadership position and uh you do have subordinates under your control, under your command, then it's definitely worth reading and it goes into the many, many dichotomies that you're going to face within, um, you know, your workplace, within your environment. And it might be sports teams and things like that as well. So, um definitely a good read, but it got me thinking about the different leaders that I've had throughout my life and the different people that have had a massive impact or played some part or had some form of influence over me over my lifetime. And it got me thinking about um a couple of, a couple of letters that I had in the military and in the civilian world and one of the best leaders that I had whilst I was in the military was my patrol base commander in Afghanistan, Pez.

And the, I've spoken um in depth about what made him good leader in episode # 13. I think the effect of your Environment, which was basically a 35 minute conversation about um the lead up training going into Afghanistan and then whilst we're in Afghanistan, but what made pairs a good leader was that he involved the team, he was the boss, but he involved the other teams and the subject matter experts for um each individual element, like snipers, engineers, um a security section, HQ etcetera, mortars, etcetera, etcetera. And he included everyone in the planning process for every mission, every task that we undertook. And that gave ownership to every one of the teams to play their part and be able to manage their role within the overall the overarching task or mission. And um that was empowering and that was what Pez brought to the table and that was um a massive, a massive bonus and a massive plus a massive strength of his as a leader was to give that ownership back to the team and put trust in them to be able to come up with their own plan to contribute to the overall success of each task that we went on now, another leader that played a massive part in my development as a person and as a leader was My rugby coach, Peter McGrath and I was over in east timor in 2000 and nine, I think it was, and I was hearing from my mates back in Australia and some of them were blowing up and saying oh we've got this new coach come in and he's shaking things up and you know, he's not selecting people and he's telling people to go and play for other teams and things like that and um I was like oh ship what's going on?

So I ended up coming back from East Timor maybe eight months later or something like that and I rolled into training and and met this guy, this coach and he was, you know, he was a small guy, he was very quietly spoken, a kiwi lad and um something I noticed about him straight away is when he spoke, everyone fucking paid attention, Everyone listened because he didn't speak very loud and here he is talking to 30 to 40 rugby players um and you know, he just demanded respect when he was speaking because he spoke so quietly, everyone was gathered around, hanging on every word that he said and there was no white noise, there was nothing um you know, he wasn't saying anything that was not relevant, everything he said was relevant and straight to the point and clear and concise and um, you know, he played a massive part on my development as a leader as well because I took a lot of lessons from him and he Actually, I think it was the end of that year, we ended up going to Singapore and my rugby team at the time would go to Singapore every year and playing the Singapore 7s and he actually made me the captain of that team.

Um, and then that pretty much started off my uh, my stent, well stints of captaining multiple rugby teams over the years. Uh, and he gave me that confidence to be able to step up and lead and um, you know, talked to the troops and, and you know, rally them and get them motivated to um, you know, do what was necessary, do what was right at the time, even though we might not have felt like doing it. Um, so I ended up going on to captain and co captain the casuarina Cougars and you know, we went three years undefeated, won the premiership. Um, I think We won like 70 or you didn't lose 70 games and row or something like that. I also captain, the Northern territory team, um, my state, I kept in the Tasmanian team, my state and national championships and um, that kind of, it's, it's led to the leader that I am today was having those people. And the funny thing was I had pairs in 2010 and 11.

Uh and Pete I met in 2009 and then, you know, he put me as the co captain of the The cops arena team when I got back from Afghanistan 2011 as well. So, Um, was around about that 2009 to 2012 period where I really came into my own as a leader and um, you know, learned a lot from both of those guys and they had a massive influence on my direction as a man uh, and also as a leader, so massive props to those guys for bringing out the best in me and allowing me to kind of build my own personality and my own leadership style. Um, but that also got me thinking about a documentary that I watched recently. If anyone's seen The Last Dance, I thought it was a brilliant documentary on Michael Jordan and the bulls, the Chicago bulls when they went through their um, their dynasty in the mid nineties, early mid nineties, Even into the late 90s, I think it was.

But something that documentary touches on is obviously Phil Jackson was an amazing coach and he brought the best out of his players, but you know, you can't bring the best out of your players unless you have buy in from the leadership team. And obviously Michael Jackson, Michael Jordan was, did I say Michael Jackson before, fuck, Anyway, Michael Jordan's, um obviously one of the best athletes in the world and one of the most well known, well respected athletes in the world. And you gotta remember this was a time before social media was around. So um for him to have that much stardom and that much power was incredible, imagine what he would pull off today if he was in the same position. But anyway, I digress. Um he was obviously an amazing player and the Chicago bulls were built essentially around a player like that, but it wasn't until he became a leader that the Chicago bulls actually built a fucking amazing team and built this incredible dynasty and that was because he stepped up and yes, he was an amazing player.

But he also lead by example, okay, in the documentary, they talk about, they interview a number of the other players and a number of the other players basically saying he was a dick at times because he was so hard on them because he was pushing them and he wasn't allowing anyone to take shortcuts. And again, he led by example, he wasn't taking shortcuts and he wasn't allowing anyone else to take shortcuts. And you know, I personally believe that that had a massive part in them creating that dynasty and you know, being such a dominant team for so long, um was his leadership style and yes, of course he was an amazing player, um but you know, it was his ability to lead and to uh command respect from his players um and the coach that ultimately led them to their overall successes, something else that I was thinking about in terms of leadership is Jacinda Ardern, who is the new Zealand Prime Minister, now, obviously we're going through this covid pandemic and I think it was like two or three months ago when it was when, you know, a lot of countries around the world were kind of lagging and falling behind, No one was really making decisions or anything like that, she actually stood up and and she, what did I say, President, Prime Minister, so she actually stood up and she said we're going to lock the country down and my family, my mom's side of the family all live in New Zealand, so I was hearing from them that, you know, they were going as soon as they found out about the pandemic, it was spreading around the world, she took a hard stance and basically said let's lock the country down, everyone's going to be in Quarantine Lockdown for six weeks, you know, I'm not allowed out of the house, Blah Blah Blah Blah and um you know, she took a hard stance on that and obviously people were blowing up and saying the government's taking away our freedoms and this and that and you know, um but I actually watch the rugby last week, and super rugby torre is playing again, and something that was brilliant was there was 30,000 people in the stands, so yes, they took a hard stance and they locked everything down, they closed everything down, but it allowed them to get back to normal life very, very quickly in new Zealand and Ireland, and you know, obviously once they locked everything down, it allowed them to um flatten the curve, maintain control, and you know, stop the spread of this fucking virus that's going around and allowed them to get back into normal life.

So I thought that was a stroke of genius, and I thought that's, you know, a good example of good leadership, because a lot of countries, a lot of countries around the world didn't take that stance and they kind of waited and they um didn't want to make a hard decision because they, you know, didn't want to lose the approval of the the public that they were representing and all that type of stuff, and I thought that was brilliant leadership, and that's allowed people to get back to, you know, living their life as normal as possible. So that's it for me today guys, I'll be back again in two weeks time with another episode on reflections, see you all there

Reflections: 5 August 2020
Reflections: 5 August 2020
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