Navy Seals are some of the toughest dudes on the planet, and my friend Clint Woodward happens to be friends with one. He gave me the book “Make Your Bed” by Admiral William H. McRaven a few weeks ago and I read it on a recent flight to Kansas City. It is a great short read and useful to life and business. I was also encouraged when the women next to me, in her seventies, said she had just read it and found it very useful.
McRaven offers ten lessons he learned from Navy Seal training, undoubtedly the toughest training in our military. I’d like to just note a few that I found important and relative to my daily business life.
1. Complete One Task
As the title says, “Make Your Bed”. As a navy seal this was the first task McRaven had each day, and of course, it had to be made perfectly to set guidelines. He notes if you get up and make your bed you have accomplished at least one task for the day, and you have set the pace for the day, completing tasks.
I would add to this one of my favorites from Brian Tracey, “Eat That Frog”. When I arrive at the office I attempt to manage the one task I am dreading above all others. It makes everything afterward easier.
2. You Can’t Go It Alone
McRaven notes rowing exercises each day that required you give 100%, but that any given day someone on the team would be fatigued or injured and you would need to pick up the slack for your mates, or they for you. The only way to complete the exercise in the time demanded was to depend on and support on your team.
This is at the core of how I manage. If someone on our team is not rowing quickly, communicating poorly, accepting the praise, or attempting to lord over the team, we make changes swiftly. In our organization we are a team of doers. There is measurable action , support for others, confidence in their support when needed, and great celebrations as a team with successes, and all in help with failure.
3. Only The Size of Your Heart Matters
One of the smallest men during McRavens training was one of the toughest. He had the heart to keep going through the drills week after week and worked harder than the others to achieve. I'm 5'6" so I can relate.
Our work requires talent, learning, and application, but moreover it requires “want to”. The people I serve with that have experienced incredible successes in life and business have 20% talent and 80& heart. They care more, do more, try more, and help more than others. I’ve learned from the women and men around me that have heart and because of their actions I would do anything for them.
Make our bed, serve the team, and give it all your heart.
Read McRaven’s book, it won’t take you long. Then spend the time needed to employee his ideas.