Have you heard about SEAL Team Six? If you haven’t, well, these are the semi-humans, semi-combat-machines that took Ben Ladin down in “Operation Neptune Sphere” (but also have been dropped in the hottest war conflicts as of in Bosnia, Somalia, Afghanistan, Iraq, etc.).
~Ladies and/or non-military fans you can skip the intro and go directly to the 7 rules of leadership below, however that will make a baby Koala cry — at your own risk~
No surprise that no widely available information is at hand as these boys are the United States military’s premier counterterrorism units. As their actions are not to be commented by the White House nor the Department of Defense, also known as the United States Naval Special Warfare Development Group (NSWDG), this is the elite of counterterrorism welfare. This article is about the father of the SEAL team Six — Richard Marcinko. He knows a thing or two about leadership…read on!
A Slovak descendant, born in 1940 in Lansford, Pennsylvania, Marcinko was a badass since early childhood — dropped out of school and tried to enlist in the United States Marines, who rejected him due to a lack of a HS diploma. He made it eventually and started out as a radioman quickly moving to the Underwater Demolition Team and joined the SEALs after that. He had, actually, obtained a a bachelor of arts degree in international relations from Auburn University and a master of arts degree in political science from the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School (I am most positive that underwater demolition is the greatest form of art). Marcinko was known as a wild beast with a sharp mind. He was a rare mixture of physical and mental strength combined with one truly remarkable ability — his charismatic leadership. It came as no surprise that it was precisely Marcinko who created the elite SEAL Team Six.
When Marcinko ended his military career he quickly became famous for his taught leadership education (the fact that he was sentenced for 21 months for conspiracy against the U.S government helped his media presence). His book “Leadership Secrets of the Rogue Warrior: A Commando’s Guide to Success “ became an instant bestseller. His preaching is simple and brings it all down to :
7 simple rules of effective leadership:
- “I will test my theories on myself first. I will be my own guinea pig.” — a true leader can and should extend self-sacrifice above everything else. A leader is a problem solver where solutions are rarely easy to find. Therefore a leader must enact speculation, hypothesising and take numerous leaps of faith in order to achieve desired results but firstly on himself.
- I will be totally committed to what I believe, and I will risk all that I have for these beliefs — that one stands for persistence, commitment and belief in a higher purpose to a degree of self-sacrifice. Yet again, the element of self-sacrifice is present but somehow this line of the code of conduct states an ongoing, continuous will to risk self well-being for the purpose of a common good. We can easily trace that beliefs have higher value than personal well being for a true leader. Then it’s all about persistency, correct?
- I will back my subordinates all the way when they take reasonable risks to help me achieve my goals.” — one can claim that the notion of magnanimity is implied here as a true leader will back his subordinates when they risk their well-being to help achieving leaders` goals (which often stand for a common good). It is not “me”, it is always “us” and “them”!
- I will not punish my people for making mistakes. I’ll only punish them for not learning from their mistakes.” — This quote implies the same connotation as Albert Einstein’s famous saying: “Madness is to do same thing over and over again and expect different results”. Mistakes are inevitable and no force can eliminate them. Therefore, true leaders must constantly evaluate and re-distribute best learning practices.
- I will not be afraid to take action, because I know that almost any action is better than inaction. And I know that sometimes not acting is the boldest action of all. “ — leadership is about provocativeness and calculated timing. Mad skills required!
- I will always make it crystal clear where I stand and what I believe. — effective leadership is about focus and transparency. According to the theory of “Choice Architecture” our choices define our personalities to the point of solidification. True leaders are well aware of their choices and they easily state them out loud.
- I will always be easy to find: I will be at the centre of the battle.”