How To Win As A Young Leader – Jocko Willink

How To Win As A Young Leader – Jocko Willink


I’m 26 years old I’m currently an
undercover detective I’ve recently been told that I’m being promoted to sergeant
over our departments Investigations Division
I’ve been the youngest person to hold that position in our departments history
all the guys I’ll be in charge of our much older some in their late 40s how do
i as a younger leader lead them how do you demand and earn respect from an
older group I’m ready for the job and know what the job entails but I’m
nervous to lead a group of nine people that are all older than me so I’m I’ve
answered this question over and over again and I’m gonna do a quick job of it
here just because people may not they have gone back and listen to all the
other podcasts but you have listened the answer is always the same and it’s
always the same whether you’re a young person leading old persons whether
you’re an old person leading young people whether you’re a woman leading
men a men leading man leading women whether you’re coming in from a
different department into a new department that you don’t know anybody
whether you’re going into a thing that you don’t have experience it’s like all
the same basically what it is you’re going into a leadership position yeah
that’s what it is be humble listen take advice build relationships keep your ego
in check also that one of the reasons I pulled the did pull this question I was
like how do you demand respect well the answer is you don’t demand respect and
if you don’t if you do demand respect you’ll get anything but respect from
people mm-hmm so so get that out of your head you earn respect and how do you
earn respect you respect them in this case you respect their experience you
respect their knowledge you respect it they’ve been doing it for a long time
you have respect for it and when you show respect for them they’re gonna
respect you back now none of this means be passive hmm right this doesn’t mean
cower down no you you still have to lead you still have to step up but it does
mean be humble be open-minded be proactive listen ask questions ask for
opinions de-centralized all aspects of operations including the planning which
we already talked about and then with all those things set a
high standard and then the final and most important well I don’t know it’s
equally important I’d say work harder than everyone else and expect nothing in
return mm-hmm that’s it yeah that’s it you’re
the boss you better be it you better be at work before everyone and you better
be leaving work after everyone and that’s how you develop a reputation of
being a hard worker and being a hard worker in its own right
Garner’s respect from most people there’s there’s a fraction of losers
that are like Oh Ecco he works so much it’s it’s so lame like no like cuz I’m
making them look bad or something yeah yeah yeah yeah like there’s a small
fraction of people that that might think that way but but no you work hard you
you put in the time you put in the effort you study you read what you’re
supposed to read you get the professional knowledge that you’re
supposed to get you don’t impose that on people yeah you have it because you’re
your book knowledge when you start off in this situation your book knowledge
isn’t as strong as the experienced guys in this case you know in the in the law
enforcement the guys that have been in the streets they know stuff that you
don’t know yeah so you study what you can but you keep an open mind so you can
listen to what their experience says yeah don’t impose on them when you say
don’t impose it on them does that mean don’t impose them like make them it’s
like them echo section for two alpha of the documents says that we’re supposed
to use this methodology when we do this yeah you should know that methodology
you should understand why that methodology is important but if you say
hey jogo we don’t do it that way and here’s why I shouldn’t I’m telling you
by the book it’s by the book now if it’s by the book because it’s there’s an
ethical reason okay well then that makes sense but it’s by the book because
that’s what the book says by the book yeah yeah or you know the
guy who’s like who works extra hard but he kind of in a way throws it in
everyone’s face how are you that that’s that’s an important thing it’s a very
important piece don’t you don’t step on people’s toes with us
yeah that’s wrong yeah don’t do that yeah check

48 comments

  1. This kind of advice translates well. Exactly what I need to hear as a young man trying to run a construction crew with almost everyone I meet in the industry being much older than I am.

  2. Was part of a job as a service technician on big pieces of agricultural equipment. At the time I had just turned 21. The job was spread all over the Midwest, and there were a lot of sites. All of us working the job were split into teams of four or five guys, with one guy acting as the team lead.

    My team's lead was removed from his position about a week in, and to my surprise, I was appointed to team lead. I was about half the age of these guys, and I was asking myself the question "How are these guys that are old enough to be my dad ever gonna listen to anything I say?"

    Jocko hit the nail on the head. I had to get humble and stay humble. Jocko was also right about going the extra mile. I was the first one out of bed, 4:45 a.m. I was awake. 6:00 a.m. I was at the job site. 5:00 p.m. my guys and I would be back at whatever motel we were staying at, but I would be out by our truck every day until 8:00 p.m. with a few beers repairing all of our equipment (the tools we were provided needed constant maintenance).

    I left the company with a very good relationship with both my superiors and with the guys who were on my team. Work hard and stay humble.

  3. I think leading older people is a great opportunity to grow. You get to pick up all of their knowledge and apply it.

  4. In Tech how would you show respect? In tech one is normally going in to blow up the current way things are done. Netflix had no respect for blockbuster…. Amazon had no respect for Sears…… Normally I go into a place where people are doing processes that are really outdated…. How do you respect someones experience that is outdated… Example – respecting an elevator operator with 30 years experience – but we are using self service elevators now…. its really that bad – even in big companies

  5. Now I'm studying but on my last job my boss showed up to the office late all the time and was leaving early all the time OR was expecting everybody else to stay longer. In addition to that he let his wife play the "boss" and treating some employees like shit. He wasn't a bad leader but he wasn't fulfilling to his potential and these two points let nobody really burn for their projects because why should we work like crazy if our boss isn't? Now I know that this is not the best mindset but at this time I had the feeling that the job doesn't bring me anywhere.
    But I promised to myself that if I ever will be in a position to lead people that I will never force them to do things I won't be willing to do too.
    Greetings from Germany, Jocko your podcast is a great source of wisdom for my life!

  6. So hard to stay true to this. Believe it or not. These are very human tendencies. One must really seperate him/herself from it. Develop a reputation.

  7. Hell yeah! Love these excerpts. I can share this without sharing the entire podcast, which some may not be interested.

  8. Echo Charles I’m really enjoying these older clips
    Every time I listen to y’all I’m taking a nugget of info I can apply
    Thanks a ton 🙏

  9. Man I'm in the same seat.. just turned 27 and about to enter leadership in healthcare.

    Slightly nervous. Although I KNOW I have the character and wisdom to be great at it. The team that I work with now, many have said they'd love for me to lead them but we already have a leader. So I'll be moving soon to lead another team, in another city and possibly another state 🤦🏾‍♂️

    This video helped a lot.

  10. I have a team of 30 people with some in their 50s. It’s amazing when after living the leadership style that Jocko talks about, even the old ones start seeming like children. But you still have to give respect to get it.

  11. I became an officer as a "mustang" with OCS. Upon returning to base after school my mentor told me this old truth. – Rank is what you wear, respect is what you earn. Never demand respect! My contrubtion is: Its like in the bible, treate everyone else like you would like to be treated. Never ask anyone else to do a job you are not prepeared to do yourself. Lead by example. Never give away a "free" chance for someone else to ridicule you. No combat ready unit has ever passed a peacetime inspection. So stick to the narrow, windy road of truth and honesty, but be prepared do deviate from it when operational needs require you to.

  12. Find out the philosophy of the company and or the commander of your org, unit or business. Get that person to provide his/her expectations of you. Basically, what you will be evaluated on at the end of the day. Everyone should know their jobs already but if they're not doing things that meet the unit requirements and philosophy of the company, then you will fail as a leader. You are a leader of those individuals to ensure particular metrics are in the green. You need your commander to share what's important to him/her with you because the boss up higher than your boss expects certain things. You'll need to know all that -(in order to know for certain) that you are operating towards company goals. If you don't have this seed planted first, you'll be doing YOUR OWN THING and be on the red carpet for each failed event because you didn't know what was expected of you to begin with. There are also implied task that you will have to incorporate without being told. Your training, experience and utilization of your team should help you with this part ONLY if you sync with them for input as a scheduled event. #ARMY Commander 154 personnel 2011-2014

  13. I respect efficiency and outcomes over long hours in the office everyday of the week. Honestly, most of the time, it’s just bs virtue signalling with zero tangible outcomes associated.

  14. A leader relies on the wealth of experience under his command. Leadership isn't for everyone. Younger people may lack the wisdom, so a message like this is critical. If they take it to heart then yeah they can be successful. Young people getting the responsibility can go sideways in a hurry. Yes, great advice. The best leaders don't dictate they let others lead them. Just another dichotomy in life. I see leadership as more of a curse and a double edged sword. Most people don't want it. The burden they take home every night isn't worth the side effects. This advice however I believe is the Truth. Stay humble always and allow yourself to lead by following the lead of others. Serve your subordinates and they will have your back. If you fail however then it is all on you and take ownership of that.

  15. A leader relies on the wealth of experience under his command. Leadership isn't for everyone. Younger people may lack the wisdom, so a message like this is critical. If they take it to heart then yeah they can be successful. Young people getting the responsibility can go sideways in a hurry. Yes, great advice. The best leaders don't dictate they let others lead them. Just another dichotomy in life. I see leadership as more of a curse and a double edged sword. Most people don't want it. The burden they take home every night isn't worth the side effects. This advice however I believe is the Truth. Stay humble always and allow yourself to lead by following the lead of others. Serve your subordinates and they will have your back. If you fail however then it is all on you and take ownership of that.

  16. This is good shit. I work in Afghanistan as a contractor, and I am in charge of multiple people 40-70 years old. I follow all of these tactics and have gained lots of respect from my peers at the age of 22. The other young shift lead is very aggressive, brags about his military service and uses it at a "i'm more experienced than you" tactic, demands respect, his body language and tone cause the other guys to feel that he isn't approachable. The other shift doesn't listen to him out of spite and wants him gone. You have to respect people's time in service. Show them you appreciate them, put your delegations into a "can I get one of you guys to do this?" instead of a "GO do this now", lead from the front, remain a student to your craft, ask them questions to make them feel valuable, etc.

  17. no jocko..just no. Jocko only knows corporate and military so he implies the same method to everything…doesnt work dude.

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