I was completely prepared to dislike this book. The cover shows another Navy Seal looking seriously at the camera, promising another book comparing a firefight in the streets of Ramadi with a corporate boardroom. A client of mine, Mike Woods, suggested the book to me. I thought I was in for another leadership book on how blood and guts was the way to lead.
I was mostly wrong. While David is truly a Navy Seal, and some of his “challenges” are a bit over the top, I found it to be a great read. David had a rough start in life with an over-controlling drunken father who beat he and his mother daily. His mother has the courage to leave his father and move to a small Indiana town. David had many ups and downs, but along the way became a Navy Seal, went to Army Ranger School and became an ultra-marathoner. It is a difficult story to listen to. Ultimately it is a great story about the indomitable human spirit and the lessons he learned along the way. In the book he comes up with a number of challenges for the reader, and some are difficult to imagine doing. Most are great. I especially loved his accountability mirror, a calloused mind and his “after action report”. I have already started to apply them in my own life.
I listened to the audiobook version. This version includes a running commentary between David and his ghost writer/narrator. It adds a lot of texture to the story. Both David and his host enjoy the f-bomb, so this book is not for the faint of sensibility. If you don't like expletives, you won’t like this book. If you can get past them, you will find this book fulfilling with a few strong takeaways.