Mark Divine is the latest Navy Seal to want to cash in on his combat experiences. Like the recently reviewed Extreme Ownership by Willink and Babin, I enjoyed the stories of bravery and the impossible combat conditions that our troops face. They have my undying gratitude for a job well done.
However, I am not sure that the message translates directly to the boardroom. My concern is that books like this become “the flavor of the month”. There is a certain swagger, a certain romanticism some feel towards battle. Books like these appeal to a kind of macho form of hardheaded leadership. As stated in a recent “Scholz Report”, 2015 saw Millennials become the largest generation in the US workforce. This generation is driven by open communication, company culture that is supportive and a sense of purpose. It would seem that macho posturing is not what will engage this generation. As leaders, we are not leading life and death missions, no matter how important this project or that budget seems at the moment.
This is not to say that I didn’t enjoy the book. I did. I read broadly, and can always pick up a nugget from everything I read. I can always use a reminder about mental toughness and discipline. I always need a reminder of how far we can stretch and accomplish great things if we just put the formidable power of our brain to the task at hand. This book delivers the message well.
One last note: the appendices should not be missed. They contain diagrams that are especially helpful, and the reading list is outstanding.