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The Dichotomy of Leadership

Balancing the Challenges of Extreme Ownership to Lead and Win
Narrated by: Jocko Willink, Leif Babin
Length: 10 hrs and 34 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (255 ratings)

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Summary

The importance of balance as a leader by the number-one New York Times best-selling authors of Extreme Ownership.  

Every leader must be ready and willing to take charge, to make hard, crucial calls for the good of the team and the mission. Something much more difficult to understand is that in order to be a good leader, one must also be a good follower. This is a dichotomy - a Dichotomy of Leadership. It is, as authors Jocko Willink and Leif Babin explained in their best-selling first audiobook, Extreme Ownership, “Simple, Not Easy”.

Now, in The Dichotomy of Leadership, the authors explain the power inherent in the recognition of the fine line that leaders must walk, balancing between two seemingly opposite inclinations. It is with the knowledge and understanding of this balance that a leader can most effectively lead, accomplish the mission, and achieve the goal of every leader and every team: victory. 

Using examples from the authors' combat and training experience in the SEAL Teams and then showing how each lesson applies to business and in life, Willink and Babin reveal how the use of seemingly opposite principles - leading and following, focusing and detaching, being both aggressive and prudent - require skill, awareness, understanding, and dexterity, all attributes that can be honed. These dichotomies are inherent in many of the concepts introduced in Extreme Ownership and integral to their proper implementation and effectiveness. Dichotomy is essential listening for anyone looking to lead and win.

©2018 Jocko Willink and Leif Babin (P)2018 Macmillan Audio

Critic reviews

"With so much of this audiobook illustrated by the authors' battlefield experiences, their dramatic, often combative, narration is not entirely out of place...the authors grasp the awesome responsibilities of leading, and their assertive performances convey an urgency that makes this lesson memorable." (AudioFile Magazine)
 

What members say

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    4 out of 5 stars

Definitely worth listening. Performance is great

There are some parts that are repeated from the first book. I feel the first book had a lot more insights but this book dives a little deeper, and still has a lot of great content to offer. I would definitely recommend, but if you haven't read Extreme Ownership, I would say it's better to start with that one, before moving to this one

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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You wanna be a leader? It’s a must read!

First off, great narration. I love that they share their first handle experience. And not just any experience - from the time they served in the NAVY. Truly inspiring and acknowledging with a ton of real world examples. Plus, I very much enjoyed all the battlefield stories. You guys have my utmost respect!

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Great companion to Extreme Ownership.

Entertaining and educational, also inspiring and superbly read by the authors, I really recommend this book to anyone even if you're not in a leadership role or seeking one, it's still very interesting. 5 stars

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Excellent book.

Excellent book, good advice, good stories, both of the authors bring the stories alive. T

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Fantastic<br />

Loved it. couldnt stop listening. A great sucession to Extreme Ownership but also valuable new lessons

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Excellent

Great follow up. Great examples and lessons. Inspiring and motivational. Well worth the credit. Loved it.

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informative and with some captivating storytelling

loved it! captivating stories that show the concepts and principles they teach. the breakdowns after every chapter solidify the lessons

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Very good but Extreme Ownership is better.

A very good listen, narrated excellently. I prefer Extreme Ownership as it has a clearer thread throughout. Somwhere near the last 25-30% of the listen the the thread of the 'Dichotomy of Leadership' lost me slighlty.

Otherwise a great listen and clear links to applications to business. Even though I am a sports coach there is still alot to take from this.

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Amazing leadership skills to put into practice

This is amazing.
Every leader needs to listen to this.
Must keep in your library for future reference.

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highly recommended, not disappointed at all

enjoyable and easy listening, great lessons can be learned with both battlefield and business examples that keep you interested

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  • Ron B
  • 25-09-18

Stand By to Get Some.

After listing to this book, my motivation rose by 8000%. An Incredible followup by the 2 of the most incredible men to ever lead the Navy Seals. Dont even think about buying this book, Just do it. Your future self will thank you.

28 of 31 people found this review helpful

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  • Kevin
  • 01-10-18

Perfect Companion to Extreme Ownership

This book can be very emotional at times. Fight through it, it's painful, but it will instill in you any lessons you did not learn reading Extreme Ownership, and reinforce those you did. The authors balance out some ideas from their previous book, helping you to understand how when and why to draw the line, along with more pertinent examples from their service and consulting practice. A glorious read.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Daniel B. Smith
  • 26-09-18

A must read for every leader

The Dichotomy of Leadership is an outstanding follow up to Extreme Ownership that expands on and hones in on the principles laid out in Extreme Ownership. It is not necessary to have read Extreme Ownership prior to reading the Dichotomy of Leadership but is recommended as the principles are referenced several times throughout the book.

Jocko and Leif continue their same narrative for the chapter layout with a combat or training situation, followed by a thorough explanation of the principle, and the principle applied to a real life business environment.

The book, along with Extreme Ownership, should be required reading for all in any form of leadership.

20 of 22 people found this review helpful

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  • Louis Macareo
  • 16-11-18

Good follow-up but uneccesary

The first book in this series, "Extreme Leadership" is a must read and if you have not read it, you should. This follow-up is an expansion and more in-depth exploration of a obvious (but apparently ignored by some readers) concept that all forms and aspects of leadership must be balanced. Every good idea can be taken too far. The dichotomy of leadership and maintaining balance in shifting circumstances, within a group and with individuals, is why leadership is not as easy as simply maximizing a few principals.

Understanding that is important and the examples used in the book are relatable to anyone who has served in combat, but largely, a whole book on this principle is not as desperately called for as are the overall principles from Extreme Leadership, which actually already encompasses the ideas expressed again in this book, in more detail. Bottom line is that it was a good book and worth the time to read it, but it a bit of icing on the cake of the first book and offers some refinement, but nothing earth shattering that you should not already know. Of course, knowing and putting these things into practice are not the same thing. The devil is in the execution and the book does do a fairly good job of showing real life examples as a guide beyond textbook perfection.

14 of 16 people found this review helpful

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  • Kat
  • 03-10-18

The perfect sequel to Extreme Ownership

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Extreme Ownership laid the foundation for the message in this book to build off of. This book puts many of the challenges of leadership into perspective and gives you tools to filter the onslaught of questions you face as a leader.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Charis Lee
  • 29-09-18

Fantastic follow up the the first book.

Highly recommend for someone in a leadership role or learning to be a leader, and also for one who want to improve their daily living. I do believe the audio book is a better choice due the the fact it is being read by the authors, and they can set the tone for each point being made. So much can be gleaned from this text, and every revisit to this book, one could find more points that they can take and implement to their leadership and daily life.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Pete
  • 03-10-18

Outstanding

A phenomenal book by two inspiring leaders and human beings. If you want to become a better leader and build on your leadership ability, READ THIS BOOK!

The fact that the book is narrated by both Jocko and Leif makes it THAT MUCH BETTER!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Kim Baer
  • 06-04-19

great mixed book

between real military tales and relating them to business or life principles: what a great book. entertaining and informative. read by authors might have been a little over the top in their tone at times, but a great book nonetheless

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Bric
  • 16-11-18

A must read no matter your spot in the totem pole

This is a great addition to the original Extreme Ownership. A much needed follow up to help cement down lessons and applications. If you are on the fence about this book, don’t be. Just get it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Matthew D Morland
  • 25-09-18

Give it a read

Great book as you would expect from these two. Nice follow up to Extreme Ownership.

4 of 6 people found this review helpful