Created by two Navy SEALS, Extreme Ownership is all about how you can be a better leader. 

Truth be told, I wasn’t expecting a lot from this book. I assumed (from the title Extreme Ownership) that the whole book was going to be about you taking 100% responsibility and 100% ownership of everything. In which case, yeah I got the gist, I don’t need to listen to a whole book…

However, I was pleasantly surprised. 

Yes, the ‘100% Ownership’ principle is in the book, but there is also so much more! 

The structure of the book

The book is broken down into three parts:

  • Part #1. Winning the War Within
  • Part #2. The Laws of Combat
  • Part #3. Sustaining Victory

Within each of those parts are various principles, and each principle is then structured as below.

  • A military story that illustrates the principle in action
  • A definition and an in-depth explanation of what the principle actually is
  • How the principle is applied to business (These sections are my favorite) 

Not just about team leadership!

Although Extreme Ownership is about how to be a better leader, there is a lot that you can take out of this book even if you don’t lead a team.

Regardless of your professional position, we all need to be able to play well with others, and the authors share lots of the information that can help you to understand your own behavior, how you interact with other people, and how you can improve yourself and your performance as an individual (thus improving the team).

I myself do not lead a team, however, I still found the book to be very valuable.

Jocko Willink & Leif Babin

It was great to have both authors taking equal parts in reading the book, rather than hearing from just one of them or having someone totally different narrate the book.

Even more so because they both have such strong male voices. If someone asked me to stereotype what the voice of a Navy SEAL sounded like, both of these men would fit the bill! 

Easy to navigate

This is the first audiobook I’ve read where the chapters are titled correctly within the Amazon Audible app.

I know that this is only a small point, but you’ll be surprised at just how much easier it makes everything – especially if you need to recap or refresh yourself on a previous point. 

A couple of downsides and upsides

On the negative side, the book did take an awfully long time to get going. If you add together all the introductory phases of the book, you have about 50 minutes of audio before the book really starts to get into the meat of the message!

Also, it’s obvious that the book is being read, rather than spontaneously narrated, and that detracted a bit from the overall experience. You sometimes found yourself tuning out at times because of this, however, some of the stories and experiences were captivating, which drew you back into the book again quite quickly. 

Another nice feature is the odd sound effect that is used throughout the book. For example, if the military story refers to a bomb going off, there’s a sound effect of a bomb exploding in the background. That’s a nice touch that helped to keep me engaged and broke up some of the narration. 

My overall thoughts

Overall, I think this is a good audiobook that teaches a lot of valuable lessons (besides the obvious of taking 100% ownership). 

Even if you are not in a leadership role (I’m not) you will still be able to extract a few nuggets that will help you in your work and life. 

Have you listened to Extreme Ownership?

This book review is my personal opinion and experience of Extreme Ownership.

If you’ve listened to this audiobook (or read the physical book) please remember to share your thoughts in the comments section, and don’t forget to leave your own review in the box below. 

Roseanna x

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Extreme Ownership


Although Extreme Ownership is about how to be a better leader, there is a lot that you can take out of this book even if you don't lead a team. Overall, I was pleasantly surprised, and the book was much better than I expected it to be. I like the way the book is structured, and the application to business sections were very valuable. So, all-in-all, there's a lot to like about this book.

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Currently winging my way through life and putting most of it on the internet. This is my personal website where I share my business book reviews, my adventure tips and stories, and my general musings on life as a solo entrepreneur.

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