Home » 20 Jocko Willink Quotes [Winning Through Effective Leadership]

20 Jocko Willink Quotes [Winning Through Effective Leadership]

by Bob
A man with a serious face desides a sentence "All your excuses are lies."

Source: Pinterest


Do you want to learn how to be a true leader? Check out these inspirational Jocko Willink quotes from one of the most terrifying human beings who ever lived.


No one can teach you how to be an effective leader better than Jocko Willink – a known legend in the world of Special Operations. He is a retired U.S. Navy SEAL officer who spent 20 years of his life on the team. He was the commander of the SEAL Task Unit Bruiser which is among the toughest and highly decorated units during the Iraq War. Through his leadership, they were able to bring stability to Ramadi.

Jocko became in charge of training all West Coast SEAL Teams after returning to the U.S. There, he designed and implemented the world’s most realistic and challenging combat training. He also co-authored the best-selling book Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win. If you want to know more about winning through good leadership, here are the best Jocko Inspirational quotes for you!


5 Top Jocko Willink Motivation Quotes

A serious man with a slogan "get it done"

Source: Pinterest

Motivation is important when you are a leader. It affects the productivity of those under you as well as the speed and quality of work. As a leader, you are responsible for motivating your team. 

But, of course, you won’t be able to do this if you, yourself, aren’t motivated. So here are a few Jocko Willink quotes to give you inspiration:


“If you have to stand and fight, you train yourself so that you’re able to do it.” – Jocko Willink

On the battlefield or in business, you need to prepare yourself for the big fights that you are going to face. Don’t rely on your current skills. Keep on training and learning new skills.


“One of the things I definitely think of as a driver of me is fear. And it’s fear of failure, fear of being overtaken.” – Jocko Willink

If the sweet smell of success doesn’t motivate you enough, then the fear of failure might do the job. Everyone is afraid of failing and oftentimes, this is what drives them to keep on working for success.


“Your success, or lack of success, is your responsibility. Even when you have a chain of command that you don’t like as well, it’s your responsibility to work with the up chain of command.” – Jocko Willink

The surroundings you are in should never be a hindrance to accomplishing your dreams. Your success will always depend on you regardless if you are working with difficult people in your team.


“Perseverance is also key to success in any endeavor, but without perseverance in combat, there can be no victory.” – Jocko Willink

Choosing to keep on going despite challenges and setbacks proves that you are determined in achieving your goals. Perseverance intensifies your level of motivation which urges you to exert more effort on your dreams.


“Don’t let your mind control you. Control your mind.” – Jocko Willink

Never let your thoughts and emotions take control of your life and hinder your success. Negative thoughts cannot be avoided, but you need to train your mind to be stronger than your thoughts and emotions.


5 Inspiring Jocko Willink Extreme Ownership Quotes

You must own everything in your world. There is no one else to blame.

Source: Pinterest


First of all, what does extreme ownership mean? 

Extreme ownership means being responsible for all of the things that can affect the success of your mission, whether you can directly control them or cannot. 

Learn more about what this means through Jocko’s quotes about leadership from his book Extreme Ownership below:


“Leaders must own everything in their world. There is no one else to blame.” – Jocko Willink

Blaming others is unacceptable and it is not a good trait a true leader should have. You are the one who is making the decisions, the plans, and everything. You are the “god” of your world and everything that happens is in your hands.


“There are no bad teams, only bad leaders.” – Jocko Willink

Do you think you have unproductive and uncooperative team members? Don’t blame them. Blame yourself. You are responsible for giving the orders and training them to be good players in the team.


“Leaders must always operate with the understanding that they are part of something greater than themselves and their own personal interests.” – Jocko Willink

Teamwork is always important in achieving your goals. Set your personal interests aside and work for the success of your whole team instead. Also, never take all the credit for yourself in times of success. It is the whole team’s hard work, not only yours.


“When a team takes ownership of its problems, the problem gets solved. It is true on the battlefield, it is true in business, and it is true in life.” – Jocko Willink

You can never solve a problem if everyone in your team is blaming each other instead of finding a solution to the problem. Learn to own your problems as a team regardless of whose fault it is.


“After all, there can be no leadership where there is no team.” – Jocko Willink

You are not called a leader if you don’t have a team to lead. And if you are not able to make your team members follow you, you failed your role as a leader.


5 Powerful Jocko Willink Quotes on Leadership

A man giving a speech about how to become a leader.

Source: Skills Singapore


A leader has the most responsibilities in the team. To be a good leader, you need to be a practical thinker. You need to be able to think fast and compensate for all of the qualities that are lacking from those under you. Below are more awe-inspiring leadership quotes from Jocko Willink you can read:


“Good leaders don’t make excuses. Instead, they figure out a way to get it done.” – Jocko Willink

When there is a difficult task, a good leader doesn’t point his/her finger at other people to deal with it. As the head of the team who is considered as the most able team member, the leader should figure it out himself/herself.


“The leader is truly and ultimately responsible for everything.” – Jocko Willink

May it be success or failure, it is you, the leader, who should take responsibility for everything. You were the one who led and your team members only followed you. Don’t always put the blame on them.


“Leadership is hard. It’s a skill. It’s a technique.” – Jocko Willink

Leaders are the most powerful superheroes in a team. Not all people are born to be great leaders and not all are skilled enough to be one. In fact, leadership is only for a chosen few. 


“One of the key qualities a leader must possess is the ability to detach from the chaos, mayhem, and emotions in a situation and make good, clear decisions based on what is actually happening.” – Jocko Willink

A good leader is not easily affected by the things that are happening in his or her surroundings. You need to always have a clear mind despite the chaos you are facing.


“We learned that leadership requires belief in the mission and unyielding perseverance to achieve victory, particularly when doubters question whether victory is even possible.” – Jocko Willink

People will always try to discourage you and there are those who won’t trust you enough to achieve victory. But it is in these times that the more you need to strengthen your belief that everything will work out as planned. That’s how every leader should be.


5 Great Jocko Willink Discipline Quotes

Discipline equals freedom

Source: Pinterest

The key to every success is self-discipline. Being disciplined helps in keeping your focus on your goals. You need it to handle difficult tasks as well as overcome obstacles as you work your way to the top. Learning to develop self-discipline might be hard at first, but here are discipline quotes to motivate you:


“Discipline equals freedom.” – Jocko Willink

When you are disciplined, you gain more freedom. For instance, being disciplined with your finances helps you achieve financial freedom. The same goes for time management. The more disciplined you are with managing your time, the more you can do other interesting things.


“When individual members of the team are highly disciplined, they can be trusted and, therefore, allowed to operate with very little oversight.” – Jocko Willink

Teaching self-discipline to your team members will help you focus more on other important things. If you can trust them that they can do what they need to do, you don’t need to keep watch over them at all times.


“One of the best mental disciplines for people to implement is simply putting together a schedule or a task list and actually executing it.” – Jocko Willink

Get used to making a list of all the things you need to do the night before. This will make things more organized. But, make sure that you actually do all of those things and not just keep it as a list.


“The temptation to take the easy road is always there. It is as easy as staying in bed in the morning and sleeping in. But discipline is paramount to ultimate success and victory for any leader and any team.” – Jocko Willink

Waiting for success to come to you is easier than going out there and doing things by yourself. However, there is no assurance that this will give the results you want. Discipline is still the key for both the leader and team members.


“There is no easy way. There is only hard work, late nights, early mornings, practice, rehearsal, repetition, study, sweat, blood, toil, frustration, and discipline.” – Jocko Willink

There is no shortcut to success. You need to work hard and endure all adversities through self-discipline to achieve it. You need to invest both time and effort as well as make sacrifices wherever needed.

Also Read:


Wrapping Up

Being a good leader is important to ensure the success of your team. Whether in business or in the actual battlefield, the same principles apply when it comes to effective leadership. Winning is never easy and it is impossible to achieve without great discipline. Victory requires hard work and perseverance.

Making excuses, blaming others for your failures, and refusing to ask for help will never get you anywhere. Jocko Willink is, in no doubt, among the greatest teachers of leadership. We hope that you’ve learned a lot from him in this blog.

related posts

Leave a Comment