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Jocko  Willink

Jocko Willink

CEO & Co-Founder of Echelon Front

Biography

After two decades of service as a Navy SEAL, John “Jocko” Willink knows a thing or two about leading people in trying situations. It is with that experience that Willink is able to offer unparalleled insight into leadership, team management and more. Read More >

Over his 20 year career, Willink served as both enlisted and as an officer and has received numerous accolades and distinctions for his service. Perhaps most notably, Willink led Task Unit Bruiser, SEAL Team THREE in some of the war in Iraq’s toughest, continuous urban combat as part of The Battle of Ramadi. Under his leadership, Task Unit Bruiser played a crucial role in the re-taking of the city of Ramadi and restoring stability to the once violent city. As a result, his task unit became the most highly decorated Special Operations Unit of the Iraq War.

After Ramadi, Willink went on to serve as the Officer-in-Charge of Naval Special Warfare Group One Detachment for three years, where he designed, developed and oversaw the training of all West Coast SEAL Teams. With his training, SEAL Platoons and Troops were prepared for harsh and violent combat scenarios similar to those faced by his unit in Iraq. While serving in this post, Willink also led the charge for the doctrinalization of leadership curriculum within the SEALs and personally trained, instructed and mentored SEAL officers.

For his tour in Iraq as a platoon commander, Willink received the Bronze Star with Combat “V” and for his leadership of Task Unit Bruiser, he was awarded the Silver Star. Willink has also received a number of other awards recognizing personal and unit achievements during his career. Willink is now one of the co-founders of Echelon Front, a leadership training and consulting group that uses the lessons and skills learned by Willink and co-founder/fellow Navy SEAL, Leif Babin, during their military service to educate, train, mentor, and inspire leaders and organizations to achieve total victory. Echelon Front offers unmatched solutions in leadership, strategy, innovation, management, team building, contingency planning and crisis management developed and proven in the U.S. Navy SEAL Teams.

A fan of mixed martial arts, Willink has earned a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu from world champion Dean Lister, has competed in Submission Grappling on the national level, and has trained dozens of professional fighters. He has also coached and cornered for a number of fighters in King of the Cage, Pride, and UFC events.

Willink resides in San Diego, California where he is also a co-founder and the Operations Officer for Victory MMA and Fitness, a MMA training facility. Read Less ^

Speaker Videos

TEDx: Extreme Ownership

Speech Topics

Extreme Ownership: Leadership is the Most Important Thing on the Battlefield

Battle-tested concepts of combat leadership that directly correlate to all leadership situations on and off the battlefield. We don’t teach theory learned in a classroom. We teach tried, tested, and proven combat leadership principles and strategies learned on the front lines of the war on terror.

Discipline Equals Freedom: The Dichotomy of Leadership

The key to effective leadership is balance. Leaders will constantly be faced with opposing forces that must be balanced in order to succeed. We discuss how to identify and constantly make adjustments to those opposing forces to lead every member of your team effectively.

The Laws of Combat: Dominate Your Battlefield, Lead & Win

The laws of combat were learned on the battlefield of Ramadi, but they apply everywhere. Whether in business, personal, or life implementing the four laws of combat are required to succeed. Cover and Move, Simple, Prioritize and Execute, and Decentralized Command: these are the laws that lead to winning.

Combat Leadership: Build High Performance, Winning Teams

Although combat is different from any other environment in the world, the traits and qualities needed to succeed are exactly the same. The presentation will focus on leading in dynamic situations. Simple and direct, yet simultaneously strategic and diplomatic, these leadership concepts are designed to get your team executing at the highest level possible. Take advantage and implement the lessons learned from the harshest teacher: war.

Safety & Risk Mitigation: Default Aggressive

At Echelon Front, we preach a Default Aggressive mindset. But being aggressive while solving safety and risk issues requires a solid foundation and understanding of why we do what we do. We discuss the benefit to establishing Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for all of your team. Then we teach how to take aggressive actions to mitigate risk and fix problems before they do damage.

Mission Planning: How the Military Planning Model Applies to Business

Designed to create alignment across your entire industry, the planning process is critical to create understanding, buy-in, and commitment to mission accomplishment. We teach the military’s approach to mission planning, then conduct training that shows how it applies directly to you and your team. We culminate with exercises specific to your needs and establish the process and path toward setting a vision and accomplishing your mission.