What Moves You Will Move the World | Jocko Willink | EP 420

What Moves You Will Move the World | Jocko Willink | EP 420

Tour Update 2024 (00:00:00)

  • Jordan Peterson announces a new tour for 2024, starting in early February and running through June.
  • The tour will visit 51 cities in the US.
  • Peterson will discuss ideas from his forthcoming book, "We Who Wrestle with God," which will be released in November 2024.

Coming up (00:00:40)

  • Jocko Willink discusses the limitations of authoritarian leadership in the military and organizations.
  • While it may work temporarily, it is not a long-term solution.
  • Effective leadership involves shared vision, shared goals, and continual communication.

Intro (00:01:20)

  • Jordan Peterson introduces Jocko Willink, a former Navy SEAL, author, entrepreneur, and social media influencer.
  • Peterson and Willink have had several conversations in the past, finding common ground between their experiences in the military, entrepreneurship, and clinical psychology.
  • They discuss leadership and ethics, emphasizing invitational leadership, shared vision, and continual communication.
  • They also explore the pleasure of mentorship and the importance of developing the best in others.

Jocko on tour (00:03:40)

  • Jocko went on a tour, his second one, a few years after the first one at the beginning of COVID.
  • He filmed the Chicago stop of the tour and plans to release it.
  • People come to see Jocko and connect with him in real life because they have listened to his podcast.
  • Jocko shares his experiences and the lessons he has learned, particularly emphasizing that it is okay to feel sad or regretful after going through traumatic experiences.
  • He believes that feeling sad or regretful after experiencing trauma is normal and does not indicate something wrong with the person.
  • Jocko encourages people to accept that mistakes happen and move on rather than dwelling on negative feelings.

PTSD, regret, and dealing with dramatic mistakes (00:06:46)

  • Mistakes are inevitable, and excessive self-blame can be harmful.
  • To atone for mistakes, acknowledge them, defend yourself without excusing them, and commit to improvement.
  • Forgiveness involves confessing the wrongdoing, understanding why it was wrong, developing a better way of behaving, and committing to not repeating it.
  • Holding oneself permanently accountable for mistakes, even unforgivable ones, is counterproductive.
  • Mistakes should be acknowledged, learned from, and used as opportunities for growth.
  • Making the best decision with the available information is crucial, even if the outcome is not as desired.
  • Understanding the intent behind a decision is important, especially if it was made with good intentions to help others.
  • Learning from mistakes and using them as lessons for future decision-making is essential.
  • Dwelling on unchangeable past decisions is unproductive; it's better to focus on learning and moving forward.

Extreme Ownership (00:12:34)

  • Taking ownership of one's actions and decisions is crucial, rather than blaming others.
  • Dwelling on past mistakes is counterproductive, but self-reflection and learning from errors are essential.
  • Conscientious people may mistakenly equate taking ownership with excessive self-criticism, but it should be limited to fostering improvement.
  • Analysis of ignorance can help determine if one made the best use of available information or if there was willful blindness.
  • Situational factors should be considered when assessing one's actions, as people tend to default to personal attributions (fundamental attribution error).

The fundamental attribution error (00:15:11)

  • The fundamental attribution error occurs when people attribute others' actions to personal traits rather than situational factors.
  • It is easier to make personal attributions than to conduct a situational analysis.
  • When defending oneself, it is important to consider situational factors and make the strongest possible case for innocence.
  • Presumption of innocence should be applied, and residual issues like willful blindness or excessive ambition should be addressed.
  • The legal system is set up to exhaust all arguments in favor of innocence before reaching a verdict.

When to discipline your child (00:16:48)

  • Discipline children when they act inappropriately for their age and in a way that disgraces themselves.
  • The purpose of discipline is not because they are bad kids, reflect badly on you, or because you are angry, but to teach them how to behave appropriately so that others will want to be around them.
  • Use discipline as a way to teach children how to control their behavior and act appropriately in society.

Why matters more than what (00:18:04)

  • Negative emotions related to past memories often arise because there is a gap in understanding why something happened.
  • The conscience continues to remind individuals of past mistakes because it wants to prevent them from making similar mistakes in the future.
  • To alleviate negative emotions and gain psychological relief, individuals need to understand why they made mistakes and take steps to ensure they won't repeat them in the future.
  • Reconfiguring one's pathway and demonstrating a commitment to change can help individuals move past their mistakes and gain a sense of peace.

Meet and greets, lecturing, live Q&A’s (00:19:08)

  • Jocko Willink stays after his lectures to meet his audience and also has formal meet-and-greet sessions.
  • He feels a genuine connection with his audience due to their shared experiences through his podcast.
  • Jocko's live shows typically last around two and a half hours and include a Q&A session using Slido technology, where the audience can upvote questions.
  • He prefers speaking without notes to allow for spontaneity and a satisfying conclusion.
  • Willink compares his approach to creating a setlist for a rock concert, with different topics to cover but allowing for spontaneity and audience engagement.
  • He emphasizes the importance of paying attention to the audience and adapting his speech to their expectations.
  • Audiences appreciate hearing new material but also want to revisit familiar themes, creating a sense of participation and connection.
  • Live performances offer a unique experience with nuances and variations that make each performance special.

The real thing, Vivek Ramaswamy, Donald Trump (00:30:28)

  • People want to know if motivational speakers are genuine and credible.
  • Joe Rogan is seen as authentic because he presents himself consistently on and off stage.
  • Political figures often have a different persona on stage compared to off stage.
  • Credibility is especially important when people are seeking motivation and personal philosophy.
  • Live interactions allow people to assess credibility more effectively.
  • Vivek Ramaswamy avoided using a teleprompter during his campaign to maintain authenticity.
  • Donald Trump's mistakes are seen as his own, which people are willing to forgive because of his courage in expressing himself.

Relaxation is not the greatest reward for success (00:32:32)

  • Jocko Willink's primary goal is to help people, not to relax.
  • Relaxation is not a meaningful goal for Jocko.
  • Jocko believes that the most devout path is the path with the highest adventure.
  • Life is not about satisfaction or satiation, but about adventure.
  • Adventure can justify pain and the lack of satiation.

Know your prime motivators, the joy in helping others succeed (00:35:25)

  • Jocko Willink's prime motivation is to help people succeed.
  • He finds helping people intrinsically rewarding.
  • He realized this while in the military when he saw the gratification of mentoring and training others to excel.
  • He believes in helping others become more capable and skilled.
  • He draws a parallel from Jiu-Jitsu, where someone with more training can beat someone stronger, but it doesn't make them a better person.
  • He feels the most fulfillment when he sees the positive impact he has on others, such as children achieving their goals.

Survival strategy, mosquitos versus humans (00:39:07)

  • Hedonism and power are alternative motivational states that prioritize immediate gratification and personal desires, often disregarding the future and the well-being of others.
  • Humans are pair-bonding creatures with a high-investment reproductive strategy, which includes multigenerational investment in parenting and mentoring.
  • Helping others develop is an intrinsic pleasure that aligns with our biological preparation for fatherhood and mentoring, and sharing ideas and helping others grow benefits both parties, generating more ideas and positive outcomes.
  • Taking care of others and our responsibilities leads to positive outcomes and prevents negative consequences.
  • Jocko Willink emphasizes the importance of taking care of one's people, as they will reciprocate and support you in return.
  • Bob's investment in Jocko was a long-term strategy, as he anticipated that the favors would eventually pay off.

Sacrifice and investment creates heightened returns (00:45:39)

  • Sacrifice and investment in others can lead to long-term mutual reinforcement and development.
  • Viewing actions in the light of eternity and considering their impact if everyone did them over the longest possible time can lead to more effective strategies.
  • Laying up treasures in heaven refers to building a reputation through service to others.
  • Selfless acts of service often result in genuine rewards and appreciation from those helped.
  • Witnessing the positive impact of one's actions on others can be a deeply moving and motivating experience.
  • This strategy of genuine care for others' best interests challenges the Marxist claim that power is the only fundamental human motivation.
  • The instinct of fatherhood aligns with this strategy and further undermines the power-only motivation argument.

“Intent has a smell” (00:50:31)

  • As a leader, the goal is for your team to step up and run things, allowing you to focus on the bigger picture.
  • Intent can be sensed, and if someone's intent is to take advantage of you, it will eventually become apparent.
  • Be cautious of people who seem off or untrustworthy, as their intent may not be genuine.
  • While there are bad people who may try to exploit you, investing in others often leads to positive outcomes, with most people reciprocating and only a few attempting to take advantage.
  • Psychopaths use power to exploit others for short-term gains, sacrificing relationships and their own future in the process.
  • This strategy is not effective for long-term success, as psychopaths often end up in prison or facing negative consequences for their actions.
  • Even among chimpanzee troops, dominant males who rise to power through force create unstable leadership and are likely to meet a bad end.

Your guiding star will manifest itself in everything you do (00:53:14)

  • The guiding principle you choose will leak out in everything you do, from your words to your gestures.
  • People are good at decoding non-verbal behavior and can sense when someone is acting out of short-term selfish gratification.
  • Psychopathic patterns of adaptation don't work socially or for the person applying them.
  • Psychopathic men who are narcissistic can fool women because they mimic competence and women use confidence as a marker for competence.
  • Psychopaths and narcissists gain confidence because they have a dim view of everyone else, which gives them an aura of confidence.
  • This works particularly well with younger women who are less experienced and can't tell the difference between genuine confidence and false confidence.

Everyone sees what you’re doing (00:56:31)

  • People can see the little moves you make, even if you think they can't.
  • Imposing your will on others may work for a short while, but it's not a long-term solution.
  • Eventually, people will rebel against those who impose their will on them.
  • A power-oriented hierarchy demoralizes participants because they are not chasing something they value.
  • A power-oriented hierarchy requires constant monitoring and discipline, which is a cost.
  • A voluntary organization based on a shared vision will always eventually outperform a power-based organization.

How to get people to listen to you (00:59:56)

  • Effective leadership involves listening to others, integrating their perspectives, and arriving at better solutions.
  • Building trust requires putting trust in others.
  • Authoritarian leadership may work temporarily but is not sustainable in the long run.
  • The US military's strength lies in devolving responsibility and allowing decision-making at lower ranks.
  • Great political leaders excel at listening and incorporating diverse perspectives.
  • Listening to people's problems and concerns is crucial for effective leadership.
  • Comedians use a similar approach by testing their material in small clubs and refining it based on audience response.

The fourth law of combat leadership (01:06:04)

  • Decentralized command allows subordinate leaders to make decisions and take action within defined parameters.
  • Decentralized command is superior to other leadership systems and promotes group cohesion and success.
  • A team with good relationships and trust will outperform a team with animosity and distrust.

Group division arises from ego (01:07:29)

  • Ego can cause divisions within a group when individuals play power games or seek personal recognition.
  • Friction can arise when a platoon Commander or Chief wants to be the sole decision-maker, leading to conflict and failure.
  • Narcissistic individuals prioritize false forms of prestige over real ability and hinder group success.
  • True prestige comes from delivering what others want and need, which is a reflection of real ability.

The antithesis to power and force (01:10:04)

  • Children develop friendships through shared games with agreed-upon rules.
  • Play is a delicate motivational state that requires volunteerism, shared aims, and agreement on the game's principles.
  • A friend is someone with whom a sequence of different games can be played.
  • Friendship requires flexibility, cooperation, and a commonality of attitude that is antithetical to power.
  • Mentoring involves teaching others how to play the long-term iterative game of friendship.
  • Trust, listening, respect, influence, and care are essential elements in building and maintaining friendships.

All traits become toxic if taken to an extreme (01:18:07)

  • Any characteristic or trait taken to an extreme becomes negative.
  • Traditionally feminine and masculine traits can become toxic when taken to extremes.
  • Being too aggressive or assertive can be harmful, but so can being too compliant.
  • Balance is key, and the ability to control and discipline extreme traits is important.
  • Extroversion has advantages, but also disadvantages like impulsivity.
  • Mania and impulsivity are pathologies of extroversion caused by excessive positive emotion.
  • Positive emotion can lead to acting precipitously in the present due to the nervous system's perception of everything being good.

Virtue is not reducible to one aspect (01:20:09)

  • Talents have corresponding costs, making the distribution of talents complex.
  • Intelligence, while impactful, is not the sole determinant of success.
  • Intellectual arrogance is a significant flaw.
  • Virtue is not reducible to a single dimension but rather a harmonious balance of various traits.
  • Skilled individuals have a broader range of tools to choose from in different situations.
  • Virtue may be the harmonious balance of potentially competing virtues.
  • Pleasure in mentoring can indicate a proper balance of virtues.
  • When mentoring, one should consider the best interests of the mentee and the people they will serve.

Leadership is like woodworking (01:23:40)

  • Leadership is like woodworking, requiring the development of a feel for working with different individuals.
  • Different individuals require different approaches, just as different types of wood require different tools and techniques.
  • Leaders must balance their approach to avoid being too harsh or too lenient, as this can have negative consequences.
  • Leadership is not something that one is simply born with, but rather a skill that can be learned and developed through experience.
  • There is no one-size-fits-all approach to leadership, as each individual is unique and requires a tailored approach.
  • Leaders can improve their skills by learning to be more articulate and developing a better command presence.
  • It is beneficial to have team members with different strengths, allowing leaders to delegate tasks based on individual capabilities.

Knowing when to let others communicate for you (01:26:16)

  • Moses had a speech impediment and relied on Aaron as his communicator.
  • Effective leadership is not limited to charismatic speaking.
  • A good leader can create games that people want to play, and there are many ways to achieve this.
  • A lawyer who was very quiet and listened to people was able to effectively manage a law firm by resolving conflicts before they escalated.
  • The gospel statement "you shouldn't let your right hand know what your left hand is doing" means that one should not be concerned about taking credit for their accomplishments.
  • Mentoring others and helping them develop is a deep source of meaning and can provide direction to those who feel lost.

Self-consciousness is a facet of negative emotion (01:30:36)

  • Self-consciousness is indistinguishable from negative emotion.
  • Thinking about yourself leads to misery.
  • Focusing on providing value to others can alleviate self-consciousness.
  • Serving only one's own interests leads to alienation, isolation, and misery.
  • The best thing one can do for oneself is to work hard for the benefit of others.
  • A good team player prioritizes the team over themselves.
  • Self-centered individuals are not desirable in a team.
  • Focusing on oneself can lead to problems like arrogance or paranoia.
  • Self-consciousness is noticeable only to the self.
  • Overcompensating for lack of experience by pretending to know more than one does is ineffective and obvious to others.

The authoritarian mindset within the military (01:35:11)

  • Authoritarian mindsets thrive in non-combat situations where rules and order are present.
  • In combat situations, where rules are suspended and chaos ensues, authoritarian mindsets struggle to adapt and may experience difficulties.
  • Chaos, such as warfare, requires a different mindset that embraces distributed responsibility, volunteerism, and creativity.
  • In combat, keeping an open mind is crucial due to the unpredictable nature of events.
  • A fixed mindset can hinder adaptation and lead to failure, while an open mind allows for adjustments and problem-solving.
  • Training should focus on developing open minds and exposing individuals to situations that challenge fixed mindsets.
  • Diversity of viewpoints is valuable in open-ended situations where circumstances are constantly changing.
  • A variety of perspectives provides more options for decision-making, up to a certain point where time constraints become a factor.
  • Uniformity of opinion can lead to problems, as illustrated by the example of the Iraq military.

Skimming, culture, and openness (01:39:21)

  • The military discovered that Iraqi officers were skimming money from soldiers' paychecks, but the soldiers accepted it as a cultural practice.
  • The Iraqis had a different concept of time and numbers, operating based on "God willing" rather than fixed expectations.
  • To communicate effectively, the military adapted and merged their culture with the locals instead of imposing their own methods.
  • A closed mindset prevents people from considering different perspectives and information, leading to political divisiveness.
  • It is crucial to listen to others, even if you disagree with them, to understand their perspectives, especially when living or working together.

Leaving Bill Maher speechless, ARC (01:43:53)

  • Jocko Willink discusses his experience on Bill Maher's show, where he challenged the contempt that some liberals had towards Trump supporters.
  • He introduces the Alliance for Responsible Citizenship (ARC), an international visionary enterprise that aims to avoid authoritarian tendencies.
  • ARC operates on the principle that policies implemented through manipulation or force are suboptimal and that voluntary buy-in is essential.
  • Effective leadership involves finding out where people want to go, assuming they have reasons for their decisions, and helping them strategize.
  • Giving people ownership of their tasks and encouraging them to take on important responsibilities is a powerful leadership tool.

How the military prioritizes targets (01:45:54)

  • In the military, leaders don't dictate every detail of a mission but instead provide the target and allow subordinates to determine how to execute it.
  • This decentralized approach fosters ownership and encourages team members to negotiate agreement on the target.
  • Leaders should be able to clearly explain the rationale for prioritizing certain targets.
  • If a subordinate raises concerns about the chosen target or the proposed approach, the leader should listen and work collaboratively to find a better solution.
  • Effective leadership involves building relationships and working together to find the best solutions to problems, rather than dictating orders or blindly following them.

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