A Navy SEAL's tips on how to use battle techniques at work

Navy SEAL leadership Retired SEAL Mark Divine shares his leadership techniques in his new book.
Credit: Wikimedia Commons

 

 

Mark Divine spent 20 years as a U.S. Navy SEAL, and with his new book he’s telling readers how they can apply those skills to life in the civilian workforce. In “The Way of the SEAL” -- the retired commander breaks down he uses his “deep level of focus, concentration and non-quitting spirit” to motivate himself and others to get the job done.

 

Based on SEAL tactics, what's one way people can lead so others will want to work for them?

 

SEALs have to be extremely authentic and clear in their communications due to the extreme mission risk they face daily. What is required is brutally honest communication, transparency and not worrying about appearances over substance. In the SEALs, one’s reputation as an operator and being a great teammate are the main currencies for success.

What's ‘Front Sight Focus?’ How can people leverage this at work?

Front Sight Focus is the radical ability to focus on the right task at the right time, while keeping your broader vision on the overall mission and other targets that enter the line of fire.

This ability allows the SEAL to identify, select and focus with precision on the highest value target (goal) until completion. Simultaneously they are able to forward plan for the next highest value target, while also coordinating the efforts of an extended team to accomplish other important objectives in parallel.

How can people think offensively all of the time? How can this help their personal lives, too?

Thinking offense all the time means to take charge of, and be responsible for, all of the choices in your life, day in and day out - no matter how small. The reality of this statement is subtle. It requires great control over one’s mind, even while under intense pressure, so that you have the presence to zap negativity and maintain a positive focus on mission success.

You become the author of your life moment to moment, creating the outcomes you desire. You are less likely to be buffeted by desires, whims and fears that trip many people up.

Your book references tapping into intuition to make "hard right" decision. Can you elaborate?

Intuition is experienced in greater fidelity when the risk factor is dialed way up. Leaning into hard training and learning to ‘embrace the suck’ leads to a deepening of self-awareness. You begin to trust yourself to make hard right decisions such as to end a long-term relationship, leave a job you need but are not happy with or to do something you fear greatly.

As a young SEAL officer, I was walking to a firing line for pistol requalification shoot. Suddenly, I felt an intense need to stop in my tracks. I complied and a millisecond later a 9MM round whizzed by my ear. Had I ignored the intuitive notice from my subconscious, I would have walked into the bullet.

 
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