What I Learned From USNavy SEALs

This August marks 6 years since I experienced the first of 3 training experiences that had the most profound impact on my life; as a Coach, as an athlete and as a person. In looking through past training and the debrief event documents I wrote after each event, I have had a chance to reflect fondly on some of the major takeaways from the 14 days living at SEALFit and also the 3 day endurance event, KOKORO. (50hrs of no sleep and gruelling physical output).  Every aspect of my mental, physical and emotional self was pushed to its limits. Here is what I learned and if not learned, then had reinforced beyond doubt…

1. No discrimination.

Regardless of shape, size, beliefs, or culture, the biggest personal trait demanded of a SEAL is demeanor. A Navy SEAL does not display a superior attitude or arrogance, but rather a confidence in his physical and mental abilities for the good of the team. There is no judgement; its all about getting the job done and working together.

2. Every person counts. 

Settling for mediocrity is the death of an organization. Every SEAL knows with 100% confidence that the person behind him will be able to save his life. Corporate leaders need to be able to say the same about their management teams. Employees’ livelihoods depend on it.

3. Train Hard. 

Conditioning your body and mind makes you a more resilient and effective operator in life and in your team. You do not want to be the weakest link that lets the team down, which for a SEAL ultimately could mean lives lost.

4. Learn to Lead & learn to Follow

Every person counts and every person has responsibility for the task being completed, on time, with success and with minimal loss’. That means listening to your team, doing what needs to be done and mucking in.

5. You never know the measure of people until they are tested. 

People are more resilient and tougher than imagined. During SEAL training, instructors prove that their men are capable of 10-20 times more than what they ever imagined. Until your team is really tested, you can never be too sure who will step up and who will falter in any given situation.

6. Carry Your Load

This point is critical to high performing teams, when everyone makes sure that no other member is made to carry more than their share, everyone is pulling together in the same direction for the same outcomes then Teams respect each other, loyalty breeds trust and fosters bonds that become unbreakable and longterm. Ego has no place in high performing teams and when everyone carries their load, tasks get completed faster and to high standards with everyone valued and supported, by each other.