Life is uncertain and yet in business you must take decisive action in order to be successful. We've all had extremely difficult choices we've had to make and feel the pressure to make a decision without all the facts. The worst thing you can do in these situations is to freeze up like a deer in the headlights.

"You're not going to have all the answers," says Leif Babin, former Navy Seal and Best Selling Author of Extreme Ownership. "And if you're going to sit there and wait until you have all the answers, until everything's clear, then you're going to get your ass kicked. Because the enemy is going to maneuver on you ... you have to be able to act decisively."

Who better to learn about taking decisive action amidst uncertainty than a former Navy Seal? While we may feel the intense pressure of supporting our employees salaries and their families, Leif Babin operated in a war zone and felt the full weight of every life of every member of his team. What I find incredible is how this former Navy Seal took the time to share what he learned on the battle field and bring it directly to entrepreneurs like us in his book and via this video interview:

Keep Focused on the Outcome You Seek
"If you get emotional, you can't make good decisions," says Leif Babin. "You've got to be able to take a step back, prioritize and execute. What's the strategic picture? What's the highest priority? Let me get the team focused on executing in that priority order."

Leif Babin spends a good chunk of his book talking about knowing, understanding, and effectively communicating the mission to your team. When you focus on the mission and ensure your team is equally focused on the mission, then even when mistakes are made, you are able to continue forward toward the outcome you seek. The same holds true in business.

"In combat as in life, the outcome is never certain, the picture never clear," says Leif Babin. "There are no guarantees of success. But in order to succeed, leaders must be comfortable under pressure, and act on logic, not emotion. This is a critical component to victory."

By knowing your outcomes, you make the best decision possible in the moment with the full understanding that you could be wrong. Leaders, however, can't obsess about making mistakes nor can they afford to get derailed by the mistakes they've made in the past. When you're finished with the incredible pressure of the battle in front of you, you will have time to go over what didn't go according to plan and how you can learn from the mistakes that were made.

Decentralized Command
Another incredible insight from Leif Babin is just how important it is for leaders to support the line decisions of their team - just as long as these decisions were made to further the mission. If you want to move quickly as a business, make sure your team fully understands the outcomes you seek and then support them in their day-to-day decisions; even when mistakes are made.

All too often, junior members of the team get blasted when they make a mistake. What this teaches them early on is to fear making important decisions and instead of taking decisive action, to kick the decision up the chain of command. This breeds incredible inefficiency and leaves the company open to being crushed by fast-moving competitors.

Instead, Leif Babin urges companies to train the members on your team what the most important two to three outcomes are and support them as they do their best to accomplish the overall mission. Even when they make a mistake, if they can explain why they thought the decision would take the company closer to accomplishing it's mission, then the decision should be supported and used as a learning opportunity to help make the team stronger.

Only then will you develop a fearless team who feels empowered and supported the growth needs of the business. This is especially true when each team member is clear on their roles, responsibilities and the kinds of decisions they are expected to make day in and day out.

No Bad Teams, Only Bad Leaders
Perhaps the most important lesson I took away from Leif Babin and Extreme Ownership is that there really are no bad teams, only bad leaders. The art of extreme ownership comes down to taking full responsibility for the issues and challenges your team faces. A great leader will take ownership of all the problems that his or her team faces and work like hell to solve them.

Pointing fingers and blaming people is the lazy option. Anyone can throw another colleague under the bus. But that only breads fear, resentment and hostility. Great leaders own the problems of their entire team and take decisive action to overcome any obstacle that stands in the way of the team achieving its mission. The more extreme you "own it", the more effective a leader you will be. For more on this topic, see my related article, "The Lifeline: 8 Proven Steps to Staying Powerful and Accountable in Everything You Do."

As Tony Robbins says, "The quality of your life is determined by the amount of uncertainty you can comfortably live with." Despite all the uncertainty around you, I encourage you to take decisive action. Even if you're wrong, you'll have the opportunity to correct course. And taking massive action trumps great ideas every day of the week.

So be bold, my friends. You've been fortunate enough to find yourself in a leadership position. So be extreme and own the position you've been granted so that others can support the outcomes that will benefit you all.

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