Belief. Any mention of it on an article or on social media is usually coupled with a cheesy quote meant to give you a tingling “aha moment” plastered with a beautiful picture in the background. This isn’t that article. Most of you probably have some sort of understanding on the importance of belief. Without it things become harder and obstacles seem bigger. What we don’t tend to think about is how our belief effects not only our outcome, but the belief of others around us. “Once a leader believes in the mission, that belief shines through to those below and above in the chain of command. Actions and words reflect belief with a clear confidence and self-assuredness that is not possible when belief is in doubt.”¹ The belief that is in us internally shows outwardly through our actions and behaviors. And those actions and behaviors are interpreted and contagious.
Belief when caught by others then is able to show up in their actions and behaviors. By realizing the necessity of our belief and others’ belief we are able to work together in the same direction as a team. Thus we’re working together toward the mission and make accomplishing that mission much more probable. As the authors of Extreme Leadership point out, “Leaders must always operate with the understanding that they are part of something greater than themselves and their own personal interests. They must impart this understanding to their teams down to the tactical-level operators on the ground. Far more important than training or equipment, a resolute belief in the mission is critical for any team or organization to win and achieve big results.”¹
But how do you make yourself belief when you don’t? Or what about when you don’t agree with decisions being made? The easy thing to do is complain. The easy thing to do is talk to your peers or your spouse about what horrible decisions management is making. The thing that leaders do and those who take Extreme Ownership is ask questions, so that they can better understand those decisions. “If you don’t understand or believe in the decisions coming down from your leadership, it is up to you to ask questions until you understand how and why those decisions are being made. Not knowing the why prohibits you from believing in the mission. When you are in a leadership position, that is a recipe for failure, and it is unacceptable. As a leader, you must believe.”²
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Every week I talk about a book that we’re reading on leadership and self-development. You can follow along by going to the Book of the Week page at the top
- Willink, Jocko. Extreme Ownership (pp. 76-77). St. Martin’s Press. Kindle Edition.
- Willink, Jocko. Extreme Ownership (p. 84). St. Martin’s Press. Kindle Edition.