It was about a quarter past two in the afternoon when my phone rang and displayed an unfamiliar number from Chesapeake, Virginia.“Hey, Devil Dog, it’s Don Shipley.”A voice I had grown familiar with over several years watching retired Navy SEAL Senior Chief Petty Officer Don Shipley on one of the most popular streaming platforms in the country confront men all over the continent who fraudulently claimed to have served as U.S. Navy SEALs.Today, this phone call wouldn’t be confrontational.
He wasn’t calling to bust a phony servicemember or confront a pathological liar for stolen valor. I had asked for a few minutes of his time less than twenty-four hours prior, and he graciously obliged.How often do you get the privilege of picking the brain of a leadership legend?I anticipated a glimpse into a small and exclusive universe few will ever experience.
I anticipated transformational leadership principles from a carefully cultivated pedigree of frogmen and elite warriors throughout the long and proud tradition and history of Naval Special Warfare. I anticipated my understanding of how to lead people to be turned on its axis.
I anticipated everything that I thought I knew about building effective teams to be challenged by the touchstone acumen of a sharper and more experienced leader.Needless to say, my mind was blown, but not how I had expected it to be.As the conversation progressed, I grew closer towards an unexpected conclusion:Leadership transcends trends, generations, movements, revolutions, and time.The best stick to the basics.A good general not only sees the way to victory; he also knows when victory is impossible. —PolybiusSo, how does this elite fraternity of Navy SEALs build effective teams and lead their people under
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