I recently read an interesting article by Michael Schrage in Harvard Business Review titled How the Navy SEALs Train for Leadership Excellence. One key component of how the Navy SEALs train for leadership excellence is reflected in a great quote by Brandon Webb, the SEAL trainer that redesigned the SEAL training curriculum . . . “Training programs shouldn’t be designed to deliver competence; they must be dedicated to producing excellence. Serious organizations don’t aspire to be comfortably above average.”
Some key points from the article:
- "real-world excellence requires more than commitment to educational achievement"
- "business schools and high-performance businesses overinvest in 'education' and dramatically underinvest in 'training'”
- “'Under pressure,' according to SEAL lore, 'you don’t rise to the occasion, you sink to the level of your training.'”
- 4 training themes:
- "Produce Excellence, Not 'Above Average'”
- "Incentivize Excellence Not Competence"
- "Incorporate New Ideas from the Ground" . . . "successful training must be dynamic, open and innovative"
- "Lead by Example"
- "He broke the class into pairs, assigning mentors to boost support and accountability"