How To Lead When You’re Not In Charge – Jocko Willink

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Recently interviewed for a team lead job. But wasnt selected because i dontnt have leadership experience how can i lead what im not in charge wellre in charge of something youre certainly in charge of something youre in charge of some piece of gear. Youre in charge of some tasks youre in charge of maybe a couple people here there.
But even if youre not youre in charge of something so whatever youre in charge of take charge of it take charge of whatever your task is you take charge of it you own it you do it to perfection that once youve got that completely dialed. Then you know what you reach out and you see who else you can help you help with other tasks you look for work if you look for work youre gonna find it all right youre gonna find it youre gonna find it youre gonna start taking things from other people now. What you have to be careful of is that you dont step on toes right because just about everyone think about this just about everyone is offended by someone that wants to be in charge.
Hey. Let me let me let me take charge of this here makes people cringe. What i take lead on this you know what hey listen up guys right.
These. If youre that guy then everyone goes hmm. Now.
Theres a key point. This this is beautiful this is beautiful so lets say were in a platoon. Theres something going on in a mid grade position.
And i realize like i want to be a leader right now if i just go in and guys hey guys let me run this next mission people like do what do you know what are you talking about you know anything hmm okay and theyre and theyre kind of dug in against me by the way at that point. Yeah. If i give it an if i let things escalate.
A little bit.

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how to lead when you re not in charge-0

What i would usually do is i would i would let things escalate to a point to where when i took charge people were waiting for it and they were happy that i took charge then that even i was even i wasnt asking to commander like if youre tasking. The commander. Okay so i got lathe and stone are working for me.
Im tasking to commander were out on an operation. Something starts going wrong right lets say leifs doing a building clearance with his platoon. Something starts going wrong.
I jump down. There and say all right guys push it over that way start clearing that hallway. How does they feel yeah kind of yeah fees he feels like i jumped down and micromanage.
His platoon and why are you doing this thing was going fine. So i dont want to do that i want first of all i wanted to work things out of course. So what lets say same things happening.
Things are going a little bit bad theyre starting to be a little bit of confusion. Theyre starting to be escalated voices. Theyre started people you know hey what wait no dont go there you can hear it its really obvious when things are going wrong.
I might let that escalate a little bit let it get to a point. Where the lafe knows he doesnt have control this anymore. Now i come down and go hey everyone lock it up you.
Four hold on that hallway.

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how to lead when you re not in charge-1

You two start clearing that back room. Everyone else get to the rooftop. A little security.
You know what everyone thinks including life they go thank god that doesnt happen right now and that can happen from anywhere in the chain of command. Im happy i happen to be given an example of when i was the task unit commander. But i would do the same thing when i was a an e5.
Which is oath ings are going a little bit sideways. No one wants to hear the guy that as soon as the opportunity as soon as theres any void of leadership. Youre just like jumping in there like okay guys captain america to the rescue right you dont want to do that you want to let them what ill tell you what happens.
If theres a little tiny void that you try and jump into guess what youre gonna do youre gonna bump into everyone else thats thats in that void. It has to mean an actual void of leadership. Once that actual void of leadership opens up and its big enough you jump in there and you and because youve detached.
Because you are detached cuz youre watching it happen you jump in there and you have so much confidence in what youre saying you have so much understanding of the situation. You look like a genius. And everyones happy that you just did that and by the way as soon as that problem gets solved.
You step back out the leadership void. Is closed up by someone else. And youre good to go and next.
Time people people will not be surprised at all when something goes wrong.

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how to lead when you re not in charge-2

And you step in and you solve the problem yeah. So thats what you should do you yes you want to be in charge. Yes you should look for work.
But you cant step on toes. Dont jump in every time chance you get like captain america im gonna save the day no youre not let there be a real problem assess it from the outside and like i said you got to be careful about being captain america you got to be careful about being im gonna sob ready to stand up every moment and thats a problem you know its a problem when someone when someones goal. This is gonna sound weird when someones goal is to be a leader right like my goal is to be a leader like if thats what theyre thinking.
Thats gonna thats gonna offend people mmm. Its gonna offend people cuz and ill tell you why it offends people to rightfully. So you know why it offends people because what is it about themselves.
Its about me i want to be a leader. I me me want to lead thats what its about and everyone recognized that if what you really want to do is you want the team to win and you realize that sometimes youre going to be in a supporting role and sometimes there might be another situation. Where you need to lead almost hesitantly.
You know what leadership needs to happen ill go make it happen. Because the team needs it to win. Im here for the team so dont be the person about yourself.
We dont like that person. I dont even like that person as much as i love people that want to step up and lead. I dont want that person thats like looking for themselves.
Yeah.

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how to lead when you re not in charge-3

Sometimes you got to be following. I want someone thats like hey oh cool i got your back dont worry about im over here. Im over here part of the train.
Im over. Here. Clearing rooms.
Oh wait a second theres a leadership void. And now. Theres an actual problem going on oh.
And then that person suddenly steps up and solves. A problem then goes right back down to their level. Awesome.
Thats the person you want and thats the person you want to be yeah. Yeah. You know like not either.
Why i hear it a lot. Nowadays with add value you just want to add value so essentially what youre doing if youre not a lip situation its like boom. Im gonna add value so one okay were gonna start with my own role you know thats where im gonna add the most value my own role.
But if theres little voids in whatever capacity that needs some value added. Im going to add that value we cant just be piling on the value where its not needed no dont dont dont pour our additional value into non value. Needing areas exactly thats problematic too much value.
Its true .

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how to lead when you re not in charge-4

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