What a Navy SEAL Can Teach You About Personal Accountability: Who’s to Blame?

Be Accountable for Your Actions!

We hear it time and time again, people blaming others for their problems, misfortunes, failures… Very rarely do we hear people taking accountability for them.

What does taking accountability mean? It means OWNING IT. Looking in the mirror and accepting the fact that you and you alone are the reason. And then moving on, putting it behind you and getting your mind in order for the next task.

Let’s look at this in a real-world nonmilitary scenario. Business…

“My employees left my company and started a competing brand…” Okay, so we identified the problem. You worked your butt off to build something and poof your team bails, goes off and copies the business plan. This happens all the time.

Let’s break this down and understand it. First things first, is there a pattern of employees leaving your business? What are the terms of them leaving? How do you treat people? Are you building loyalty, rewarding success? Paying fair wages? Or are you taking advantage of talent? Exploiting others? Not recognizing success?



If your team leaves, most likely you have failed in one or all of the above. So, OWN IT! Accept it. and LEARN from it. Repeating this pattern will be costly mentally, emotionally, financially and physically. What you don’t do is place blame, harbor resentment, this will lead you to a path of failure. Meanwhile your former team will be working towards a goal with motivation and determination.

Next step: Learn how to fuel your drive from the failure. Remember the sting of defeat but don’t dwell on it, instead let that fuel your passion. Get back to your roots and make it happen. Make the failure a positive, maybe it’s just what you needed…

No one has ever succeeded in anything by blaming the other team for their loss… (well maybe politicians..)

In the SEAL teams you have no choice but to take accountability. And you have to learn from your mistakes and failures. You study them and make sure you don’t repeat them. But most importantly you learn that no plan survives first contact and that nothing goes according to plan.

You check your ego at the door and be ready to adapt, change and listen to others. Commanding officer makes a brief, lower rank identifies a possible issue and presents a solution, it’s assessed and implemented. Easy Day.

Want to learn more about personal accountability in life, business or even fitness? Check out Jocko Willink’s best selling book: Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win 



Jocko is a battlefield tested leader. He’s a door kicking badass Navy SEAL who practices exactly what he preaches.

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