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The character defect preventing you from becoming a great leader

Former US Navy SEAL and podcaster Jocko Willink says there is one major character flaw that prevents people from becoming good leaders.

Speaking on a recent episode of the Defence Connect podcast, Mr Willink said there is one type of human being that cannot become a good leader and cannot improve their leadership capabilities: someone who lacks humility.

“When you lack humility, you think you are doing everything perfectly and you can’t listen to anyone. So you can’t make any improvements,” he said. 

Being articulate and having the ability to simplify things are qualities that some people possess, which may enable them to be a natural leader, the former US Navy SEAL said.

Mr Willink, who works with businesses as a leadership trainer though his company Echelon Front, said one of the biggest mistakes companies often make is not investing in leadership training.

“One example that I bring up a lot when I’m working with a business is Hamburger University. If you’re going to be the manager of a McDonald’s restaurant, you have to go to Chicago, Illinois, and do a six-month training course to be prepared to be a manager in a business where you flip burgers and sell fries.

“Yet, I go into businesses where they’ve got billions of dollars, they’re promoting people, they have intensity, dynamic environments and yet no leadership training.

“That’s the biggest mistake I see companies making. They don’t invest in leadership training and expect people to figure it out on their own.”

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“Kindness is the language that the deaf can hear and the blind can see.” – Mark Twain