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Ernest Emerson Podcast

Oct 23, 2018

Leif Babin is a former U.S. Navy SEAL officer, co-author of #1 New York Times bestseller Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win, and co-founder of Echelon Front, where he serves as President/Chief Operating Officer, leadership instructor, speaker, and strategic adviser. A graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, Leif served thirteen years in the Navy, including nine in the SEAL Teams. As a SEAL platoon commander in SEAL Team Three’s Task Unit Bruiser, he planned and led major combat operations in the Battle of Ramadi that helped the “Ready First” Brigade of the US Army’s 1st Armored Division achieve victory. Task Unit Bruiser became the most highly decorated special operations unit of the Iraq War.

Leif returned from combat and became the primary leadership instructor for all officers graduating from the SEAL training pipeline. There, he reshaped SEAL leadership training to better prepare the next generation of SEAL officers for the immense challenges of combat. During his last tour, Leif served as Operations Officer and Executive Officer at a SEAL Team where he again deployed to Iraq with a Special Operations Task Force. He is the recipient of the Silver Star, two Bronze Stars, and a Purple Heart.

Upon his departure from active duty, Leif co-founded Echelon Front, a premier leadership consulting company that helps others build their own high-performance winning teams.

Ernest and Leif discuss:

The Dichotomy of Leadership by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin

Navy Seal Teams

Leadership and qualities of a good leader

Effective or ineffective


Respect for the competition


Leading up the chain

Being Humble (Not passive)

The Reason Why: The Story of the Fatal Charge of the Light Brigade - by Cecil Woodham-Smith

Difference between ego and being right

Ask for help so the team wins

Discipline Equals Freedom

When under Pressure - Relax, Look Around, Make a call

Goal of training is to prepare

Training = Realistic, Fundamentals, Repetitive

The 2019 Muster


Leif Babin can be found at these locations: