Resilience: Hard-Won Wisdom for Living a Better Life by Eric Greitens
I really enjoyed this book – great wisdom and Stoic Philosophy. The author has led a colourful life and got himself into some hot water in the press recently.
Eric Greitens’ “Resilience: Hard-Won Wisdom for Living a Better Life” is an enlightening guide on resilience and leadership, neatly packaged into an exchange via various letters with a fellow Navy SEAL struggling with personal hardships.
A former SEAL and scholar of philosophy, Greitens brilliantly synthesizes his dual background to provide profound insights into the human condition, making the book a powerful tool for business leaders.
Here are the top 10 leadership tips distilled from the book:
- Adversity Strengthens: Just as a SEAL trains under grueling conditions, so too can hardship forge a stronger leader. Adversity is not a setback, but an opportunity for growth.
- Cultivate Resilience: Greitens advocates that resilience isn’t innate but a quality that can be nurtured over time. Leaders must cultivate it to withstand the relentless waves of business challenges.
- Pursue Purpose: A clear sense of purpose is a strong motivator. Leaders need to align their actions with their organization’s mission and imbue their teams with the same sense of purpose.
- Embrace Failure: A recurring theme is the acceptance of failure as a learning opportunity. For Greitens, failure isn’t the end but a stepping stone to success.
- Maintain Discipline: Discipline is a cornerstone of both SEAL training and business. It involves making the right choices consistently, even when it’s challenging.
- Build Teamwork: The power of a unified team underlies the SEAL’s success. Business leaders must foster collaboration and unity within their teams.
- Be Humble: Greitens reminds us that humility fosters learning and growth. A humble leader listens, learns, and adapts.
- Exercise Emotional Control: Leaders, like SEALs, must control their emotions to make clear-headed decisions in high-pressure situations.
- Commit to Continuous Learning: Greitens, a Rhodes Scholar, reinforces the importance of constant learning. Knowledge and wisdom are a leader’s essential tools.
- Practice Servant Leadership: As in the military, business leaders should see themselves as servants to their teams, empowering and facilitating their success.
In “Resilience”, Greitens’ writing style is both engaging and empathetic. His ability to weave philosophical principles with real-life experiences creates a deeply personal and relatable narrative. He doesn’t promise quick fixes but provides a roadmap to resilience based on discipline, purpose, and perseverance.
However, the book isn’t without its flaws. At times, Greitens tends to overstate his points and the narrative occasionally veers towards preachiness.
Nevertheless, the book’s strengths far outweigh its shortcomings. Greitens’ insights are valuable, not just for business leaders, but for anyone seeking to lead a more resilient life. It’s a vivid portrayal of resilience, an attribute as critical in the boardroom as on the battlefield.
Ultimately, “Resilience: Hard-Won Wisdom for Living a Better Life” is a rewarding read, filled with timeless wisdom and practical advice. It’s a call to action for leaders to cultivate their resilience, grow through adversity, and lead with purpose, humility, and discipline. It’s a commendable blend of military experience and philosophical introspection, making it a worthwhile addition to any leader’s library.