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The Champion Forum Podcast

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LEADERSHIP PERSPECTIVE FROM A NAVY SEAL

Thank you for listening to The Champion Forum Podcast with Jeff Hancher! In today’s episode, I’m excited to welcome 10-year veteran of the U.S. Navy SEALs and entrepreneur Larry Yatch. Larry’s proven success in the SEALs inspired him to translate some of their best techniques to the business world so that leaders like you can more effectively coordinate their teams, increase their revenue, and succeed in life and business. Today, we’re talking about the power of self-regulation, what it means to be a manager, and how to put aside your ego for the good of the team.


About Larry Yatch

Larry Yatch is a 10-year veteran of the U.S. Navy SEALs and has a 100% success rate at leading and planning 200+ of the most challenging missions in the world’s most intense environments. Over the last 12 years, he has reverse-engineered the elite processes, mindsets, and systems he learned in the SEALs so that any team can utilize them for massive success.


The power of self-regulation

Our ability to self-regulate is the primary determiner of the success we will achieve in life. Self-regulation comes in three forms, mentally, physically, and emotionally. You can increase your self-regulation by focusing your energy externally and thinking about others more than yourself.


Q: Which area of self-regulation comes the most naturally to you? Which one do you think you need to work on? Why? What activities help you regulate best?


Managers, Leaders, and Followers

A leader’s job is to evoke effective action. A follower takes action. And a manager’s job is to support leadership at every level by creating space for people to lead effectively. A manager who leads is not doing their job.


Leadership has nothing to do with a title; it is about evoking effective action. When you take effective action, you are following. You may find that you can switch back and forth between being a leader and a follower several times throughout an operation. A manager’s role in this situation is to make you feel empowered and safe to lead or follow at a moment’s notice. When you learn how to manage, your leadership potential is unlimited.


Q: Which role are you the most comfortable with: leader, follower, manager? Why? Describe a time when you switched between being a leader and a follower. How did it work? What prompted you to take the leadership role? How did you know when it was time to go back to following?


Putting Aside Ego

I was once the second-highest-ranking officer on a ship. I didn’t know as much about the situation compared to the people under me, so I created a space for them to lead with safety. Then, I became a follower. My responsibilities were the lowest, but it was okay because I had no ego. My job was to create an environment where they could be successful. I ended up coming up with a solution that was more than anyone had been doing previously, and because I did that, I became the leader again. So I started showing other teams how to execute this plan. It wasn’t about being seen as the leader or having power; it was about everyone doing their part to work toward the best solution.


Q: On a scale of 1-10, to what extent is pride an issue in your life? How do you manage pride in a leadership situation? What experiences have helped you to grow in this area?


3 Abilities I Took for Granted in the Navy

  1. The ability to hold responsibility and follow through on what you say you will do.

  2. The ability to give, receive and implement feedback.

  3. The ability to plan.

Companies and people will become stronger and more successful when they work on these three areas.


Application Activities:

  1. To grow your ability to self-regulate, try seeking out new experiences. Doing something as simple as volunteering in a new place, learning a new skill, or changing the way you travel to work can help your brain create new pathways. You’ll also improve your cognitive flexibility and practice your ability to navigate your emotional, physical, and mental response to new or uncomfortable situations.

  2. How well do you manage your team? Remember that Larry said a manager who leads is a micromanager. If you struggle with this, think about your team’s regular assignments. How can you cast vision so that you don’t have to micromanage every detail? What tools can you give them to help them have what they need to lead and execute? What checkpoints can you set to provide them safety and assurance that they are not on their own?

  3. How often do you set aside time to plan? How often does your team or company take time to plan? If you tend to plan last-minute events or focus your planning efforts on once-a-year meetings, try adding strategic planning to your monthly calendar. Monthly sessions will help you identify areas where you may need to pivot your plan and prompt you to start planning significant events sooner. Ultimately, taking these steps will result in a more proactive and healthy team.


Resources Referenced:

Men with Green Faces by Gene Wentz


Connect with Larry Yatch

Purchase his book: “How Leadership Actually Works” at howleadershipactuallyworks.com

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/larry-yatch

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/LarryYatch



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