by Yvonne DiVita with Ally E. Machate
I am privileged to receive a good many books in the mail, often unsolicited. As someone who finds books one of the best resources for business learning and success, in the world, I welcome most books with enthusiasm, as they come through my door. Occasionally, a book turns out to be a disappointment. I reserve my right not to cover those books on this blog - I see no reason to embarrass an author in social media.
My good luck, however, gives me access to many books I thoroughly enjoy, and some I actually learn from. Today, I want to talk about a book I am still learning from, and share some of the thoughts the co-author of the book shared with me, as we continue to discuss the business concepts in said book.
The Way of the Seal: Think Like an Elite Warrior to Lead and Succeed may not seem like a relevant book for women in business. How many women are in the Navy SEALs, after all? The answer is: none.
But, truth be told, there is so much to learn about conducting yourself in business, from the concepts in this book, and there is so much to contemplate about what the military can teach us, men and women alike, that I had to write about this book. You'll see more on this topic over the summer, also.
My first best take away is the way Mark Divine, the Navy SEAL who wrote the book (with Ally's help) is forceful on implementing the lessons shared in the book. He says, "The irony is that we don't learn leadership from books or siminars - that is, until we embody the lessons through experience." Nothing can be more true, and while we all know it, we tend to spend our time day-dreaming - too much, "If you believe it, you can achieve it," kind of thinking, which isn't wrong, it's just a crutch if you spend so much time on it that you don't actually get the work done.
I asked Ally, a successful woman in business, and someone I admire, what she could share about the book, as a co-author. Here's what she told me and it hit me right between the eyes. I hope it will hit you as hard...
"Though THE WAY OF THE SEAL is flavored by expert author Mark Divine’s military background as a Navy SEAL Commander, the advice he dispenses is certainly not restricted to those who want to join the military, or even those who are military enthusiasts.
"Instead, we used the term “elite warrior” deliberately to connect Mark’s philosophy and approach to an honorable lineage of traditions like the Samurai—soldiers and fighters, yes, but also something much more. These traditions emphasized the development of one’s mind and spirit as well as their physical prowess. And yes, historically these paths were for men only, but that doesn’t mean they offer nothing for the modern woman. A sense of purpose, living in alignment with our deepest and most cherished values, the discipline to pursue our goals to victory and make hard choices along the way, the ability to put the team or community before the self…these are aspects of the warrior path that are every bit as valuable and effective for women as they are for men.
"And perhaps more so, because as women we are less likely to have grown up with warrior role models and, sadly, some of us were taught that a high level of ambition and achievement is unattractive in a woman. That’s less and less true with younger generations, thankfully, but it still exists in our culture everywhere you look."
As women, this should touch you in several ways. You should be inspired, because the reality is - women can be warriors, also. We don't have to fight with swords and guns; we need to use our brains, our intellect, our intuition, to discover the Navy SEAL inside - the part of us that insists on excellence, focus, and accomplishment. The 'never turn back' concept appeals to me. I whole-heartedly believe that you MUST always move forward.
Just last weekend, a TV news show did a story on an elderly man who went back to college to get his degree. He joked that he was too 'stupid' to do it the right way, as a young man in his prime. But, he said, looking directly at the camera, "The world is not behind you, it is in front of you..." and that's why he didn't let his age stand in the way of what he wanted. Do you feel that way? Can you embrace the challenge?
Your world, your success, your hopes and dreams, are out there - in front of you! Will you make them real? Will you take on the challenge of a warrior, as Divine teaches, or keep dreaming, imagining what can be?
"Keep your eyes trained on the front sight and your front sight trained on the target," Divine shares. I say, get your copy of the book and share with me... because I plan on making this book my daily reading, and it will help all of us, if we do it together.
Stay tuned for more on The Way of the SEAL, as I tap into Ally again, while I push you to embrace ambition and accomplishment as part of your daily activity, and as I find ways to make this MY mantra, for 2014.