Echo Charles : “How do you deal with setbacks, failures, delays, defeats, or other disasters?”
Jocko Willink : “I actually have a fairly, simple way of dealing with these situations. It’s actually one word to deal with these situations…
And that is “Good”.
This is actually something that one of my direct subordinates, that worked for me, pointed out to me. He would call me up, pull me aside with some major problem, some issue that was going on…
He would say “Boss, we have this, and that, and another thing…”
And I would say “Good”.
Finally one day, he was telling me about an issue that he was having, some problem…
He said “I already know what you’re going to say.”
And I said “Well, what am I going to say?”
“You’re going to say ‘Good’. That’s what you always say. When something is wrong and going bad, you always just look at me and say ‘Good’ .”
And I said…
“Well yeah and I mean it.”
And that is how I feel. When things are going bad, there’s going to be some good that is going to come from it…
Oh, the mission got cancelled? — Good…. We can focus on the other one.
Didn’t get the new high speed gear we wanted? — Good…. We can keep it simple.
Didn’t get promoted? — Good…. More time to get better.
Didn’t get funded? — Good…. We own more of the company.
Didn’t get the job you wanted? — Good…. You can get more experience and build a better resume.
Got injured? — Good… Needed a break from training.
Got tapped out? — Good…. It’s better to tap out in training, then tap out in the street.
Got beat? — Good…. You learned.
Unexpected problems? — Good…. We have the opportunity to figure out a solution.
That’s it. When things are going bad, don’t get all bummed out, don’t get startled, don’t get frustrated…. No.
You just look at the issue and you say “Good”.
And I don’t mean to say something all cliché and I don’t mean to sound like “Mr. Positive”. Find the positive, but do that! Focus on the good. Take that issue, take that problem, and make it something good. It’ll bring that attitude to your team too! You go forward.
And lastly, to close this out. If you can say the word “Good”, guess what….it means you’re still alive. It means you’re still breathing. And if you’re still breathing, well then you still got some fight left in you.
So get up, dust off, reload, recalibrate, reengage, and go out on the attack!
And that right there is about as Good as it gets. “