Berger Leadership Blog

Dec 23, 2022

The Navy SEAL process to accomplish any goal

When everyone thinks of Navy SEALs, they think of toughness. SEALs are some of the highest regarded special operations forces in the world. I’ve been lucky to have the chance to get to know some personally by riding Harleys with some members of a SEAL Team. These folks are not only brave and extremely tough, they are all wicked smart. 

So, when I ran across an article by Jessica Stillman on discussing the seven step process SEALs use to accomplish any goal, I had to talk about it.

The article highlights 25-year SEAL veteran Rob Roy who claims being a Navy SEAL is more about intelligence than toughness. Of course, SEALs must be tough, but Roy notes that it’s the meticulous preparation and dedication to the process that makes them effective.

According to Roy, here’s the seven steps SEALs take to tackle any challenge:

1. Clarify the goal – Leaders must clearly define the goal and the steps that will be taken to achieve it. Roy says to remember the who, what, when, where, why, and how.

2. Find available resources – Look to see what skills exist in your team that give your organization the best chance of success. Additionally, see what networks you can tap into for funding.

3. Hash out roles – Make sure everyone involved has a clearly defined role. Every role is integral to accomplishing a goal.

4. Dedicate whole-heartedly to the goal – Once the goal is known, the resources are accounted for, and the roles are defined, then leaders must confirm that everyone is on-board and ready to go.

5. Have a backup plan – No process ever goes according to plan, so have a backup plan on hand. More importantly, have the flexibility to be comfortable switching to the backup plan.

6. Train the stress away – It’s easy to get nervous when the lights come on and it’s time to execute. To fix that, Roy recommends going through the motions multiple times. Do you have a big event or presentation coming up? Do practice runs.

7. Assess the results – Once it’s all over and the results are in, Roy recommends to review how things went. He says it would be a disservice to everyone involved to not debrief what happened – good and bad.

As leaders, it can be easy to get caught up in multiple things at once and believe that we can be successful with shear toughness and willpower. However, even Navy SEALs prioritize the process just as much as the results. Us leaders must make every effort to trust the process. If we invest in the process, we invest in success.

About the Author

B. Dan Berger, President and CEO, NAFCU

Dan BergerB. Dan Berger first joined NAFCU in 2006 and helped turn the association into the premiere advocate for the credit union industry.

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