Author: Josiah Stricklin
General Mattis said he looks for initiative and aggression in leaders. Jocko Willink says that leaders should be aggressive. If you wrote a book on badassery, these guys would be in it. They know a thing or two about leadership. No, that doesn’t mean you are an overbearing, screaming, yelling brute. What it means is, as leaders, you should always err on the side of aggression. If there’s a choice between doing nothing and doing something, we should choose to do something. If something needs doing, jump on it, make a decision, push the line. Listen, none of the greats every made a mark leading from complacency or passivity. All of the great commanders, Patton, Rommel, MacArthur, Bradley, Grant, Lee, all of them pushed and made aggressive decisions. And all of them made mistakes. There are chapters about Patton pressing the attack when he should have been a little less aggressive. Even General Eisenhower’s troops got their butts handed to them in the battle of the Kasserine Pass. That battle is regarded as possibly the most humiliating U.S. defeat in WW2. Do you know what happened after that? Eisenhower learned. He became better, and when his time came to shine, he didn’t make the same mistakes. Jocko says that an aggressive leader will make mistakes, but 7, 8, or 9 out of 10 times being aggressive will pay off. Making the aggressive decision, pushing the envelope is generally the better decision. It’s much easy for a leader to tell a hard charger to let up a bit than it is for a leader to get someone off their butts to make a decision.
Even if your natural tendency is to be passive, the good news is you can be an aggressive leader, but you have to take the steps. As with anything, take small steps at first. If you’re a white-collar worker wearing suits and ties, maybe don’t jump off a bridge and get a pink, green, and purple mohawk. It might be better to start small. Instead of saying you don’t care where you go for lunch, name a restaurant or two. It’s small, but it’s a start. As with becoming a new man, becoming a new leader takes small, seemingly insignificant decisions that make a much large and vital whole. If you can, put yourself in situations outside of your comfort zone. Put yourself in a position where you have to make a choice, where you’re not able to be passive. The more you begin to think aggressively and act on it, the more it will become natural.
Men aren’t drawn to weak, passive men. I know I’m not. I can barely talk to submissive guys. They annoy me. If I wanted something soft and passive, I’d hang out with a girl. (Don’t get butt hurt. Not all women are passive; most of the time, they are more aggressive than guys because they have to compensate for their weak man. For this reason, I chose the word girl.) Aggression is something that should define leaders and men. You should be able to make the hard decisions! If your family is under fire in a situation, the answer sure as hell isn’t hunker done and take more fire. All that’s going to do is allow the enemy (situation) to maneuver and destroy you. Meet it head-on, with aggression. Step up. Be the man!
You are meant to lead. It’s in your very nature. No, I’m not saying you’re meant to be the President or the commander of a unit, a CEO, or a Police Chief. But on the other hand, maybe you are. I don’t know, and you won’t either if you remain passive. I can tell you that you are meant to lead something. Maybe it’s just your dog. Even your dog doesn’t want to be alpha. He may think he does, but if you take over that role, he’ll be the happier beast. I don’t know what you’re supposed to lead. But I do see the path to manhood, to being what the left hates, a toxic, full-blooded masculine man has leadership written all over it.
So get out there, make mistakes, figure this crap out, but lead. Lead from the front! And as always, Stay Toxic my brothers.