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A former Navy SEAL commander says you can't be a great leader without knowing when to be a follower

A former Navy SEAL commander says you can't be a great leader without knowing when to be a follower
Business Insider/Jessica Tyler



Leif Babin is a former Navy SEAL commander and the coauthor, with his former SEAL boss Jocko Willink, of "The Dichotomy of Leadership."




Their leadership consulting firm Echelon Front has worked with more than 400 businesses since its founding in 2010.




Babin said strong leadership requires knowing when to be a follower, and that a mission he led with "American Sniper" Chris Kyle on his team illustrates the point.



Former Navy SEAL commander Leif Babin knows that, as a leader, it can be difficult to keep an ego in check. But it's necessary.
"As a leader, you've go to be decisive, you've got to make calls, you've got to be ready to step up and lead even in the most difficult circumstances," he told Business Insider. "And yet, if you want to be the most effective leader, you absolutely have to be a follower as well."
Babin was one of two platoon leaders reporting to Jocko Willink, who led US Navy SEAL Team 3 Task Unit Bruiser in the Iraq War. The two founded the leadership consulting firm Echelon Front in 2010, and their firm has worked with more than 400 businesses.
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