Alchemy #1 - 09/18 - What does it mean to be a leader? With Elon Musk & Jocko Willink

So, this happened.

For the few people that didn’t hear, Elon Musk took one puff of a joint on JRE and the internet went insane.

He was already in hot water over this tweet a few weeks before.

The Joe Rogan episode already has over 15 million views, almost double Joe’s next most popular interview.

Before you pass your judgement on the meme I’d encourage you to watch the whole episode. Whether you’re a fan or not he thinks different than most and will likely inspire you to do the same.

If nothing else, the episode is a great conversation topic given the sheer amount of people that tune in to JRE regularly. Here is just some of what they cover:

  • The future of AI and the simulation or “matrix” argument.

  • Some of the other ideas Elon hasn’t had time for.

  • The environment, specifically our atmosphere and oceans.

Ironically, at the same time all this was happening I was on a Jocko Willink kick. Between the theme of his content and other research I had done on people like Abraham Lincoln or Winston Churchill it made me reconsider what it really means to be a leader.

Could all the fanboys (me included) really be wrong about Elon?

It’s no secret he’s had his fair share of meltdowns.

That said, even by Jocko’s book he’s got a lot of things right:

  1. Clear sense of mission - accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable transport.

  2. Discipline - with his schedule anyway, he has an insane work week.

  3. Always striving for better - all his companies are driven by the mission of improving our lives.

The problem is, like Jocko says, “it’s not what you preach, it’s what you tolerate.”

John Gretton Willink (“Jocko”), was a Navy Seal Commander and fought in the Iraq war. He’s also an entrepreneur and podcaster. His book that I’m referring to, Extreme Ownership, is what helped him rise to internet celebrity status.

A few things that he and Leif would probably point to if their leadership company, Echelon Front, was consulting for Tesla.

  • There are only two kinds of leaders, effective and ineffective.

  • If you aren’t winning you’re making incorrect decisions.

  • Leadership starts with truth, accountability, and trust.

  • A great leader has nothing to prove and everything to prove - ego disrupts everything.

These missing qualities echo the first two principles that Brett & Kate, from the Art of Manliness, identify as crucial for success.

1. A bedrock of principles.

2. A moral compass.

3. A vision

4. The ability to create a consensus to achieve their vision.

“Do the right thing, at the right time, for the right reason.” – Winston Churchill

You can read more about these missing principles in a previous post about how Churchill, Lincoln and Pericles all were examples of this ideal leader.

Other Content Worth Checking Out.

Shane Parrish Interviews the Founder of Shopify, Tobi Lutke.

Tobi has some unique ideas including, “The Trust Battery” and how he encourages his kids to play video games.

He uses the metaphor of trust as something that requires effort, the more effort the more your battery is charged.

The video games are more of an example of a cultural belief than a literal activity. Why has society taught us that video games are bad for kids?

Rich Roll’s Interview with Guru Singh

If you follow these letters it’s likely that Rich Roll will come up often. In my opinion he’s one of the top interviewer’s in the world. I love how he facilitates conversation and this episode is no different.

Mental health as a business opportunity seems to be coming up over and over again in major publications, primarily from the entrepreneurs perspective. In this conversation you get a glimpse into the enlightened, mindful perspective.

Here are some of the topics from the interview:

  • Considering how deep you’re currently experiencing things.

  • The literal definition of depression.

  • What does it mean to be courageous

  • The idea of removing shame like you can the flu

Photo Of The Month.

A good friend of mine is getting married in January so naturally we had to celebrate. This is in Golden, B.C. about 7 hours east of Vancouver.

Quote I’m Thinking About.

Sell your cleverness for bewilderment. - Rumi