Written by: Aaron Witt

Thanks to the impending launch of BuildWitt Leaders (if you haven’t heard the Dirt Talk episode explaining it, you can listen HERE), we asked ourselves who is the best in the leadership training space.

One group was top of mind — Echelon Front, led by Jocko Willink.

Thanks to the EF team’s decades of SEAL and special operations experience, they know a thing or two about leadership and how it plays out in the real world. Today, they take their experience to train businesses and individuals on how to lead more effectively. Every problem is a leadership problem.

We reached out to Echelon Front and after talking to them a few times, we decided to host a field training exercise (FTX) for our Partners.

On only a few week’s notice, we had a group of 25 Dirt World executives and a few members of the BuildWitt team ready to learn leadership principles in a combat setting here in Nashville.

Our group learned from former special operations soldiers about leadership in a classroom setting on day one. On day two came the real learning thanks to eight hours of simulated combat. (See overview video)

They went head to head with the military professionals to carry out simulated missions and execute upon the leadership principles EF believes in and teaches.

Here were some of the main takeaways from the group:

  • Every problem we face is a lack of leadership. Own it and quit blaming others.
  • #1 characteristic in leaders is humility. #1 skillset is communication.
  • As a leader, explain what we are doing and why.  Then have the team identify the “how.”
  • Calm is contagious.
  • If people don’t understand, they can’t execute.
  • If you are irreplaceable you are unpromotable.
  • Leadership is a skill, it must be practiced and honed.
  • The importance of a clear mission, assigned roles, prioritize and execute, then debrief.

Since this event was so successful, we plan to hold regular FTX events in Nashville for our Partners. We already can’t wait for the next one!

Watch the FTX Overview Video


To connect with other folks in the Dirt World, use and search for the hashtag #betterdirtworld and join in on the conversation.

If you have questions/comments/concerns, reach out to DirtThoughts@buildwitt.com.

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