90 Jocko Willink Quotes To Motivate Leaders (Powerful)

Looking for famous motivational quotes by Jocko Willink? We have rounded up the best collection of Jocko Willink quotes, sayings,  phrases, (including images, and pictures) to gain insights into his perspectives on leadership, discipline, success, teamwork, fitness, and more.

John Gretton “Jocko” Willink is a retired American US Navy seal, author, and podcaster who is a master of discipline and leadership.

Also See: NAVY SEAL Quotes

With his unwavering determination, uncompromising mindset, and invaluable insights, Willink has inspired countless individuals to embrace responsibility, overcome adversity, and strive for excellence.

Throughout his military career, Jocko has received many awards, including the Silver Star Medal and the Bronze Star. He is well known for co-authoring books Extreme Ownership and The Dichotomy of Leadership.

Also Read: David Goggins Quotes

Through his motivational quotes, Jocko Willink serves as a guiding voice for those seeking personal and professional growth.

Top 10 Jocko Willink Quotes

  1. “Get After It.” ― Jocko Willink
  2. “Read and Study.” ― Jocko Willink
  3. “All your excuses are lies.” ― Jocko Willink  

    Jocko Quotes
    Jocko Quotes
  4. Discipline equals freedom.”― Jocko Willink
  5. “People do not follow robots.”― Jocko Willink
  6. “I don’t pick up toys. I crush them.”― Jocko Willink
  7. “Sometimes, survival is the victory.” ― Jocko Willink

    Jocko Willink Quote
    Jocko Willink Quote
  8. “Leadership is simple, but not easy.”― Jocko Willink
  9. Ego clouds and disrupts everything.”― Jocko Willink
  10. “Weakness is strong. I must be stronger.”― Jocko Willink

Famous Jocko Willink Quotes

  1. “Be humble or you’re gonna get humbled.”― Jocko Willink
  2. “There are no bad teams, only bad leaders.”― Jocko Willink
  3. “Extreme Ownership is a mind-set, an attitude.”― Jocko Willink

    Jocko Willink Extreme Ownership Quotes
    Jocko Willink Extreme Ownership Quotes
  4. “A leader must lead but also be ready to follow.”― Jocko Willink
  5. “It’s not what you preach, it’s what you tolerate.”― Jocko Willink
  6. “There can be no leadership when there is no team.”― Jocko Willink
  7. “It’s discipline to face your fears so you can conquer.”― Jocko Willink
  8. “Losers focus on winners. Winners focus on winning.”― Jocko Willink

    Jocko Willink Motivational Quotes
    Jocko Willink Motivational Quotes
  9. “Trust is not blindly given. It must be built over time.”― Jocko Willink
  10. “A leader has nothing to prove, but everything to prove.”― Jocko Willink

Jocko Willink Motivational Quotes

  1. “Set your alarm clock and get out of bed when it goes off.”― Jocko Willink
  2. “Combat is reflective of life, only amplified and intensified.”― Jocko Willink
  3. “Unless you do the work, the world will never see your vision.”― Jocko Willink
  4. “A leader must be humble but not passive; quiet but not silent.”― Jocko Willink
  5. “The idea isn’t going to execute itself… You have to do and do it now.”― Jocko Willink
  6. “You already know what the right thing to do is… You just gotta do it.”― Jocko Willink
  7. “Self discipline is the root quality that will improve every aspect of your life.”― Jocko Willink

    Jocko Willink Quotes Wallpaper
    Jocko Willink Quotes Wallpaper
  8. “There is no shortcut. There is no hack. There is only one way. So get after it.”― Jocko Willink
  9. “Get up. Dust off. Reload. Re-calibrate. Re-engage – And go out on the attack.”― Jocko Willink
  10. “Good leaders don’t make excuses. Instead, they figure out a way to get it done.”― Jocko Willink

Inspirational Jocko Willink Quotes

  1. “The more you practice, the better you get, the more freedom you have to create.”― Jocko Willink
  2. “If you want to be tougher mentally, it is simple: Be tougher, don’t meditate on it.”― Jocko Willink
  3. “There is no such thing as weekend. This is an everyday gig: Every day is a Monday.”― Jocko Willink
  4. “Get creative. Get aggressive. Get it done. When you are on the road, stay on the path.”― Jocko Willink
  5. “Fight weak emotions with logic; fight the weakness of logic with the power of emotions.”― Jocko Willink
  6. “I know that somewhere out there, another man is also preparing. That man is the enemy.”― Jocko Willink
  7. “Leadership requires belief in the mission and unyielding perseverance to achieve victory.”― Jocko Willink
  8. “The code. The evaluation. The protocols. Striving to become an eminently qualified human.”― Jocko Willink
  9. “Challenges are what make life interesting and overcoming them is what makes life beautiful.”― Jocko Willink

    Jocko Willink Quotes
    Jocko Willink Quotes
  10. “If you don’t think you are disciplined: It is because you haven’t decided to be disciplined. Yet.”― Jocko Willink
  11. “Things won’t get better dwelling on the past. Accept what has happened. Then move forward.”― Jocko Willink
  12. “Keep it simple. Train hard. Train heavy. Lift heavy. Lift fast. Run hard. Eat steak. Pain is good.”― Jocko Willink
  13. “Extreme ownership. Leaders must own everything in their world. There is no one else to blame.”― Jocko Willink
  14. “I’m always reading the next book. Taking notes. Highlighting, researching, studying. It doesn’t stop.”― Jocko Willink
  15. “You’re not going to find happiness. You have to make it. So get out there and make some happiness.”― Jocko Willink
  16. “When you’re too embarrassed to ask for help, that’s a little knock at your door saying, ‘You’re Insecure’.”― Jocko Willink
  17. “We all have a tendency to avoid our weaknesses. When we do that, we never progress or get any better.” ― Jocko Willink

    Jocko Willink Poster Quotes
    Jocko Willink Poster Quotes
  18. “Getting out of bed is like the foundation of the discipline, and I think it carries over into everything else.”― Jocko Willink
  19. “Jiu-Jitsu is probably the No. 1 activity that I could recommend to someone to improve their lives overall.”― Jocko Willink
  20. “If you stop looking for a shortcut. And find your discipline and your will. Then you will find your freedom.”― Jocko Willink
  21. “If you allow the status quo to persist, you can’t expect to improve performance, and you can’t expect to win.”― Jocko Willink
  22. “Get up and go. Take the risk, take the gamble, take the first step. Take action. And don’t let another day slip by.”― Jocko Willink
  23. “Stop researching every aspect of it and reading all about it and debating the pros and cons of it … Start doing it.”― Jocko Willink
  24. “Hesitation is the enemy. It allows the moment to pass, the opportunity to be lost, the enemy to get the upper hand.”― Jocko Willink
  25. “While discipline and freedom seem like they sit on opposite sides of the spectrum, they are actually very connected.”― Jocko Willink
  26. “Everyone wants some magic pill—some life hack—that eliminates the need to do the work. But that does not exist.”― Jocko Willink
  27. “Fear is normal. Every person feels fear at some point. Step aggressively towards your fear – that is the step into bravery.”― Jocko Willink
  28. “If you want to talk, I’m going to let you talk. Because, now, I know everything. I know, and I know everything you know.”― Jocko Willink
  29. “Go down swinging. And I’ll tell you: If you fight with all you have, more often than not, you won’t go down at all. You will win.”― Jocko Willink
  30. “All animals, including humans, need to see the connection between action and consequence in order to learn or react appropriately.”― Jocko Willink
  31. “Staying ahead of the curve prevents a leader from being overwhelmed when pressure is applied and enables greater decisiveness.”― Jocko Willink
  32. “There is only hard work, late nights, early mornings, practice, rehearsal, repetition, study, sweat, blood, toil, frustration, and discipline.”― Jocko Willink
  33. “If people don’t respond to your leadership, and your reaction is to get more and more aggressive with them, they aren’t likely to come around.”― Jocko Willink
  34. “Don’t expect to be motivated every day to get out there and make things happen. You won’t be. Don’t count on motivation. Count on Discipline.”― Jocko Willink
  35. “Good. When things are going bad: Don’t get all bummed out, don’t get startled, don’t get frustrated. No. Just look at the issue and say: ‘Good’.”― Jocko Willink
  36. “The only person you can control is you. So focus on making yourself who you want to be: Faster. Smarter. Stronger. More humble. Less ego.”― Jocko Willink
  37. “Weakness doesn’t get a vote. Laziness doesn’t get a vote. Sadness doesn’t get a vote. Frustration doesn’t get a vote. Negativity doesn’t get a vote.”― Jocko Willink
  38. “Leadership requires finding the equilibrium in the dichotomy of many seemingly contradictory qualities, between one extreme and another.”― Jocko Willink
  39. “When personal agendas become more important than the team and the overarching mission’s success, performance suffers and failure ensues.”― Jocko Willink
  40. “Waking up early was the first example I noticed in the SEAL Teams in which discipline was really the difference between being good and being exceptional.”― Jocko Willink
  41. “Motivation is fickle. It comes and goes. It is unreliable and when you are counting on motivation to get your goals accomplished – you will likely fall short.”― Jocko Willink
  42. “If frontline troops are unclear about the plan and yet are too intimidated to ask questions, the team’s ability to effectively execute the plan radically decreases.”― Jocko Willink
  43. “Once people stop making excuses, stop blaming others, and take ownership of everything in their lives, they are compelled to take action to solve their problems.”― Jocko Willink
  44. “Most of us aren’t defeated in one decisive battle. We are defeated one tiny, seemingly insignificant surrender at a time that chips away at who we should really be.”― Jocko Willink
  45. “What makes you a SEAL, what makes you a SEAL is being a good tactician on the battlefield, understanding how to shoot, move, and communicate, knowing small unit maneuver warfare.”― Jocko Willink
  46. “When I was running training, we would fire a couple of leaders from every SEAL team because they couldn’t lead. And 99.9% of the time, it wasn’t a question of their ability – it was a question of their ability to listen.”― Jocko Willink
  47. “SEALs are human beings. We may all have the same haircuts, but we aren’t robots. Some SEALs are great people. Some are not great people. Some have done unspeakably terrible things. You’re dealing with different people, different dreams, different desires.”― Jocko Willink
  48. “Just do some kind of workout. Doesn’t matter if it’s going for a walk around the block, going for a jog, doing some calisthenics, lifting weights, going to a pool and swimming – you name it. But do something that gets your blood flowing and gets your mind in the game.”― Jocko Willink
  49. “When setting expectations, no matter what has been said or written, if substandard performance is accepted and no one is held accountable — if there are no consequences — that poor performance becomes the new standard. Therefore, leaders must enforce standards.”― Jocko Willink
  50. “Because emotion and logic will both reach their limitations. And then one fails, you need to rely on the other. When it just doesn’t make any logical sense to go on, that’s when you use your emotion. Your anger, your frustration, your fear, to push further, to push you to say one thing: I Don’t Stop.”― Jocko Willink
  51. “That nice, soft pillow and the warm blanket, and it’s all comfortable, and no one wants to leave that comfort – but if you can wake up early in the morning, get a head start on everyone else that’s still sleeping, get productive time doing things that you need to do – that’s a huge piece to moving your life forward.”― Jocko Willink
  52. “The only meaningful measure for a leader is whether the team succeeds or fails. For all the definitions, descriptions, and characterizations of leaders, there are only two that matter: Effective and ineffective. Effective leaders lead successful teams that accomplish their mission and win. Ineffective leaders do not.”― Jocko Willink
  53. “So what does it take to win? Yes, you have to be determined. Yes, you have to be driven. Yes, you must have the unconquerable will to win. But to really win, to truly win at all cost, requires more flexibility, more creativity, more adaptability, more compromise, and more humility than most people ever realize. That is what it takes to win.”― Jocko Willink
  54. “Getting better isn’t a hack or a trick or a one change that you need to make. Getting better is a campaign. It’s a daily, weekly, an hourly fight. Against weakness, temptation, and laziness. It’s a campaign of discipline. A campaign of hard work and dedication. Waking up early, going to bed late, and grinding out every second in between. Every. Single. Day.”― Jocko Willink
  55. “I don’t like procrastination. But if you feel like you need a break-that is one thing you should procrastinate.”― Jocko Willink

Best of Jocko Quotes About Leadership

  1. “Didn’t get promoted? Good. More time to get better.”― Jocko Willink
  2. “It is essential to develop a standardized planning process.”― Jocko Willink
  3. “The leader is truly and ultimately responsible for everything.”― Jocko Willink
  4. “How do you become better? There is only one way – The way of discipline.”― Jocko Willink
  5. “You have to do the work. You have to hold the line. You have to make it happen.”― Jocko Willink
  6. “A good leader does not get bogged down in the minutia of a tactical problem at the expense of strategic success.”― Jocko Willink
  7. “Leading people is the most challenging and, therefore, the most gratifying undertaking of all human endeavors.”― Jocko Willink
  8. “When you think you can’t take any more… Guess what? You can – It’s proven by the stories of ordinary people  in war.”― Jocko Willink
  9. “Overconfidence was risky in such a hostile environment, a mistake most often made by warriors who had never truly been tested.”― Jocko Willink
  10. “Don’t just think. Don’t just talk. Don’t just dream. None of that matters. The only thing that matters is that you actually do. So: DO.”― Jocko Willink
  11. “Leaders must always operate with the understanding that they are part of something greater than themselves and their own personal interests.”― Jocko Willink
  12. “Human beings are generally not capable of managing more than six to ten people, particularly when things go sideways and inevitable contingencies arise.”― Jocko Willink
  13. “I would venture to guess that the biggest reason creative types don’t produce isn’t because they don’t have vision… or talent… in most cases, it’s a lack of discipline.”― Jocko Willink
  14. “If you continue to keep low performers on your team, that are actually dragging the team down; you’re failing the whole team, and eventually, the whole team is going to fail.”― Jocko Willink
  15. “One of the key qualities a leader must possess is the ability to detach from the chaos, mayhem, and emotions in a situation and make good, clear decisions based on what is actually happening.”
  16. “A lot of times, people have something that they’re afraid of. They’ve got a client that’s mad at them. They’ve got a project that’s due. And they let that stress hang over their head. I don’t let that happen.”― Jocko Willink
  17. “People who are successful decide they are going to be successful. They make that choice. They decide to study hard. They decide to work hard. They decide to be the first person to get to work and the last to go home.”― Jocko Willink
  18. “If I went back to my 20-year-old self, what I would tell my 20-year-old self is, ‘You don’t know anything.’ Because everyone, when they’re young, they think they know what’s going on in the world, and you don’t.”― Jocko Willink
  19. “Once the wheels were in motion and the full resources of the team were engaged in that highest priority effort, I could then determine the next priority, focus the team’s efforts there, and then move on to the next priority.”― Jocko Willink
  20. “There are people in the world who have skills and strength and talent that I will never have. Never. These notions that you can ‘be whatever you want to be as long as you want it bad enough’ are not true. They are fairy tales.”― Jocko Willink
  21. “Put your leaders in stressful scenarios. Make them figure out solutions under pressure. See if you can make them frustrated, angry, and flustered, and then demand decisive leadership from them. They will be challenged at first, but they will get better over time.”― Jocko Willink
  22. “A leader must lead, but also be ready to follow. They must be aggressive, but not overbearing. A leader must be calm, but not robotic. They must be confident, but never cocky. A leader must be brave, but not foolhardy. They must have a competitive spirit, but be a gracious loser.”― Jocko Willink
  23. “But my glory, it doesn’t happen in front of a crowd. It doesn’t happen in a stadium or on a stage. There are no medals handed out. It happens in the darkness of the early morning. In solitude. Where I try. And I try. And I try again. With everything I have, to be the best that I can possibly be.”― Jocko Willink
  24. “The best leaders understand the motivations of their team members and know their people – their lives and their families. But a leader must never grow so close to subordinates that one member of the team becomes more important than another, or more important than the mission itself.”― Jocko Willink
  25. “A leader must be attentive to details, but not obsessed with them. They must be strong but have endurance. A leader must be humble, but not passive. They must be close to subordinates, but not too close. A leader must exercise ‘extreme ownership’, but employ ‘decentralized command’. They must have nothing to prove, but everything to prove.”― Jocko Willink


Willink together with Brazilian jiu-jitsu practitioner Echo Charles, hosts a weekly podcast, called the Jocko Podcast which discusses a variety of different topics including leadership, extreme self-control, fitness, and his experiences as a Navy SEAL.

He focuses on teaching the leadership principles that he learned as a Commander of the SEAL team, Task Unit Bruiser, where he was stationed in Iraq fighting in the Battle of Ramadi.

Jocko Willink quotes provide valuable insights into the power of disciplined leadership, resilience, and personal responsibility.

They serve as a call to action, urging individuals to embrace discomfort, push beyond their limits, and become the best version of themselves.

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