Navy SEAL Leadership as described by Jack Schropp

I am never on time for anything! I am always late for class, work, and the bus. I even handed this story in two days past the deadline. You get the idea.

One Saturday, however, I was particularly paranoid about being on time as I was scheduled to interview Jack Schropp, author of Unbeatable–a book with an entire chapter about the evils of being late. As I roll out of bed at 2:35 pm for my 3 pm interview, Jack’s stern words scroll across my head: “did you know that being late or not returning phone calls are blatant, albeit indirect ways for you to ‘flip the bird’ to others?…You pretend as though you are at the mercy of outside forces, like a busy schedule.” “Shit! I can’t be late for this interview,” I think to myself. Showing up late to a Jack Schropp interview would be as tactful as wearing a fur coat to a PETA meeting.

By some Herculean effort I manage to make it to Dreams and Beans on time. As I walk in the door, the barista hands me the phone. It is Jack’s vigilant wife Shari Darling who has called to tell me that Jack will be late for the interview on account of the snow. I waste no time in explaining the irony and humour of the situation to the affable barista, but before I can finish my sentence I hear my name being called. I turn around to see a solid, stoic man; I look at my watch and it’s 2:59.

Jack is a former Commander in the U.S. Navy SEALs (Sea Air Land Team) turned author. With the assistance of Darling, he has put the principles and “secrets” of his extensive Navy SEAL training into writing. He makes it very clear that this book was written for everyone: “I wanted my book to appeal to everyone, including people who were not in the military.”

The book is broken down into fourteen easily digestible chapters. Each chapter is a lesson or a Navy SEAL “secret,” as Jack likes to call them. The secrets include: be aware, be yourself, be disciplined, be steadfast, be a team-mate, be interrelated, be resourceful, and, simply, be. In his chapter titled “Being Disciplined,” Jack describes how someone who is disciplined will go above and beyond the standard requirements for the assignment at hand. If, for example, the professor asks you to write a 2000 word paper, a disciplined, not to mention trainable, individual might hand in a 2500 word paper. “Be trainable, open to suggestion. When someone shares information with you accept it as a valuable contribution to your success. Being highly trainable is to give up the notion that everything has to go your way. It’s not what you do. It is an attitude you choose to possess,” Jack argues.

Whenever Jack wants to emphasize a point, he uses upper case letters. For instance: “I KNOW this book will help you become UNBEATABLE.”

I don’t know about print media, but when you write in capital letters in the internet world it is considered yelling. It is somewhat irritating to read capitalised letters. However, my biggest complaint about the book is its strong American tone. Jack uses American spelling and frequently lumps Canadians and Americans together as North Americans, and even made reference to “our North American culture.”

However, the book is not about politics or English grammar, it’s about overcoming obstacles using the secrets of the Navy Seals to succeed, and I don’t think it could have come from a better source than Jack.

Unbeatable is available at Titles Bookstore on George Street. For more information about Jack Schropp or Unbeatable, go to www.jackschropp.com.

I am a resident of Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada who has blogged here for 20 years. I like to share my thoughts and feelings on my own online space. From 1998 until 2017 I worked as a journalist and I hope to use this website as an archive for all of my stories.

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