Do you have what it takes to succeed in any situation? According to a retired commander who ran training for Navy SEALs, true optimal performance goes beyond just skill. It’s all about THE ATTRIBUTES.
“Diviney’s incredible book explains why some people thrive—even when things get hard.”—Charles Duhigg, New York Times bestselling author of The Power of Habit
During his twenty years as a Navy officer and SEAL, Rich Diviney was intimately involved in a specialized SEAL selection process, which whittled a group of hundreds of extraordinary candidates down to a handful of the most elite performers. Diviney was often surprised by which candidates washed out and which succeeded. Some could have all the right skills and still fail, while others he might have initially dismissed would prove to be top performers. The seemingly objective criteria weren’t telling him what he most needed to know: Who would succeed in one of the world’s toughest military assignments?
It is similarly hard to predict success in the real world.
It happens often enough that underdog students accomplish exceptional achievements while highly skilled, motivated employees fail to meet expectations. Dark-horse companies pull away from the pack while dream teams flush with talent and capital go under. In working with and selecting top special operators for decades, Diviney saw that beneath obvious skills are hidden drivers of performance, surprising core attributes—including cunning, adaptability, courage, even narcissism—that determine how resilient or perseverant we are, how situationally aware and how conscientious. These attributes explain how we perform as individuals and as part of a team. The same methodology that Diviney used in the military can be applied by anyone in their personal and professional lives, and understanding these attributes can allow readers and their teams to perform optimally, at any time, in any situation.
Diviney defines the core attributes in fresh and practical ways and shares stories from the military, business, sports, relationships, and even parenting to show how understanding your own attributes and those of the people around you can create optimal performance in all areas of your life.
Diviney, a former Navy SEAL, debuts with a straightforward program for understanding and teaching others how to perform well under myriad circumstances. Diviney writes that he observed many highly qualified applicants drop out of SEAL training, and, after studying the qualities of the men who finished the course, realized it wasn't skills that made some applicants successful, but rather attributes: "Are you highly adaptable with a strong sense of humility but low accountability? You'll perform differently than someone who's cunning and disciplined and fears rejection." Diviney divides his key attributes into five areas grit, mental acuity, drive, leadership, and teamability. For instance, grit requires courage, perseverance, adaptability, and resilience. For each attribute, he provides case studies and research into how to get the most out of oneself and others. To explain the attributes of mental acuity situational awareness, compartmentalization, and learnability he presents the hypothetical scenario of losing a child on a subway and the steps of reducing fear and creating a plan under pressure. Business leaders looking to improve their organizations will want to take a look at Diviney's guide to identifying and making the most of others' attributes.