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The Science and  Process of Leadership with Errol Doebler

For some effective leadership is a characteristic that many aspire to have or achieve. But while leadership can be a characteristic, it’s also a science, a process, and an art. Today my guest shares how we can become an effective leader in all facets of our life by learning the art, the science and the process of leadership.

Errol Doebler is a 1991 Graduate of the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD. During his time as a Naval Officer, Errol served as Assistant Operations Officer onboard the USS Monongahela, Assistant Platoon Commander at SEAL Team FOUR, and a Platoon Commander at Seal Team ONE.

After spending time in the private sector as a sales leader, Errol joined the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) where he investigated International Terrorist Organizations out of the FBI’s flagship office in New York City and also served as a member of the FBI’s New York SWAT Team. Because of his background and experience, Errol was attached to the United States Army’s 75th Ranger Regiment while serving as a Special Agent for the FBI. While deployed to Afghanistan in 2010 with the 75th Ranger Regiment, Errol participated in extensive combat operations and was subsequently presented with the FBI’s second highest award for valor, the Shield of Bravery, for his actions on the battlefield.

Errol left the FBI after 13 years of service to begin his leadership consulting firm, Leader 193, in 2016. Errol has worked with executives and teams from Fortune 100 companies, professional sports organizations, small technical startups, and individual executives across a vast array of industries around the world as the Founder of Leader 193.

What You’ll Learn

2:05 Decision Making Process

Errol Doebler talks about how leadership is nothing more than a decision-making process that involves a lot of questions and getting to know yourself to know how you react, what your emotions are, and establishing a plan for each time you make a decision.

6:38 Metacognition

Errol Doebler says that what moved him to be where he is today was being aware of everything. If he is successful today, it is because he was hyper-aware of his emotions, his actions, and what was driving him in specific situations.

He always asks himself what he wants to achieve in each situation

8:25 What is your mission today?

Errol Doebler talks about how not accepting an emotion can lead you to be unaware of things and therefore struggle with your day to day life. So he asked himself daily what was his mission to work on and that was to overcome how he was feeling, whatever emotion it was, but it’s about awareness, acceptance and action.

11:35 What is missed more in decision making processes?

Errol Doebler talks about the 2 things that men miss or don’t take care of, in the process of making a decision; and they are: how do I feel? and how do I act intuitively on that emotion?

He says that men don’t like to deal with these because they are unpleasant realities about how they react. But ironically that makes men struggle even more with their emotions.

Letting emotions drive you instead of making a conscious decision about how to act is what can make us feel bad.

23:17 Leadership

After telling 2 stories where he almost died, Errol Doebler, talks about how for him just at the moments he thought were the end of his life; what he thought about was how much he cared about the leadership he was always preaching. He mentions the importance of knowing what it is that moves you and keeps you in living a life that you are proud of and fulfilled by. Yes, it’s important to rise to the occasion, but that’s not going to happen if you don’t prepare for it. And it says it applies to parenting: there will come a time when your child is going to judge you, what would you want them to say vs. what they are going to say? If they are not the same, you still have time to make changes, don’t procrastinate because you don’t know when life will end.

26:16 Leaving the Seals Team

As a result of the two accidents that led to his head injury, Errol Doebler said he was ready to get out of the SEAL teams because for him reputation was everything and he felt he was in a tailspin. He said his decision making process was based on questioning that if he stayed he would bring value to the administration. But he felt it wouldn’t, and that he should get out of there as soon as possible. And he felt that these decisions were not like him until someone told him that he was being too hard on himself and that maybe these rash decisions and his behaviors had to do with his head injuries.

35:01 Saving Himself

After being introduced to a doctor at a party, Errol Doebler, recounts that this doctor became very interested in his story and took him for a study that was completely different from the ones he had already had done to find out what was going on in his head.

There he realized that he had a severe traumatic brain injury that was affecting the part of his brain that regulates emotions and emotional response. It gave him an answer as to why he was feeling or acting a certain way but more importantly he told him that his brain was showing strong signs of a very mindful person, with strong practices, that he was in a relaxed alpha state and ready for action.

That he really should be in a dark place and become part of the statistic of the 22 veterans who commit suicide, but thanks to his decision making process he had saved his own life. That yes, it was exhausting but the fact that he was hyper alert and aware of his surroundings and his emotions and reactions he was resetting his brain.

44:05 Becoming the person you truly want to be

 Errol Doebler says that after he had his brain injury, he became hyper sensitive to all noises, that his family walked on thin ice so they would not trigger his intolerant reactions. And he tells an incredible story with his daughter, who upon seeing him sitting watching TV happened to yell at him that she loved him right in the ear, he laughed and told her not to yell in his ear like that. But what scared him is that 6 months before that, his first reaction would have been to hit his elbow in her face. That would have been his intuitive reaction. And he says the moral of his story is that, yes he did heal but it wasn’t just that but he also became much more aware of his emotions and reactions and that he was able to change to behave and be the person he had always wanted to be. When you take charge of your nervous system, learn from it, reset it, be aware of things and integrate it all into a decision making process you can improve and become who you want to be.

52:07 Transition from work mode to family mode

 Errol Doebler talks about how to get out of work mode and into family mode. Through an analogy with triathlons, Errol Doebler says the key is in the transitions. Becoming aware of the emotion, knowing how you feel and what the right reaction would be. You had a bad day and you want to get away from everyone, ok but is that the right reaction? or you could ask for some time alone and then integrate with your family? the key is also in the communication, in what you share.

You have to approach every situation as if it were a mission and see what you need to do to make it successful.

Whatever you have to do or face, you must be aware of your emotions, understand them and transition to a new situation or phase of the day with a new character.

56:30 SMACCC Process

 Errol Doebler talks about the SMACCC plan to succeed, which basically is to identify the situation (S), based on this, what is your mission (M), what actions you need to take (A), the contingencies that may arise (C), who is in command (C) of each action and each mission and finally, communication (C). Not all of them are always applicable in every situation, but they can be useful to become aware of emotions and reactions when relating to others.

Errol Doebler’s Links

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