The best lesson I learnt on leadership is to listen to and believe in your team. They are the experts, not you anymore. Your job now is to clear the path to their success. Different people need different things to succeed, it's your job to figure that out and try your best to provide it.
What I recommend: Figure out what kind of leader you want to be. Read as much as you can and talk to other leaders inside and outside of your company to see what works and doesn't work for them.
Finally, make sure your team has a crystal clear definition of what success is and the milestones to get there. Ensuring this understanding will help your team move in the same direction.
One day after a major release stuff broke in production. The company was losing customers daily. The "superboss"-es from HQ descended on our little dev team in a small midwestern city and ordered "Code Red".
What it meant to me as a new dev was that I can't go home and the whole team had to stay in the office until the problem was solved... A part of the team had to sleep in the office for a few weeks. (I still don't know if this is against OSHA.)
Many years later while I was watching the movie "A Few Good Men.", I learnt that "Code Red" was a military term. Suddenly, it dawned on me that my "superboss" was also an ex-military person.
Sleeping at work did not fix the issue, after many months of hiring help and bringing in more hands the outage was brought under control.
Did the ex-military "superboss" help the situation? I don't know...
Now I know that Military veterans in their enthusiasm to find work in civilian environments tout their ex-military skills as team building or leadership skills.
Skills learned in the military are for war, learned for conflict situations and applying them to civilian environments and bringing a war mentality or attitude to a workplace is toxic.
I don't have an answer to what makes a good technical leader but I know from experience that ex-military style leadership only adds to the toxicity of a workplace.
Sorry you suffered that experience though, hope you made it out of there.
The book is in my opinion a distillation of those skills, which -- maybe just so happen to -- come from military background. None of what is presented in the book come anywhere close to the situation you described. I would dare to say, quite the contrary. It is about listening, understanding, trusting and many other things, usually considered positive.
It had a great influence on me, though I have never even thought of joining the military.
I started practicing extreme ownership as a regular developer and made my way up to a team leader in about 6 months time. Now I double down as a fresh (and young) leader.
2. Common sense dictates that whenever one transfers skills to a new context, one assess the underlying assumptions and context of those skills to adapt them for use. I'm sure mistakes in that regard will inevitably be made, but I give most people more credit than to assume, a priori, that people will transplant those skills without any thought given to changing contexts. That seems like a very condescending assumption to start with, but maybe I'm misreading you.
> Skills learned in the military are for war, learned for conflict situations and applying them to civilian environments and bringing a war mentality or attitude to a workplace is toxic.
> only adds to the toxicity of a workplace
What exactly was the toxicity besides your choice to overreact (stay overnight) ? Why do you believe that leadership skills for war are not applicable to other domains?
So it sounds like OP was coerced to do so and it was not a free choice or an "overreaction" as you characterize it.
"If I wanted the outcome I was aiming for I had to.... (workout?)" This is how I took the sentence. A totally volitionally accepted responsibility
It was not a choice. It was an order.
None of those things exist in software engineering so there will be people that aren't motivated by the allure of moving up, aren't passionate about the product and maybe just want to do their job and go home. There is nothing wrong with that as long as they are doing their work.
As a leader, you may have peers that will like you to take extreme ownership because they can play politics and blame you for things. I don't think there is room for that sort of BS on a battlefield but I don't have first-hand experience.
There are also a lot of teams that don't have 'mission' like goals that are clearly evident (e.g. root out terrorists in Ramadi) but have a continuous flow of work to be done.
Like any books/videos/courses on leadership or self-help, take what you can from it an see what sticks in your world, don't take it as a prescription or steps on how to do something.
This question is addressed, if not in the book, at least in his podcast. Let me see if I can find it.
The author was a submarine captain who turned one of the worst-performing boats in the Navy into one of the best.
This is an excellent concept and an important one to really get. I go out of my way to never use the phrase “my team.” It’s not my team, it’s all of ours. I’m a member of it, too.
It’s my job to make sure they succeed. So instead of “my team” I always say, “the team I support” to reinforce that.