Leaders—true leaders—aren’t average people. The average person doesn’t choose to swim upstream while others swiftly float downstream, or zig when others choose to zag. But having the courage, character and confidence to enter into the abysmal unknown and create value—personally and organizationally—for others is exactly what constitutes leadership and exactly what defines them as leaders.

The motivation to grow, to become a better version of yourself and “show up“—which is a choice in itself— better than how you showed up yesterday is an ongoing battle. Sustaining your competitive advantage as a leader, as a team, and as an organization is a daily grind, but if you don’t live up to the purpose that defines you as a leader then you lose the war—of “relevance.”

Thirteen years in the SEAL Teams taught me a lot about leadership, teamwork, and personal choice. What’s been more eye-opening since leaving the teams, however, has been the transferability in lessons learned between the special operations community and business. Here are five lessons I want to share with you for the taking:

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