staring down the wolf leadership

Staring Down the Wolf with ex-Navy SEAL Mark Divine

Each day, we have a choice to do things the way we’ve always done them, or to stare down the wolf of fear until he backs off.

Even if we’re not a former Navy SEAL Commander like today’s guest, as fathers, we are the heads of our families. We need to learn how to operate like an elite leader for them, and more importantly, ourselves.

This means we need to be strong enough to face our insecurities, confront our shadows, admit where we’re wrong, adopt a learning mindset, and be willing to ask help.

We are truly honored to have ex-Navy SEAL, Mark Divine, on the show for his fourth time. Among his many accomplishments, he is the creator of SEALFIT and the author of Unbeatable Mind. His new book is Staring Down the Wolf: 7 Leadership Commitments That Forge Elite Teams.

Today Mark talks about how becoming an elite leader starts with a deep understanding of who we are and why we behave the way we do. He reveals that elite leadership is not about pretending we’re perfect and indestructible. It’s about being honest about our weaknesses and failures.

Mark also teaches us how to get a team to commit to one cause and align communication on an intuitive level so that we can better our lives as well as generate a positive change in the world.

Mark Divine

Mark Divine is an expert in elite performance, mental toughness, and leader-team development. His renowned SEALFIT and Unbeatable Mind training programs have transformed tens of thousands from all walks of life.

Mark’s own leadership skills were initially honed in the SEALs, where he was the honor man of his BUDS class while leading his entire boat crew to success — which has never been repeated in BUDS history. He later built several successful operations, two of which have scaled into 8-figure businesses. His mission now is to lead 100 million to the path of integrated development through his motivational speaking, Unbeatable Mind podcasts and books, by 2045. The SEAL students he teaches make it through training with a 90% success rate, and the breathing, visualization and concentration practices he has taught are now standard at BUDS and in Air Force Special Ops training. Mark helps others to motivate in order to achieve maximum levels of success, mentally and physically.

Mark addresses integration and training of the whole body-mind-spirit system in his approach which he calls the Five Mountains. He teaches this unique philosophy to executives, corporate and elite sports teams and entrepreneurs through motivational speeches. His keynotes and training have all been rated five stars or “best ever” – with topics he draws from his best selling books including The Way of the SEAL, Unbeatable Mind and Staring Down the Wolf.

Staring Down the Wolf

What does it take to command a team of elite individuals? It requires a commitment to seven key principles: Courage, Trust, Respect, Growth, Excellence, Resiliency, and Alignment. All of these are present in an elite team which commits to them deeply in order to forge the character worthy of uncommon success.

Retired Navy SEAL Commander, entrepreneur and New York Times best-selling author Mark Divine (founder of SEALFIT,, and Unbeatable Mind) reveals what makes the culture of an elite team, and how to get your own team to commit to serve at an elite level. Using principles he learned on the battlefield, training SEALs, and in his own entrepreneurial and growth company ventures, Mark knows what it is to lead elite teams, and how easily the team can fail by breaching these commitments.

Elite teams challenge themselves to step up everyday to do the uncommon. Developing the principles yourself and aligning your team around these commitments will allow you to thrive in VUCA (volatility, uncertainty, complexity, ambiguity) environments, no matter your background or leadership experience. Drawing from his 20 years leading SEALs, and 25 years of success and failure in entrepreneurship and 10 years coaching corporate clients, Mark Divine shares a very unique perspective that will allow you to unlock the tremendous power of your team.

What You’ll Learn

  • Leaders should never try to act like they are perfect.
  • If you show up as the strongest, smartest, and most perfect, you will shut your team down.
  • Your team will prefer if you admit when you’re scared and don’t have all the answers
  • We are all flawed humans, but when we commit to a team, we can execute impossible missions.
  • Mission success depends on making the team members grow as people.
  • True leadership is in the messy parts.
  • Leading an elite team in the civilian world is a lot harder than in the military.
  • In all cases, YOU become your biggest limiting factor.
  • Emotional development is the biggest and most avoided obstacle for leaders. It’s also the most important.
  • Emotional baggage from your childhood becomes part of your shadow.
  • Most people won’t face the trauma from their past.
  • Look at emotional work just like a fitness, diet, or business plan.
  • Confront codependence and people pleasing.
  • The importance of a meditation practice
  • How we create protective masks to cover our shadow side
  • Mark Divine admits that he could’ve easily become a highly successful, materialistic jerk.
  • What’s the primary purpose of life? It’s not to fulfill a calling. That is the secondary mission.
  • The primary purpose of life is to evolve, to uncover our negative qualities and cultivate positive ones so that we can serve others.
  • How to be humble and transparent without holding yourself and others from risk
  • Don’t blame others when the team fails. Tell them, “I’m in charge. It’s my responsibility. How can we learn from this?”
  • Showing up as your true self
  • Being supportive of your team instead of taking all the glory
  • Mark’s experience with his adopted son
  • Why kids lose trust in their parents
  • How to trigger accelerated growth
  • Bringing mindfulness exercises into your team culture
  • Alignment is how you communicate and create shared consciousness amongst the team. The team becomes the new leader.
  • How operating as an elite leader will benefit you, the world, and the planet.
  • You will always get more profit from serving others first.
  • Communicate your alignment daily.
  • Developing world-centric care and concern
  • Post COVID: How can we do this better and not go back to the way we were before?
  • Create a new “uncommon” normal
  • Why Mark Divine does not have email in his phone
  • Taking every other week off the internet to remove distraction
  • The clever auto-responders Mark uses when he’s detoxing from the office


The Secrets to Achieving Wildly Important Goals with Mark Divine

Create an Unbeatable Mind, Body, and Become Sealfit with Mark Divine

How To Create An Unbeatable Mind with Navy Seal Mark Divine


Protect your kids with the Bark App


sexual content

suicidal ideation

online predators

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Mark Divine’s Links

Mark’s Daily Brief on YouTube









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warrior toughness

Warrior Toughness for Real Life with Navy SEAL Stephen Drum

Warrior toughness is the ability to make the correct decision at the right time, no matter how stressful, painful, or frightening that moment may be. This is not only achieved by rigorous discipline and training, but also a fine balance of body, mind, and soul.

Today we are pumped to have Stephen Drum on The Dad Edge. He is a combat-tested retired Navy SEAL Master Chief with 27 years of experience leading teams and executing mission-critical performance strategies.

Stephen tells us a 4-part process for developing Warrior Toughness that we can apply to real life. He reveals the surprising mix of performance psychology, mindfulness, and problem-solving that makes up the warrior mindset. He also talks about how we can organize the caring of our families while keeping ourselves adaptable and ready to pivot in any situation.

Learn to operate under pressure—day in, day out—no matter what life throws at you!

What You’ll Learn

  • Although Stephen admits he was a rebellious and difficult kid, his parents’ guidance set a foundation for making good decisions in adulthood.
  • Stephen reveals his experience with BUDs training and SEAL life
  • Fight like a warrior, and act from character.
  • How to have frank conversations with yourself about where you made mistakes
  • The qualities of a warrior mindset
  • Problem solving skills
  • Using personal sources of strength like religion, values, and belief to power you through tough situations
  • The powerful combination of performance psychology, mindfulness and meditation
  • Exercises to reduce stress and anxiety: visualizations, progressive muscle relaxation, recalibration breathing.
  • The 4-Part Process of Warrior Toughness
    1. Commit – fully invested in yourself and process
    2. Preparation – acquiring the skillsets you need
    3. Execute – how to make clear, composed decisions under fire
    4. Reflection – step back and check if your actions were aligned with your values
  • On motivation versus discipline—discipline is more important because we won’t always be motivated.
  • You must conjure a visceral picture of what the finish line looks like so you can reconnect to it when you fall off track.
  • Detaching from emotions to make the right decisions. For example, you can feel angry instead of becoming angry.
  • Where Stephen admits he has failed as a husband and father
  • How Stephen incorporates warrior toughness into his parenting and marriage
  • Establishing consistency in household—Approach things from process. Be deliberate. Detach emotionally from experiences. Provide structure.
  • Led, fed, and educated—How Stephen organizes the leading and caring of his family
  • How to keep the family unit informed and prepared during crises like Covid-19, yet remain focused and engaged in life.
  • Don’t be mired down by negativity and political bias. Instead, see where you can pivot and adapt in a rational way.


The 12 Traits of a Warrior Part 1: The Hard Traits with Chris Sajnog

12 Traits of a Warrior Part II: The Soft Traits

Raising Kids with the Dichotomy of Leadership with Jocko Willink

Leave an iTunes review.
Get a FREE book!

If you’re enjoying the show, leave us an itunes reviewIf your review is chosen as the iTunes Review-of-the Week, we’ll send you the free book of your choice!

What to do: send an email to notifying us about your review, your mailing address, and your choice of a guest book from our Books Page!

Thanks for the support!


Stephen Drum’s links



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Coronavirus is forcing our evolution as fathers.  We are all going to build a whole new set of superpowers.  And these superpowers are needed right now.  For many of us, we are multiplying our future ability to serve, exponentially.


Guest Speakers

Dr. Meg Meeker
New York Times Bestselling Author of “Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters” and “HERO”
Anthony Trucks
Former NFL Football Player and American Ninja Warrior
Aaron Walker
Founder of View From the Top and bestselling author of “View from the Top” and coming soon “Isolation is the Enemy of Excellence.”
Dominic Quartuccio
Bestselling author of “Design Your Future.”



What did you think of the show?

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Twitter @gooddadprojct

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