Master Carlos Gracie Jr. Speaks on the Importance of Communication

This conversation is excerpted from a talk by Master Carlos Gracie Jr at a seminar where he shares his thoughts on the importance of communication and taking responsibility within the Gracie Barra organization.
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“I would like to take this opportunity, I think in my point of view, the most important thing for an organization to grow is communication. People that are a part of this organization clearly understand the goals that all of us inside the organization have. This is one of the biggest difficulties nowadays in the real world. If companies around the world are to have this kind of clear communication so people can understand.
Sometimes the person is not acting accordingly with the company’s wishes. Not because he doesn’t want to. But because he didn’t understand the main goal of the company. The goal that the organization, the group want to accomplish. This happens in great companies that dominate the world, the market in the world and this is a real huge struggle. Including within the army during wars. A communication failure can cause disaster.
I was reading this book the other day, It’s called “Extreme Ownership”. It means in Portuguese to take responsibility when something goes wrong. The US troops in Iraq during that war, in the city Ramadi, which is the place where the Al Qaeda resistance was stronger. They called it “blue on blue”. Blue on blue means friendly fire. Be taken as the enemy. And the commander, at the time that he got there, there was a building over there. His troops were prepared to blow up the building and the commander asked for a moment to look inside. When he got inside, there were only friendly soldiers. Some of them were hurt because of the miscommunication that they thought were enemy soldiers inside. This is something that – if it happens during the war, the people who made those mistakes are cast out. It doesn’t matter if it is a General, a commander, whomever. If this happens it is a very serious thing!
It can not happen at all – the friendly fire. The guy that wrote this book, at the time, started to look for those responsible. The agents from the Pentagon went there, high patent agents to investigate what happened. And he was responsible. He was the Chief Commander of that operation. He was a SEAL commander.
The day of the inquiry to see who was responsible; who was going to pay for it. He investigated and at the time, he got there and asked everybody, the soldiers that were there, and asked who was responsible. He asked everybody. One of the soldiers rose up and said “I was the one responsible. I didn’t communicate our correct position.” And he said, “No, you are not responsible for this.” And asked again “Who is responsible for this?” And then another soldier said “I am the responsible. I was on the radio and couldn’t intercept the communication.” And the commander yelled, “No, you are not responsible either.” And asked again “Who is responsible?”
Another soldier stood up and the commander said “No”.
Everyone started to wonder who was responsible. No one answered this time. Everyone who took the responsibility, said no. He said “I’m going to tell you who is responsible. I am responsible for this. I am the Chief Commander and every operation is under my responsibility. I should have foreseen what was going to happen. And I didn’t. So I’m responsible. Responsible for everything that happens on the battlefield. I am the Chief Commander on the battlefield. And what I can do is be aware that I need to foresee so that this doesn’t happen again.”
His commanders that were there, that went there to cast out the person who was responsible for the accident, stopped and valued his attitude. He took responsibility instead of pointing out those below him. Instead of naming others to release his guilt. He took responsibility for what happened.
This guy today is retired from the army. He is very well known inside the United States. Now he visits companies. He created a company where he visits other companies to solve their problems. The differences inside the company so they can continue to grow up. When a company has a problem, they hire his company and he teaches them.  Because within a company, ego is our worst enemy. The ego. The person that doesn’t want to take responsibility and point to others. This intrigued me to understand that. To analyze all of that.
I started to look at Gracie Barra from this point of view.
 problem. I had already seen this. Of course, I think that knowledge, information improves you so that you can make things right more than wrong! Sometimes, to make things right is to not dismiss responsibility but to accept them. So I can see that very often in Gracie Barra things happen that are due to miscommunication. And who is to blame that we are not communicating very well? It is mine.
A lot of times it is not the person who is making the mistake. Sometimes I am the one to blame because I didn’t express myself very well. I couldn’t make this person understand Gracie Barra’s goal. The organization’s goal.”
What points did you take away from Master Carlos’ message?
See also on GB Blog: GB Values: Body & Mind with Master Carlos Gracie Jr.
Writer: Mark Mullen, Gracie Barra Black Belt