Turn the ship around

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A True Story of Turning Followers Into Leaders.

Title: Turn the ship around

Author: L. David Marquet

Year: 2013

Summary:The Naval Academy trained L. David Marquet to be a leader. He was trained to give order and for people to follow his orders NO MATTER WHAT! But when Marquet was given command of the nuclear powered submarine, the Santa Fe he quickly realised that leadership of that kind can very easily result in disaster. Facing the high-stress environment of a sub where there’s little margin for error, he was determined to reverse the trends he found on the Santa Fe: poor morale, poor performance, and the worst retention rate in the fleet. Almost immediately, Marquet ran into trouble when he unknowingly gave an impossible order, and his crew tried to follow it anyway. When he asked why, the answer was: “Because you told me to.” Marquet realised that while he had been trained for a different submarine, his crew had been trained to do what they were told—a deadly combination. This is where Marquet decided to flip the leadership model that had been the centre of Naval leadership training. He pushed for leadership at every level, not just at one. Struggling against his own instincts to take control, he instead achieved the vastly more powerful model of giving control to his subordinates, and creating leaders. Before long, each member of Marquet’s crew became a leader and assumed responsibility for everything he did, from clerical tasks to crucial combat decisions. The crew became completely engaged, contributing their full intellectual capacity every day. The Santa Fe set records for performance, morale, and retention. And over the next decade, a highly disproportionate number of the officers of the Santa Fe were selected to become submarine commanders. Whether you need a major change of course or just a tweak of the rudder, you can apply Marquet’s methods to turn your own ship around.

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