Turn the Ship Around! by David Marquet tells the engaging story of his own command on naval submarine. He explains why he chose the leadership style he did and what effect it had– on the intangibles as well as the metrics. Using your team’s strengths as well as their free will and initiative was key. He built on Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People to define his leadership style.
Retention of personnel was a metric that turned around drastically. Morale is harder to measure, but it, too, was greatly impacted.
Empowerment not only made a huge difference in the way the men saw themselves, but impacted the safety and effectiveness of the whole ship.
“Most empowerment programs fail because they are just that, “programs” or “initiatives” rather than the central principle–the genetic code”, according to Marquet. “We say ‘empowerment’ but do it in a way that is disempowering.”
Top down leadership is so prevalent, so easy to execute initially and so deadly to effective teamwork and outcomes.
“What happens in a top-down culture when the leader is wrong? Everyone goes over the cliff.”
“I intend to” became the watchword on the ship, in place of top down dictatorial commands given out by an all-powerful leader. Leadership style matters.
Marquet’s companion book, Turn Your Ship Around, is a workbook designed to take you step by step to implement the principles in the situation that confronts you.