Turn the Ship Around!: A True Story of Turning Followers into Leaders

Turn the Ship Around!: A True Story of Turning Followers into Leaders

Turn the Ship Around!: A True Story of Turning Followers into Leaders

Turn the Ship Around!: A True Story of Turning Followers into Leaders


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“One of the 12 best business books of all time…. Timeless principles of empowering leadership.” – USA Today

"The best how-to manual anywhere for managers on delegating, training, and driving flawless execution.” —FORTUNE

Since Turn the Ship Around! was published in 2013, hundreds of thousands of readers have been inspired by former Navy captain David Marquet’s true story. Many have applied his insights to their own organizations, creating workplaces where everyone takes responsibility for his or her actions, where followers grow to become leaders, and where happier teams drive dramatically better results.

Marquet was a Naval Academy graduate and an experienced officer when selected for submarine command. Trained to give orders in the traditional model of “know all–tell all” leadership, he faced a new wrinkle when he was shifted to the Santa Fe, a nuclear-powered submarine. 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 realized that while he had been trained for a different submarine, his crew had been trained to do what they were told—a deadly combination.

That’s when Marquet flipped the leadership model on its head and pushed for leadership at every level. Turn the Ship Around! reveals how the Santa Fe skyrocketed from worst to first in the fleet by challenging the U.S. Navy’s traditional leader-follower approach. 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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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781591846406
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 05/16/2013
Pages: 272
Sales rank: 25,457
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.34(h) x 1.01(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

L. David Marquet, a top graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, commanded the nuclear-powered, fast-attack submarine USS Santa Fe from 1999 to 2001. Since retiring from the Navy he has worked with businesses nationwide as a leadership consultant.  He gives presentations around the world and has also written a companion workbook called Turn Your Ship Around.  He lives in Florida with his wife, Jane.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments xvii

Foreword Stephen R. Covey xix

Introduction xxiii

Cast of Characters xxxi

Part I Starting Over 1

1 Pain 3

2 Business as Usual 11

3 Change of Course 17

4 Frustration 22

5 Call to Action 28

6 "What ever They Tell Me to Do!" 35

7 "I Relieve You!" 40

Part II Control 49

8 Change, in a Word 51

9 "Welcome Aboard Santa Fe!" 62

10 Under Way on Nuclear Power 69

11 "I Intend To…" 78

12 Up Scope! 86

13 Who's Responsible? 94

14 "A New Ship" 100

15 "We Have a Problem" 108

Part III Competence 115

16 "Mistakes Just Happen!" 117

17 "We Learn" 126

18 Under Way for San Diego 135

19 All Present and Accounted For 142

20 Final Preparations 152

Part IV Clarity 161

21 Under Way for Deployment 163

22 A Remembrance of War 173

23 Leadership at Every Level 178

24 A Dangerous Passage 184

25 Looking Ahead 188

26 Combat Effectiveness 195

27 Homecoming 201

28 A New Method of Resupplying 208

29 Ripples 214

Afterword: Where Are They Now? 217

Glossary: Technical Terms, Slang, and Military Jargon 219

Notes 227

Index 229

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

“I don’t know of a finer model of this kind of empowering leadership than Captain Marquet. And in the pages that follow you will find a model for your pathway.”
—STEPHEN R. COVEY,author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
“David Marquet is the kind of leader who comes around only once in a generation. He doesn’t just know how to lead, he knows how to build leaders. His ideas and lessons are invaluable to anyone who wants to build an organization that will outlive them.”
—SIMON SINEK,optimist and author of Start With Why
Turn the Ship Around! delivers a brilliant message.”
—LIZ WEISMAN, author of Multipliers
“Read Turn the Ship Around! and you will learn how to build an enduring high performer, where people can’t wait to get to work.”
—ADMIRAL THOMAS B. FARGO (USN, RET.) former commander, U.S. Pacific Command, and chairman, Huntington Ingalls Industries
“It’s The Hunt for Red October meets Harvard Business School.”
—JOE DEBONO, founder and president, MBA Corps

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