Sunday, March 19, 2017


I just finished reading a great book, Turn the Ship Around by David Marquet ( In it, he taught me a new way of thinking about leadership that I want to begin using right away with my training team - it's that good.

Rather than writing some kind of synopsis or wordy book review, I just want to first recommend the book to anyone in a leadership role or aspiring to it. Here's what's unique about this one: David doesn't tell the reader what to do or list all kinds of philosophy or research. Rather, he explains what worked for him as Captain of a U.S. Navy submarine, and he does it through story-telling of his experience. It makes the book hard to put down!

And second, it turns the traditional model of "leader-follower" on its head, instead showing us a better way, that of "leader-leader". Is it new? Well, kind of yes and kind of no. The heart of it is what David calls "intent-based leadership", in which the person in charge shares authority with his/her subordinates, thus giving them more control over what they do and how they do it.

It's different and far richer than empowerment programs or limited stretch assignments. It capitalizes on the power of being human. And being a strong proponent of servant leadership, I can say it fits just fine within that paradigm. In fact, Dr. Stephen Covey and his 7 Habits of Highly Effective People were strong influences on Marquet's practices, and mine too. And I can see immediate tie-in to Situational Leadership (Ken Blanchard), which I now use. Good stuff!

So I really recommend this book, fellow leaders! If you're wondering what I plan to do now that I read it, and I know you are ;-), two things: 1) Make myself a job aid to capture the essence and key points so I can hang it at work and see it every day. And 2) I plan to start using the leader-leader concepts this week with my team.

Happy growing!

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