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Books I'm Reading: Turn the Ship Around! A True Story of Turning Followers into Leaders

Books I'm Reading: Turn the Ship Around! A True Story of Turning Followers into Leaders

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.
Turn the Ship Around! Book - David Marquet, Author, Keynote Speaker, Creator of Intent-Based Leadership, Intent-Based Leadership International
In Leadership is Language, you’ll learn how choosing your words can dramatically improve decision-making and execution on your team.


  • What are you willing to personally risk? (Sometimes taking a step for the better requires caring/not caring. Caring deeply about the people and mission, but not caring about the bureaucratic consequences to your personal career.)

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