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Turn the Ship Around!

A True Story of Turning Followers into Leaders

Turn the Ship Around! by L. David Marquet
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Since Turn the Ship Around! was published in 2012, 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 leadership, he faced a new wrinkle when he was shifted to the Santa Fe, a nuclear powered submarine, at the last minute. Facing the high-stress environment of a sub where there’s little margin for error, he was determined to reverse the trends he found: poor morale, poor performance, and the worst retention rate in the fleet, on board a submarine he didn't know.
 
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 order wasn’t challenged, the answer was “Because you told me to.” Marquet realized that while he was 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 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.
 
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 fully engaged, contributing their full intellectual capacity every day. The Santa Fe set records for performance, morale, and retention. Over the next decade, the officers of the Santa Fe were selected to become submarine commanders in highly disproportionate numbers.
 
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.
Penguin Publishing Group; May 2013
240 pages; ISBN 9781101623695
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Title: Turn the Ship Around!
Author: L. David Marquet; Stephen R. Covey