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Turn the Ship Around!: A True Story of Turning Followers into Leaders | [L. David Marquet]

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

David Marquet, an experienced Navy officer, was used to giving orders. Marquet acted like any other captain until, one day, he unknowingly gave an impossible order, and his crew tried to follow it anyway. Marquet realized he was leading in a culture of followers, and they were all in danger unless they fundamentally changed the way they did things. Struggling against his own instincts to take control, he instead achieved the vastly more powerful model of giving control.
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Publisher's Summary

"Leadership should mean giving control rather than taking control and creating leaders rather than forging followers."

David Marquet, an experienced Navy officer, was used to giving orders. As newly appointed captain of the USS Santa Fe, a nuclear-powered submarine, he was responsible for more than a hundred sailors, deep in the sea. In this high-stress environment, where there is no margin for error, it was crucial his men did their job and did it well. But the ship was dogged by poor morale, poor performance, and the worst retention in the fleet.

Marquet acted like any other captain until, one day, 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 he was leading in a culture of followers, and they were all in danger unless they fundamentally changed the way they did things.

That’s when Marquet took matters into his own hands and pushed for leadership at every level. Turn the Ship Around! is the true story of 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.

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, and the Santa Fe started winning awards and promoting a highly disproportionate number of officers to submarine command.

No matter your business or position, you can apply Marquet’s radical guidelines to turn your own ship around. The payoff: a workplace where everyone around you is taking responsibility for their actions, where people are healthier and happier, where everyone is a leader.

©2013 L David Marquet (P)2013 Gildan Media LLC

What the Critics Say

"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)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.5 (397 )
5 star
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4.5 (327 )
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4.3 (327 )
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Bret SOUTH BERWICK, ME, United States 07-26-13
    Bret SOUTH BERWICK, ME, United States 07-26-13 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Can't wait to put this to work-track needs editing"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    Not only educational, but entertaining. I definitely think this was time well spent.


    Any additional comments?

    The audio track needs to be re-edited. The cuts often resulted in repeated words or phrases, indicating that an editor needs to take a listen and re-splice the track.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kristin 05-08-15
    Kristin 05-08-15
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    "Great book but fire the audio technician"

    I highly recommend this book to managers (especially those in the Department of Defense); however, having paragraphs repeated sometimes was annoying. The audio production could definitely be improved. The author made up for any shortcomings he had as a reader by being totally engaged with the text.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J te A Amsterdam 02-17-15
    J te A Amsterdam 02-17-15 Member Since 2010

    J te A

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    "Good example of cultural change."

    Learned a lot about the Navy and its ways. Like any major institution, its ways are often deeply engrained in its culture. This is an example on how to improve effectiveness, staying with the original principles of the institution. The implementation of empowerment in the Navy is not something that can be "planned and executed", it must be experienced and tried in order to take place. This is a great achievement and thank you David for sharing how such a process can take place in any "institutionalized" organization, basicly any midsized or larger organization. Another main perspective of the book is about personal leadership. Read it ( or listen to the audio) and become inspired, this is not an easy thing, but maybe more natural than it seems. Clear narration with perfect intonations by the author himself, I enjoyed the submarine stories too!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    S. Scott Kissinger 07-02-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Very applicable 4 Corporate & Military Leadership"
    What was one of the most memorable moments of Turn the Ship Around!?

    As a former enlisted and junior submarine officer, I loved listening to Marquet's book. It not only reminded me of my submarine days, but also showed alternatives to the negative Navy leadership I experienced far too frequently in the early 90's. His approach was refreshing and empowering for all his crew. If that sort of leadership had been demonstrated during my final tour, I probably would still be in the Navy. Unfortunately, I experienced extreme leader-follower throughout my final tour. It included "40 days and 40 nights" of reactor training on the U.S.S. Salt Lake City following one of our nuke ET's going to the base club, drinking, and then standing shutdown reactor operator watch in the early morning. He knew this was wrong, but the entire crew was punished for this one sailor's act (and our Captain not reporting it to the Squadron) and it set a very negative tone for my last two years on board. Instead of pinpointing the root causes of the problem, our leadership had no real discussion and instead threw 40 days of 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. training at us. It was a ridiculous response and instead of improving the crew's performance, it made it much worse. Our boat had the worst retention record in the fleet over the next two years.


    Have you listened to any of L. David Marquet’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I have not listened to any of his other books.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    I loved the idea of having his men write their end of tour Fitness Reports. This is a great idea and helps to focus your people to be inline with both company's goals and their own personal goals.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    D. Drakeley 06-27-15
    D. Drakeley 06-27-15

    Football Fan

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    7
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    "Excellent leadership lessons!"

    Outstanding book with a great story about how a leader learned a new way to lead and create more leaders. Highly recommended for anyone who wants to explore new leadership techniques and help others improve their leadership skills.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dianne Spencer 06-24-15 Member Since 2014
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    "Excellent book on leadership!"

    This was an easy read and great story. I'm buying a hard copy for myself and my subordinates to keep at work.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chrisica 06-03-15
    Chrisica 06-03-15 Member Since 2014
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    "So good"

    This book is a beautiful honest look at what it takes to look at yourself and your team honestly and openly.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Colt 05-21-15
    Colt 05-21-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Great book"

    If you are looking for a place to start in an effort to push your business over the top this is it!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 05-18-15 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "turn the ship around is a great read!"

    A moving story about how changes are made to allow subordinatesto become active participants in their own careers.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Miguel 05-12-15
    Miguel 05-12-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Good story of changing a culture"

    A good story about creating & affecting change. Story was a little slow & not so interesting. There are better books out there.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • Frank Njiaga
    5/22/15
    Overall
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    "This really help turning followers into leaders"

    inspirational live changing book for leaders and those aspiring to leadership at any level
    highly recommend

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Chris
    5/8/15
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    "Awesome achievement"
    What did you like most about Turn the Ship Around!?

    The author clearly understood how people can thrive and grow and was brave enough to apply it in one of the most rigid top down hierarchies there is. By working with his people to create new ways of working it gives you confidence that following similar approaches in a business can provide similar effects.


    What about L. David Marquet’s performance did you like?

    Delivery was upbeat but concise. Because he narrates himself you certainly hear the pride and excitement in his voice when discussing some aspects of his and his team's journey. I especially like how he names his boat, there is always a proud flare in his voice when he delivers it.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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