We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access .
 >   > 
Turn the Ship Around! Audiobook

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

Regular Price:$19.59
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

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 (989 )
5 star
 (601)
4 star
 (280)
3 star
 (83)
2 star
 (15)
1 star
 (10)
Overall
4.5 (849 )
5 star
 (543)
4 star
 (212)
3 star
 (68)
2 star
 (13)
1 star
 (13)
Story
4.3 (844 )
5 star
 (448)
4 star
 (257)
3 star
 (106)
2 star
 (26)
1 star
 (7)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Bret SOUTH BERWICK, ME, United States 07-26-13
    Bret SOUTH BERWICK, ME, United States 07-26-13 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    24
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    20
    5
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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.

    10 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Buddha Weatherby 09-02-15 Member Since 2016

    tribalbuddha

    HELPFUL VOTES
    13
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    29
    9
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    4
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Phenomenally Enlightened Leadership"

    I served 4 years each with the U.S. Air Force and the U.S. Army and this just became one of my favorite books on leadership . (I have read hundreds.)

    This book demonstrates the potential of unleashing and supporting dedicated, but otherwise normal people to achieve their missions, without unnecessary friction to impede them. I have previously only known of this style of leadership through emancipation in small elite teams and task forces.

    It is fascinating to learn how well it worked on the scale of an entire submarine crew. Captain Marquet's turn-around story for his crew is quite exemplary.

    I also recommend The Mission, The Men, and Me; as well as, Team of Teams. They cover much of the same ground from very different angles.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kristin 05-08-15
    Kristin 05-08-15
    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    14
    8
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Scott F. 01-28-15
    Scott F. 01-28-15
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Very disappointing"

    This was a huge letdown, it's more the author just telling a story in the Navy. Most of these situations don't apply in the civilian word. He's talking about govt Bureaucracy. If you have crap employees, which most are now days, there is no fixing them. If you have superstar employees that are being held back because of rules and regs, yes this is a good book. For the rest of us, not so much. And the voice of the narrator is BRUTAL to listen to, especially for almost 8 hours. Very similar to Ben Stein.......

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bryon E Brandt 12-02-15 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    7
    3
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Becoming a Leader That Others Want To Follow"

    When I read this book it felt like it was my psychic biography. I wasn't a nuclear submarine captain, but I did train Iraqi soldiers in Iraq with similar results from similar techniques and thought processes about what people are capable of with the right leadership.

    If you want to achieve more, because your people achieve more, this is the book for you.

    But it does seem like a bit of a conundrum, that if you apply what David teaches, that you likely become a leader that others want to follow, even though this isn't the intent of his Leader-Leader, leaders-at-every level model.

    Though, if you continue grow and develop the people under and around you, this will only be a temporary plateau as they continue to grow into their full fullness and potential as leaders in their own right.

    This book means so much to me, and is such a nice alternative to the all too common and sub-optimizing command and control, that I share it with almost everyone I know.

    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

    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    3
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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!

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Arvada, CO 08-20-15
    Amazon Customer Arvada, CO 08-20-15
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    8
    8
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great book with some technical issues"
    If you could sum up Turn the Ship Around! in three words, what would they be?

    I am considering making this required reading for everyone in my organization. This book along with a handful of others have served as a "rudder" for our management style. Getting the whole team to invest in the Leader, leader model is the real challenge. I believe, as Marquet suggests, that if we accomplish this in our firm, the sky is the limit.


    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David B. Waples 07-23-15 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Management theory put to work in a real world situation"

    What made this book special to me is that it was read by the author who has great passion for the leadership methods implemented on USS Santa Fe. I highly recommend this book.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gerardo Austin, TX, United States 05-10-14
    Gerardo Austin, TX, United States 05-10-14 Member Since 2011

    Businessman, Technologist, Marketer. Loves to learn and enjoys books. Mostly nonfiction plus historic novels.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    187
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    138
    79
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    99
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "The Best Leadership Book I've Read"

    There are many leadership books that have lots of great quotations, thoughts and intellectually rich thoughts with a few examples.

    This book is different. It is told as a story. A real world-story that illustrates the challenges, the tension between the old and the new ways of doing things, the risks, the necessary managing up , and the results of 'leader-leader' leadership style.

    It is a fun book to read, full of practical knowledge. Almost like a real-world fable.

    If you manage teams or if you aspire to be a great leader, this is the book you should get first. It has the power of changing an entire organization.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rocky 06-21-16
    Rocky 06-21-16
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Excellent book!"

    David Marquet does an outstanding job communicating the leader leader model in a captivating manner that allows the reader to step back and challenge their current leadership and organizational cultural with every chapter.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sort by:
  • Alex Wolf
    Teddington, Middlesex United Kingdom
    7/21/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Holacracy at it's best"
    If you could sum up Turn the Ship Around! in three words, what would they be?

    Practical, Applicable, Provocative


    What did you like best about this story?

    Real life example of how a leadership model removed hierarchical order in a world where historically hierarchy is the only way the military has operated in. The journey of David Marquet including lessons learnt from the mistakes made - an honest appraisal of a Captains journey to successfully 'turn the ship around'


    Which character – as performed by L. David Marquet – was your favourite?

    David Marquet himself


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes - I listened to this over two days while travelling by train around the country


    Any additional comments?

    All leaders should read this book. An alternative view of how to effectively run a team. I would also recommend listening toHolacracy by Brian Robertson as a great companion to this book

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Stephen
    6/24/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Live the transition from poor to excellence"

    What a fantastic opportunity to listen to the journey being described by the author, knowing that he really was there and gaining an insight into how it felt to believe in a better way and through simple practices and approaches to achieve a complete turnaround. Thoroughly recommended to everyone who would like things to work better.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • debbie senior
    United Kingdom
    6/4/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Excellent"

    This is a great book especially as the message is embedded within a story of David's career as a naval officer.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Peter R
    5/20/16
    Overall
    "One of the best all round leadership model books.
    "

    brilliant story start to finish... recommend to any one in a leadership role, aspiring to a leadership role or in management.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Frank Njiaga
    5/22/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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
  • Bradley
    10/6/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Useless cant listen to it"
    What disappointed you about Turn the Ship Around!?

    Cant listen to it


    What could L. David Marquet have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    Its a good book if I could listen to it.


    How could the performance have been better?

    Download in mp3


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank you.

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.