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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

4.4 (231 )
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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.

    4 of 4 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
  •  
    Eric C Mahan 02-01-15 Member Since 2014
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    3
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    "Excellent"
    What made the experience of listening to Turn the Ship Around! the most enjoyable?

    This book is spot on and a must read for anyone interested in honing their management skills


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tracy 01-29-15
    Tracy 01-29-15 Member Since 2012
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    4
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    "Loved it."

    Lots of connections with my own work. Caused me to really think deeply about the work we do, what my role as a leader and how it impacts those I work with. Gave me many new ideas about how to make some changes to change the way people interact and support each other's growth.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Scott F. 01-28-15
    Scott F. 01-28-15
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    "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.......

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brandon 01-25-15
    Brandon 01-25-15 Member Since 2014
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    "Fantastic and great listen"

    As a new ENS in the Navy, this insight on leadership is one that I hope to inspire to and I try to live these values and carry them to my division everyday.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gregor 01-24-15
    Gregor 01-24-15
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    "The best leadership advice"

    My best manager ever was a Sgt. Major in the Parachute Regiment. David Marquet is cut from that same cloth and delivers a strong narrative of evidence based performance outcomes from his command strategy. He understands and communicates clearly what autonomy for employees actually looks like when delivered and managed with compassion and rigor.
    If I had three thumbs I'd put them all up.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Scott 01-16-15
    Scott 01-16-15 Member Since 2011

    Whiskey and Gunpowder

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "It delivers on the title"
    Any additional comments?

    Not everything you will read in here can be transferred to every environment but there is plenty of useful advise and direction for just about anyone in a leadership role. Very helpful.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Matthew CARMEL, IN, United States 12-30-14
    Matthew CARMEL, IN, United States 12-30-14 Member Since 2011
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    "As a Navy Veteran/businesses owner, love this book"

    A great listen. It takes a lot of the things that I learned about leadership and gives a new perspective. A great book even for non veterans.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    JLS 09-09-14
    JLS 09-09-14 Member Since 2014
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    "Great Story and Good Narration"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Turn the Ship Around! to be better than the print version?

    Yes, it was a good book written but the narration is good by David as well. I was happy to hear the author reading the book.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Turn the Ship Around!?

    One of the most memorable moments of the book is how Cpt. Marquet institutes his bottom up thinking and his commanders intent.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    It was a good book, I was listening to it from a business perspective. We saw David's video on YouTube and our company had decided to initiate a commanders intent for our company and departments. In order to better understand their reasoning behind it all I went to the source and wasn't disappointed at the information he provided. This was an easy book to listen to while driving to work each day. I had to pause several times to contemplate about some of the concepts he instituted during his time on Sante Fe.


    Any additional comments?

    Listen to this book!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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