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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 (365 )
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4.3 (299 )
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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
  •  
    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
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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
  •  
    steve 05-07-15
    steve 05-07-15 Member Since 2015
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    "loved it..amazing"

    this was a fantastic journey and story of success. it is both inspiring and challenging...a call to arms to take control of your own ship and chart a new course.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    cataldi 05-02-15
    cataldi 05-02-15 Member Since 2011
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    "Great leadership application story"

    These specific actions may not work any where else but the principles are solid. I think any team not reading this and implementing it strategies is doing their organization a great disservice.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    aliza 04-23-15
    aliza 04-23-15 Member Since 2011
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    "A revolutionary approach to leadership"

    David Marquet deftly tells the story of how he literally turned around the performance of the staff and leaders on a Navy submarine with truly remarkable results. I'm already applying some of the principles I learned here.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Orion Webster Seattle, WA 04-22-15
    Orion Webster Seattle, WA 04-22-15 Member Since 2015
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    "A MUST HAVE IN A LEADERS ARSENAL"

    When I began this course, 6 hours seemed exhaustingly long as I was looking for a quick course of action. But Captain Marquet executed his intended plan perfectly by keeping me engaged. While it was easy for me to follow the details of his story as I am a former Sailor, the Captain took the extra time to explain the intricates of the daily life in the US Navy. This allows for the listener/follower to envision the story as if they were onboard as an observer without getting lost. Captain Marquet has changed my life and my future to become a follower of the Leader-to-Leader plan.

    Bravo Zulu Captain Marquet for giving me, and the rest of the world, a recipe for long term success. I'd serve with you anywhere sir.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • 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
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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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