Gooday. Got a great but unusual business book review for you today…
It’s called ‘Turn the Ship Around’ and was written by then Captain David Marquet.
David is a former nuclear submarine commander with the US Navy, and this true story tells how he turned the worst performing submarine in the US Navy into the best.
The biggest issue for David was the US Navy had an outdated leadership model, which he’d encountered first-hand, whilst learning his own trade.
It was a leader-follower model, where the commander made all the decisions (not just the critical ones) and the crew obeyed no matter what the outcome or risk.
In other words leadership in the US Navy (as David suggests in most organisations too) is about controlling people and not listening to their ideas.
If David was to succeed, he had to flip this thinking on its head. But without causing uproar in the Navy’s controlling leadership team.
This is a great story of self-discovery, tension and lonely self-doubt of a leader who sets off on a path that’s the opposite of how the Navy operates. If he failed, it would be disaster.
At the time, neither David or his crew (who embraced the responsibility and new way of running the submarine’s organisation) knew if it would work.
He created a culture where the sailors had a real sense of adding value, by empowering his team as far as he could within the Navy’s confines. To the point where he rarely needed to give an order.
It’s a great book & David firmly believes his model can easily scale to help any organisation wanting to move from a leader-follower culture to what he’s coined a leader-leader culture.
‘Turn the Ship Around’ gets a thumbs up & 5 stars.
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