Episode #257: David Marquet – Intent Based Leadership (Turn The Ship Around!)

Captain Dave Marquet is a 1981 U.S. Naval Academy graduate.  He served in the U.S. submarine force for 28 years. After being assigned to command the nuclear powered submarine USS Santa Fe, then ranked last in retention and operational standing, he realized the traditional leadership approach of “take control, give orders,” wouldn’t work. He “turned his ship around” by treating the crew as leaders, not followers, and giving control, not taking control. This approach took the Santa Fe from “worst to first,” achieving the highest retention and operational standings in the navy.
Stephen R. Covey said it was the most empowering organization he’d ever seen and wrote about Captain Marquet’s leadership practices in his book, The 8th Habit.

Captain Marquet is the author of Turn the Ship Around! A True Story of Turning Followers Into Leaders. Fortune magazine called the book the “best how-to manual anywhere for managers on delegating, training, and driving flawless execution.”

Episode #257: David Marquet – Intent Based Leadership (Turn The Ship Around!)

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The Learning Leader Show

“Leadership is not for the select few at the top. In highly effective organizations, there are leaders at every level. When we give our people more authority, we actually create more effective leaders.”

Show Notes:

  • Sustaining excellence:
    • “The ability to decouple from their personal feelings their personality. It can’t all depend on one person. In a consistent organization, the leader is part of it, but not all of it.”
  • How parenting helps you become a better leader:
    • “That’s really interesting. As a parent, you’re trying to create an independent decision maker.”
  • The United States Naval Academy definition of leadership = Leadership can be defined as directing the thoughts, plans, and actions of others… So as to obtain their command and obedience, their confidence, their respect, and their loyal cooperation.” –> Why this is wrong and not effective.
  • “I intend to…” — Intent based leadership
  • How to create the environment for the team to make decisions
  • Intent based environment:
    • People don’t need to be told what to do. Lean back, team leans forward. Don’t make yourself (as the leader) a bottleneck.
  • Risks = Tune level of control to competence or confidence of the team…
    • Expose my thought process (as the leader) to you to see how I put it together.
  • Ask “what” and “how” questions…
  • If you get hired as a new manager and did not get to choose anyone on your team?
    • “Focus on what you can control.  Do we welcome each other? Do we care? Do we connect?”
  • Making the jump from individual contributor to manager:
    • “Talk less, don’t have all the answers… Listen.”
  • “Push information to authority.  Be knowing, not telling.”
  • The job of the leader is to determine how the team works
  • Minimize cognitive burden — “The leader defines the structure.”

“We act our way to new thinking, not think our way to new acting.”

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Episode 216: Jim Collins — How To Go From Good To Great

Episode 179: How To Sustain Excellence – The Best Answers From 178 Questions

Episode 107: Simon Sinek – Leadership: It Starts With Why