Book Cover

Turn the Ship Around

We will complete our re-read of Turn The Ship Around next week with a few final thoughts.  The next book in the series will be The Checklist Manifesto  (use the link and buy a copy so you can read along) by  Atul Gawande. Today we complete re-reading the chapters in  L. David Marquet’s Turn the Ship Around!  Chapter 28, 29 and Afterthoughts complete Marquet’s reflection on the leader-leader model and his journey of discovery.

Chapter 28: A New Method of Resupplying

The setup question for this chapter is, “Do you want to empower employees but find that empowerment programs don’t help?”

The story Marquet uses to drive the ideas in the chapter home centers around the Santa Fe’s need for oil to be resupplied due to a leak. If the Sante Fe is not resupplied the boat will not be able to keep its perfect record of meeting all mission goals.  The supply ship Rainier is also transiting the Straits of Hormuz (another one of those busy scary places). Using the normal channels getting supplies from the Rainier would have taken too long. Personnel on both vessels found a way to get the Santa Fe the oil, trade mail and also some fresh fruit.  

Mechanism: Don’t empower, emancipate.

Marquet makes a strong point that empowerment is only necessary because we’ve become so accustomed to being disempowered. Empowerment sends the message that leadership allows people to be empowered.  Regardless, empowerment only works with clarity and competence. Marquet also states that the need for empowerment results from the common conceit built into a top-down structure. The conceit is that the top of the structure has to give people decision-making control.  Emancipation sets people free within the organization’s structure to make decisions based on the characteristics of confidence and clarity.

Chapter 29: Ripples

Chapter 29 is the final chapter in the book.  The chapter title is metaphor Marquet uses to focus the reader on the long-term impact of the changes on the Santa Fe.  Those changes impacted not only the sailors that actually were on the Sante Fe but others as the crew spread out across the Navy and the outside world due to promotion and job change.

Marquet ends the chapter with a quote that bears deep reflection,  “ultimately, the most important person to have control over is yourself – for it is that self-control that will allow you to give control, create leaders.”

The Afterword walks through where many of the named characters on the Sante Fe have traveled in their careers.


Remember to buy a copy of the book and re-read along: Turn the Ship Around! Previous installments:


Previous Installments:

Week 17: Combat Effectiveness and Homecoming

Week 16:  A Dangerous Passage and Looking Ahead

Week 15: A Remembrance of War and Leadership at Every Level

Week 14: Part IV and Under Way for Deployment

Week 13: Final Preparations –

Week 12: Underway for San Diego and All Present and Accounted Forhttps:/ /

Week 11: Mistakes Just Happen and We Learn

Week 10: A New Ship and We Have A Problem

Week 9: Up Scope! and ”A New Ship”

Week 8: Under Way on Nuclear Power and ”I Intend To . . .” –

Week 7: Change, In a Word and Welcome Aboard Sante Fe

Week 6: I Relieve You

Week 5: Call to Action and Whatever they tell me to do!

Week 4: Change of Course and Frustration

Week 3: Pain and Business as Usual

Week 2: Forward and Introduction

Week 1: Game Plan