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In week 14 of our re-read of L. David Marquet’s Turn the Ship Around!  we begin Part IV of Turn The Ship Around and tackle chapter 21. The first three parts of the book bring the story to the beginning of deployment of the Santa Fe, Part iV picks up from there.

Part I – Starting Over – This section profile why Marquet is frustrated with leader-follower model of leadership.

Part II – Control – This section profiles the change and command and begins to layout Marquet’s vision of a leader – leader model of leadership. This section delivers mechanisms for control in a leader – leader model.

Part III – Competence – This section builds on the story of how the Santa Fe prepares for deployment and Marquet lays out mechanisms for building technical competence, the second leg of his leader-leader model.

Part IV – Clarity – This section completes the leader – leader model, focusing on the third leg of the leader – leader model, clarity.

Clarity means that people at all levels of the organization understand the nuances of what the organization is about. I have recently changed job and have gone through a few weeks of difficult product training. At first, I bridled at not diving into the day-to-day activities of my coaching. Re-reading this section is a reminder that developing an understanding of the organization’s values by translating them into behaviors and product will pay huge dividends in the long run by pushing decision making down the chain of command.

Chapter 21: Under Way for Deployment (more…)


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This week we tackle chapters 18 and 19 of L. David Marquet’s Turn the Ship Around! (have you bought your copy?). The two chapters are Underway For San Diego and All Present And Accounted For. The mechanisms in these two chapters focus on building competence.

Chapter 18: Underway For San Diego (more…)

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Part III: Competence

One of the two pillars that support Marquet’s concept of control is confidence. Confidence requires people to be technically competent to make the decision effectively. While this sounds pretty obvious, the classic leader-follower leverages the premise that followers do not have the competence needed to make decisions. Part III focuses on the mechanisms Marquet used to establish and strengthen technical competence.

Chapter 16: Mistakes Just Happen (more…)

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In week eight of the re-read of L. David Marquet’s Turn the Ship Around! we continue to explore the heart of Marquet’s leadership model.  This week the two chapters are Underway on Nuclear Power and “I Intend to . . .”. Chapter 11 is one of my favorites.

Chapter 10: Underway on Nuclear Power

The framing question for the chapter is, “Do you play “bring me a rock “in your organization, where vague understanding of the goal results in wasted time? (more…)

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In week six of the re-read of L. David Marquet’s Turn the Ship Around! we tackle chapter 7, titled I Relieve You. I am breaking the two chapter pattern to layup so that we can have a clean start the second part of the book next week Chapter Seven completes Part One of the book.  Part one serves tells the story of how Captain Marquet came to be in command of the USSN Santa Fe rather than the Olympia. Much of Marquet’s leadership model was emergent (like design in agile). Change may occur even without a shock like Marquet’s reassignment, but adding energy will hasten change. In this case, the shock made the development of Marquet’s leadership model inevitable.

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In week four of the re-read of L. David Marquet’s Turn the Ship Around! we tackle Chapters three and four. These two chapters, titled Change of Course and Frustration, continue to build the basis for Marquet’s leadership model.

Chapter 3: Change of Course (more…)

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We continue the re-read of L. David Marquet’s Turn the Ship Around! This week we tackle Chapters one and two. The two chapters, titled Pain and Business as Usual, establish the foundation which positioned Marquet to build his management style. Chapters one and two are part of Part I. The book is broken into IV parts, which provide a macro change arc to drive the story.

Part one (Chapters 1 -7), titled Starting Over, develops the reasons that Marquet became frustrated with the leader as a hero/leader-follower leadership style that is common in the Navy and in many command/control driven organizations. The title of this section is a reflection of the need to find a new way of leadership in an environment that requires assumes the leader has the most technical competence while that might not be true. (more…)