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Book Review: Turn the Ship Around

David Marquet is a retired Navy officer, he divides his book ‘turn the ship around’ into three parts, first part is a biography, second part is self improvement and in the third part he gave business advice. In his book he described that in order to test his soldiers he gave them an impossible order and by doing so he later realized that he himself became a better leader.

Author described that it is important for a leader to have a complete expertise in his work. In the Navy, captains attend various training courses, studies their ship for more than a year and they know each and every crew member. Marquee shared his experience that at the last minute he was transferred to a different boat which is the Santa Fe and he only got two weeks to understand his new crew and to prepare a new master complex system.

He states that the in military some people are leaders and some are followers. He argues that by giving responsibilities to the followers you can increase their abilities and can build leadership in them.

Marquet shared his story that he did not know his crew members and he was worried that one bad order can bring harm to the ship. He took a very different approach, instead of giving orders to his crew he asked his crew members to share their plans with him. This one order completely changed their body language and they all became leaders. Each one of them took their responsibility because they knew that it’s not only the captain who is leading the ship but they all are part of the big plan.

Author wrote that this can work brilliantly, if it is supported by technical abilities and organizational clarity. He says that this is applicable in any organization or position. Always encourage workers, listen to their plans, build trust, set targets and develop team work. These tips can change the passive workers into productive leaders.

To engage all members of the team in the decision making process is by giving them enough time to bring their solutions and only apply mutually accepted solutions. But in some cases, a leader can take decision but later he should ask his team members to evaluate his decision. Having different opinions on the plan can bring new options and as a result it will not only help in taking better decision but it will also improve their competencies.

Marquet explained that you can only lead your team if you make yourself a good leader. He explained that these rules are applicable in all organizations and businesses. Everyone in his team was a worker and a leader at the same time. He presented a place where everyone was sharing their ideas and thoughts and therefore they were accountable for their actions.

“Leadership is communicating to people their worth and potential so clearly that they are inspired to see it in themselves.”

Sean Coyne

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