Our guest was used to giving orders. In the high-stress environment of the USS Santa Fe, a nuclear-powered submarine, it was crucial his men did their job well. But the ship was dogged by poor morale, poor performance and the worst retention in the fleet.
One day, he unknowingly gave an impossible order, and his crew tried to follow it anyway. He realised he was leading in a culture of followers, and they were all in danger unless they fundamentally changed the way they did things. He took matters into his own hands and pushed for leadership at every level. Before long, his crew became fully engaged and the Santa Fe skyrocketed from worst to first in the fleet. No matter your business or your position, you can apply his approach to create a workplace where everyone takes responsibility for their actions, people are healthier and happier – and everyone is a leader.
We welcome the author of Turn the Ship Around! and his latest book Leadership is Language, Captain David Marquet.
More about David here: https://davidmarquet.com
[0:00] Our guest today was used to given orders,
the highest rated warrant of the USS santa fe a new counterpart submarine it was crucial his men did their job well.
Put the dog by poor morale poor performance in the worst retention in the flame.
What day you’re knowingly gave an impossible order on a cruise try to follow it anyway.
He reality was leading in a culture followers and they were all in danger on this day fundamentally change the way they did things.
Hey took matters into amazon hines and pushed for leadership at every level,
before long his crew became fully engaged and the santa fe skyrocketed from worst to first and the blaze.
[0:50] No matter your business or position you can apply his approached to create a workplace or everyone takes responsibility for their actions people are healthier and happier and everyone is a leader.
Welcome order of turn the ship around and his latest book leadership is language david marquez,
welcome to the show if you show welcome listeners it’s great to have you show david i loved have you applied your learning from reading management and leadership books and frameworks,
add an overload your own fantastic story,
let’s jump into a because there’s a line pull from the bottom shared with a few people before i show today absolutely loved by you absolutely nails the challenge that we have in leadership today set people are frustrated,
most of aso ready to give it all but when we start a job.
[1:45] Where usually full of ideas for ways to do things better we eagerly offer or hole intellectual capacity only to be told that it’s not our job that it’s been tried before are that we shouldn’t rock the boat,
initiate if it is viewed with skepticism suggestions or ignored,
we are told to follow instructions a work is reduce the following a set of prescriptions are creativity innovations going appreciated eventually we stop trying and we just told the line,
i want resignation we just get by two often that’s where the story of work life ends many of orleans on for you the root cause is our painfully outdated leadership model,
are you experienced first hand in the us navy.
[2:31] It was the first day at sea that i give that bad order it wasn’t year and it was like right away instantly.
Edit really hittman that we have an organization that was so good at doing stuff so gonna do what were told.
[2:47] Play neiked america kind of filter perform hand,
hey i got more to contribute head more ideas hey there’s more thinking going on in the organization but i could.
When i gave you all on a cruise fallet basically unthinkingly i could see so clearly.
The problem with a leadership model.
Everything want to start looking at everything was wrong everything we did was wrong the way we ran meetings was wrong delayed management is wrong the way we
tomorrow people the way we evacuate everything is wrong the hard work it was
how did it was design for time when i don’t really care what you thought i really we need you to do stuff because humans were hired industrial age factory to do physical labor,
end there is this thing was reserved for a few people to the top.
End so this this structure is in bed in our language of these very settle but very powerful way
the fact that we talk about people we pay some people by sally somebody hourly so we talk about leaders and followers this is the most fun amount like what why why is that two separate groups of people.
It hit me.
[4:11] Set is wrong on helpful and imad my personal situation was i couldn’t give words i didn’t say shit we’re gonna kill someone made this decision the promise not always the way it was before.
Oh if you yourself as a decision maker and something is wrong you give a bad order you gotta get better orders in here the situation was i need to not be the one you give her i need to design system where,
the right decision came from the team independent at totally.
Change always start i was pictures my head this it was like a speedometer it was like a gauge what is the total percent of brain power.
That cruisr using right now the entire one hundred fifty people on the assistant will i feel like i’m using all of minus all there’s a hundred percent for one person.
[5:07] Bot add this number.
[5:11] I want wasn’t because of a bad wasn’t because they’re brained it was because they were educated was because they didn’t other jobs because the structure.
Even paid lip service to it.
[5:23] When we really on est it wasn’t about thinking innovation.
What will come back to that ever cuz i love how you build to this and you you go into say that the letter follow remodel perman some of armors popular novels,
i movies about leadership it is exactly because if leader follow away of doing business has been so successful that it is both so appealing and so hard to let go of that is the problem,
so we have sort of emotional for it it’s it’s what,
ninety nine percent of all movies show because it the camera has to have a focus.
[6:09] End end of work better focal point in the leader who made you make some blonder or hasn’t flaw and instructables to overcome at,
i don’t interrupt his typically her decision-making acumen extract the team the problem and this is such a seductively unhelpful structure,
i want who are all recipes people.
What are they doing what are they thinking how are they contributing not her just pons in the movie script,
the here for nothing the zac is oasis really howard i actually had a guy quote me.
For some screwed up think it was doing that zo and game of thrones i just wanna stop you write that design something for drama.
[7:01] Why would we reply to leadership leadership is about an app since of drama leadership is about to stripped it,
activity distributed thank you not a focal point it’s a totally off that we always a good movie.
Has come from bad leadership in a bad movie good problem,
yeah actually cause not not hundred percent but in general a lot of these movies and i really come from another time and their.
Reinforce in this month fuck and more powerful is the language,
we have frasier language which we say without thinking we are words we have phrases we have sentence structure and we have the way we have set away the interacting.
[7:58] Which are not helpful to air supply example if i said someone.
Hey i think i think different about this or something like that nine ten people i run into nine hundred nine ten meetings observe what happens is the other person we called reply react respond
play defender plus belle la vie explain like really care about your explanation i’m telling you see it differently,
no no let me tell you again let me speak louder and slr it’s it’s so annoying the meaning,
end an disrespectful so what we want we say it be curious before compelling not the end of day gonna make a decision lost a product don’t want to project.
Can i wear with with with the letter but get there.
Will you can be so much better we always say you wanna create structure the meeting so it’s easy for the people who think differently than the group to speak up this is the essence of innovation.
Invite if you wanna animation you got a way with me idea they have to vocalize it.
[9:12] End see that you gotta build the tank now i don’t know what.
How was the fall office weather it’s u ‘s half and ninety percent is a big fall out between vocalizing building.
There’s another big fall of between people thinking it and not saying it and and we don’t even have dad on that because you know how many times was out of an idea organization or better way to do something,
very continues a very small level could be something as simple as.
Something summary was it would take a sad we be a battle stations i was just say.
Stan two feet to your left.
[9:58] That is not gonna go down the hall of innovation best ever but.
The naked see sunny reconsider they can see this play they can’t see before or something and it was,
the people wouldn’t say like why don’t you not say you could i can’t know this will you always falling the procedure no and so.
Divergent dissenting and outline in color and another leader unit to run the meeting and away that makes it easy,
for those things to come out and what people live here say baba first will speaking first that nero the group then think about in terms of variability want very very very of lany of ideas and thought,
not reducing very buddy that’s what the industrial age was about so that’s why it’s fun of my universality so next week.
Dial testing right we got here all these grasses,
are there act opposite of what you want to say all those phrases or design to get people to go along to get it done it’s a five towards yeah we gonna watch a better gonna get it
is not about lets expectedly deeply explored incision is it the right decisions on some products.
[11:22] Is there a surprised seven thirty seven max if the product is starting over medical operation if the product is.
[11:30] Software to have thomas vehicle all these things have life changing.
[11:39] Browse repercussions and.
[11:42] We we sink that were trying to do is bend everyone to our will and it makes it harder for people to tell us.
Did they see the world differently i love how you do this the book for people read the book jetta highly recommended,
david cosmic interviews his own story and experiences another mentioned around all those books not this framers today deeply studied and then poses these questions at the end of the chapter frosty take home and work with,
what you share one of those stories i told to be great to share is it tell us about a key moment on your first job as a junior officer on this us sunfish with a new captain commander later real rodman mark palace,
another sort of life changing moments for me early in my career i was twenty five or so.
[12:34] I like to say none of my,
new ideas are my new i didn’t come from a
i have an appointment very first summary
i was steeped in this command control tell me what to do structure just ok what’s how it is it doesn’t really feel super satisfied me but i got it that i can do it was actually pretty good at.
Too loud talk to people i got my first summary of my first cat was exactly this way,
exactly just exactly how you gonna a picture a crusty cold war submarine command and then.
[13:23] I would like it was like sunshine fresher and,
play this when i was sort of senior in that position so if i was good gang gang respect trust,
cancel i was one of the officer is that i remember we were there just drive the suffering from point eight point be.
how we in the atlantic we are far away from you from the russians there’s no possibility of cold cold war actions racing peak time training basically and we could see the
ship we wanted to go.
I can see through the periscope exit at a tanker and one of things that we don’t do with our solar system.
Add all is to go active is like penguin a movie hear the summer’s gone penguin service do that will never do that because your position what you can do it.
What you already know the he knows you there might as well and nf what that doesn’t directions,
so we like well hey we’re piece time we see a chef why don’t we just practice the solar system of pig big bank and it will rotate the solomon through the connection hear it sounds like it’s a skill,
wellington’s i call a cat quiet ep version because that paying sound.
[14:56] Give this potatoes you positional so it’s those gonna things required the hamptons authorizations i call the captain i said hey i got this idea but.
End the actually happened was about the call standing realize there’s a speaker in your room,
will you can hear everyone talking until he hear obviously heard is talking about that is playing can’t stand it so i would like to go permission.
I would like i don’t know what is train so will i attend to go active here’s why set fire.
[15:46] What and so there’s like the language it it’s it’s the military,
song icon lamp to go active
add two hundred miles i can’t speak abc on target sierra and accessories service like we’re going into comeback,
make that is actually making a hair on the background next track of right now i’m saying that toners like active target sierra one five bearing bubba
i’d like everyone is everyone controls i like this is really gonna happen.
Any island life go ahead and if you have a lot of power,
add you can hear the whole everywhere in the summer in the engine room and i can hear that pause rippled out and.
[16:50] Is hard the script as hard to to convey but the hell and back my niggas is literally stick up and.
I said charge does no captain just a bunch of twenty five year old run this nuclear submarine and then i bring a sorry i can also super pumped up doing it their listening that train.
[17:16] The guys in the end aroma their here in the ship going active what’s going on i don’t know marquez going crazy.
Everyone wanted like and then so after that they also come only wanna be your watch section you guys do fun things.
And then i would call a cab every every time i would like started like.
I would call my five times okay stop call me at the beginning with your whole plan and we do things like.
[17:44] We go really fast we put the writer hard over and we see all fat how we do days they going donuts on the ocean that we have tables italian when you do that you can turn on a certain number feat.
You can turn the submitter start turning radius basically but we discovered interesting things for example when you turn this one direction you turn tired when you turn the other,
turning right is a tiger and has to do with way to propeller.
Bladed with a rotating with the way they hit the rutter has a small battas you need a really turned type.
[18:22] You turn to the right and we,
this is actually save me a long time later on the santa fe we gonna make it titan a e on the surface by the same effect and we are about to run into,
santa left another story always train write hard rutter difference.
Set a cruise in learn and we need the summer rain better than anybody else it was fun because we are learning that’s a such a human thank and we,
will kim wilde still live for marteen when we love their all i’ll be the album we all belong tell her you be the door.
[19:10] Does not learning the fun in life where’s innovation like what you talking about your killed it you can do it twenty years ago i love her those experiences on the unwell you mentioned this one,
shape you later on as a leader but also now in this book on your work now at leadership workshops in your keynotes,
because you give us an exercise dan you called americanism.
Procedure that you call the it in ten two percent i love you chair this winter audience tell me,
how being powered your did he never said these words you just said save these words now on the sunfish,
it was such a selected people and when i get to santa fe klan a kind of barrie because every next silvery was exit back to the same thing,
when i get to santa fe that i was like yeah let’s try that that’s the that’s how i knew the critic talk to me.
[20:07] That’s all give them over here we don’t talk about impalement.
[20:11] Would you say these words will you come to me don’t say were quest from reason to stay i attend to i attend to go active on sonder here’s why is typically two two pieces he’s wide safe right thing to do.
Again it was the exact same effect i could see it in them,
i could see light up i can see him chad chattering to the to each other i could see him walking
toilet celebrating the santa fe ball cap we were the worst performance we took over was no one was wearing uniforms in santa fe.
[20:51] What was my address.
Can you send something here that really resonator me love tiger frase this and your languages burlington and you know it’s no surprise that you went on the right the second book online what you said as the level of control is divested
becomes more more important that the team be aligned with a gold of an organization you talk about that
when you divested control i need it some common north star excuse the poem to actually bring everybody together building
take me to tag or cars doing you don’t care i don’t care.
Because i’m not being asked to make the sessions that matter and.
[21:44] So we have in our heads we have you this this tension which is
well i can control everything of this magine military unit marching instead i’m in control everything to everyone move in the same direction and control but there’s no distributed thinking.
[22:00] Yes i can people make their own decisions and have distributed thinking but then is gonna be sort of see my cai and i’m gonna be a lot of activity which is on line to the organizations ultimate goal.
I need you things on my mind rest intention it there’s an order between them i get this or that and that’s a false they can’t see.
You can have both and and within ten we we did because we never had disturbed the decision day on the we got us.
Ask you when you gonna love to repeat up thursday intentalo tu videos tomorrow at noon time because i can see missions changing we need to repeat is not missiles interpretive then.
[22:46] You are not.
You’re happy it’s yours you feel a sense of pride better the same time that the fat rat talking about ahead of time allows us to.
Set a timer conversate what why we have an idea before that.
Delete your is convey hey missions gonna change in two days we’re gonna move from this kind of mission of this kind of mission everyone review actions necessary to support the new mission.
Can you let me know what you need.
Turn out the way with sound summer rain is apposed to ok let’s get up the checklist and abc exactly what it says because.
Basically just gave everybody a pass on thinking and then you don’t be surprised.
[23:35] Switch to produce one their not gonna come up with the ideas because i don’t need to so i spend the brain power by name of they do that i can say i’m because of you interiors us.
You can become impatient on your you didn’t end times you mentioned in the box emoji became exhausted with the whole thing put your equal exhausted being the person everybody came to all the time so i need to delegate,
you said here it was the time you’re in maui,
andy of course and you resisted the urge to provide solutions and you say this is an absolutely core principle of leadership it’s on magic by two.
I know the answer i don’t know the answer i tell people to do i don’t tell him on today,
is it already went operate why so stupid question the answers in progress.
Everything everything will not quite turn on happy their not thinking there’s no innovation is static we don’t get better overtime so.
Say what can what if you don’t know the answer well in the rare times we don’t know the answer the rest of my team alien on them a little bit today what you guys think about.
In what i learn was my not telling my guys what to do i saw how powerful was and so even when eventually learn the santa fe.
[25:02] I would think you know what i’ve seen this before i know the answer i know it’s gonna happen i know the best way to approach this still would reserve telling the team what did this for me.
who is very the golden girls hard enough not to tell him when you know you don’t know the answer by them when you die in the truck festival you don’t always like i’m not talking about things like it
hey there’s a security gap in the clouds where should we fix it not yet course obviously but i’m talking about things like
how do you redesigned a product for the future houses has market react something is the product ready for love have excepted right balance a question basically,
unknowable answers into the future comes and goes realities you don’t know the answer.
Number one number two is even if you did.
[26:12] Do you want to know your team thanks and then you wanna let them have the joy of discovery of love answer i say yes because now what’s happening is
let’s say two weeks from now they have a similar situation they gonna make a decision you’re hiking in the house.
[26:31] Do you wanna have a call you every time someone like.
[26:40] Play hate will never win calls me really love you say dots absolutely exhausting being captain is absolutely exhausting your exhausted all the time because every is coming to tell time,
i said something there trigger jump for my love because we live in an age of absolute on certainty and this is what you talk about here.
Is us to question how comfortable we are in certainty how comfortable liar are we would showing our god feelings to our stuff,
we didn’t have we didn’t have their language to express dawes ambiguity orange county lots of people in business like you did not the time before you developed this frame work on your books,
didn’t have the language to be able express this either yeah we don’t know how to say something like.
[27:30] Will serve very simple questions like will that plan work.
[27:37] Will i don’t know realities i don’t know i could not ask a question how likely is the plan to work.
You can say eighty percent fifty one percent twenty percent or whatever but it started with we lit we were trying to shoehorn a probabilistic.
Finery deterministically language edit,
set a am again hit me over and over and over again that were just using the wrong words i didn’t say it starts with the leader,
if you asked you team will it work is that a sunshine gonna be true with a client like this on and on.
[28:23] When you gonna get simplistic binary responses and by the way i basically think you’re trying to make someone else take responsibility for the future.
Have amazing the seven thirty seven max project team leader going to the board in san hey thanks ready to go is it safe.
What was that mean abba like housewife where was one accident every.
[28:50] Million kamille hundred million so they say don’t mean anything should be expressed language but programs short cuts,
framing and away when you’re twenty five when you’re on when you’re given the responsibility that you were
invigorate by that and then you pass alarm and united something here that is correct innovation that most innovation teams a lot of audien innovation teams within large
forgot crystallized organizations
they get constantly ask when will this be profitable answer same thing they don’t know because they’re invention the future right so that’s one thing but there’s a thing you talk about that i really seen written about which is so important
does the same as a french saying,
that’s basically april mola deluge which means after me the flood so i don’t care what comes after me and we see this and so many organizations where the leader.
[29:51] Will milk the cash cash cow.
Make prophets today at the expensive the organization tomorrow i’m pull the line where you absolutely nailed it because this was something new didn’t want to do because it was ingrained in the structure of leadership,
end the navy and you said if they did anything for the long run it was because of an unladen sense sense of judy not because there is anything in the system that rewarded them forest we didn’t associated officers leadership effectiveness,
with high well is uniformed after he left and you you wanted to change this.
[30:27] Yeah i got close with the air force like we’re tired before the show you can’t talk to those guys.
I really like a lot of bowie did and somewhere when it got to know what we can actually do in change.
The weather should have a huge impact if you ever valued not everybody in the air force who changed is jobs but.
Just the commander the wind command of the squatter command her bass command.
The year after they leave a job are there gonna get valley annual valuations in the military cigarette valuation from wherever they are.
And we should valued them based on how to united.
[31:11] Turn the year that they left and it’s great discussion ultimate uicide not to do it was a very sad of course.
[31:22] The point because it is the reason that was so many variables are not in control that point but but here’s the key think about the behavior years ago.
[31:34] Can you know you can be a valuation how old your unit does after you live youth division your department team your company after you live
you’re gonna be super invested in this whole idea that i’m the man i’m gonna make the decisions everything’s gonna be.
Comedy that’s not gonna work anymore i know people.
Who love that actually perform access sabotage by hiding information or not telling the relief everything when i leave because it actually deep in their hearts.
[32:11] For some reason they want things to go bad when they leave.
And why don’t we this is not that secrets because the night back then this whole thing people.
Oh yeah that’s fall apart after xyz left that’s a plus.
[32:38] I’m tell you that should be a negative so.
I get sad when will you start to realize the the whole thing is designed about tommy boy to do and it really under values thinking.
Play the whole reason we have to do quavo brainstorming sessions
oh this is a special meeting work and end this special meeting don’t pay attention to rank and randy college other by a first name and we use this whiteboard and bubba ideas are gonna be like the whole,
that’s you tell you
that thinking is not part of the normal way we do work with that the specials thinking meeting it’s so,
you don’t have a breeding program because breathing is normal part of work but if you wanna have a swimming programmer at thinking program you’re just the meaning it’s not an all part of work at so and so hilarious when i look at these things
here’s the worst one a little of development program what is that doesn’t work.
[33:48] You can have programs to develop leaders but they need to be in bed the good people responsible for developing the next generation leader of the band leadership right now it’s not some other team medical dragon breeze sources,
i think of that light that idea of a formula one race where.
The pitstop is like a leadership development program the real races won on the track so the same as innovation is same leadership.
Using it i’m doing it on a constant basis that where is put opportunities in threats and everything i thought that’s when the development stoned put it but i wanted to ruel time i want to share one thing that i tell you to your brandon lay because it worked in,
legacy organizations on people become cogs in the machine now there’s a certain amount of responsibility they need to take for that you say.
[34:39] People get comfortable with this there’s a cost to the people at the end of this.
Which only becomes evident overtime because people who are treated as followers treat others is followers when it’s their turned to lead i thought that was a key line.
Yeah i really frustrated because.
I’m gonna say something little bit unfair but it’s structurally it’s true,
is i would look at us coming up for the ranch and so it was who’s getting wire admirals and generals seem so.
[35:22] Lap have what i proceed the lacs courage like what is this person afraid of work with closing particular with one i was a flag the tenant for it so i like a personal system,
i like this year see you have flight nothing to fear.
[35:40] Give me promoted near the top the organization you have retirement like what are you afraid of.
[35:47] Bulldozer orion remastered best leaders to the top i accidently that’s true i think we promote the best followers to the top promote the people who are adopted attaching their starts arising,
start two levels above them hooted his aer start arising start and then it’s it’s basically feudalism field,
they dragon belong in the wind when when they get to the top they bring their people and.
[36:22] Number surprised because the people at the top exhibit behaviors of.
[36:29] People who who have left and right and end intro bunch of strong the air before they can make a decision because i’m no angel moral compass.
Can i have to see which what you gonna say or something i don’t know and it was a.
[36:49] Is perpetuated down through the.
Where scandal in the military horrible where was ben morrison that because of these guys within go out and get jobs’s consultants and then there prodigy we’re not running the military within higher than,
for like two and fifty dollars an hour to quavo mentor them so there’s a all these little companies,
where is retired animals or making all the angels among us taxpayer money quote mentoring the people i can be done a good job,
you need you now on your sixty out now to past year and their.
[37:25] Fifty fifty five run the navy was really terrible ideas so destroyed disappointed when i saw that sorry,
i’m just wearing of authority zero on them,
i’m just wearing of o. a. r. time and i thought i told i know you david going to do an event now so is booked up quavo workin out saturday without love finish with,
i’m just gonna pull out separately but i love you too as well give a party message boot before we do.
I just want to remind eroding start your latest book leadership is language has just come out and in the build on what you teach in,
turn the ship around showing as a leader teams to success true the language that we use where can people find a david for your keynotes on for your books at saturday
are programs called intent bass leadership because this magic word in ten ten faces leadership just google that
websites and ten babysitters dot com we have a president’s on linkedin but i think the most fun thing from most people will be to go to youtube.
[38:34] When type in leadership nuggets and we been doing this for six years now every week i’ll put out a little it just really trying really short like,
sixty seconds of content mind maybe fifteen seconds trailer something by the idea is in a tiny nugget things like.
Start a question of the word how it in you can ask a question not sure activities for example,
what are the things that i used to love to do we always have all of our executive team doing this.
What are the very first things was the next time the next three times you got to eat.
[39:15] You can order you need to get the server to choose your real for you and united even know it is until i put in front of you.
Pause this is delegation on steroids for something else momentos as one meal out of and it’s super interesting because.
You have yet understand how how much anxiety does that give me not knowing when i’m actually gonna get and then how how do i make it safe for them to make this decision for me
this is the closest feeling that i can get,
can anand vitamin d everybody understand for how it felt every hour of every day when i was taking a cruise through the santa fe,
through this thing because it was always back to me it was it was mike i was the worst.
[40:06] How is the worst at a hearing to our new we chicken hands on a new compact how we’re gonna operate i was not gonna tell me what to do they’re gonna tell me what the intended to do in the biggest violator that.
Was may because my head is cups screaming two thousand two unsure you need a step bob and is not the picture baba blah.
[40:32] Fortune they were quite forgiving i’m just a reminder david turned around the santa fe from the worst to the first and the year so record turn around fantastic results,
i said i didn’t finish with a quote david pull the cord absolutely loved it because it really spose from where you are this book i told and i’m gonna finish that i love you too finished put your message to audien you said.
I am i in the world where we all find satisfaction in our work.
It is a world forever human being is intellectually engaged motivated and self inspired or cognitive capacity as a race is fully engaged and solving the monumental problems,
that we face i love that i thought it was a beautiful way to finish inside out from my perspective,
what about you david how would you like to finish after today show thanks for everyone who’s part of helping us be better as.
Is an individual company species think.
[41:35] The most constrained resource in europe organization is right there between archers the most constrained resource.
Is the is the sinking space for.
For people and when we we build structures where we have to channel decisions to the single person,
end it just the enemy removing so slowly will your system is designed,
[42:14] You don’t have to listen to the words that you say take yourself in a meeting and then and then look for all these things i just can’t finery questions.
How many times did i asked.
Is it will a coat it supposed to how cold it or how would it and tweet that a little bit.
Author of turn the ship around leadership as language captain david marquez thank you for joining us as well done.