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Turn the Ship Around! Audiobook

Turn the Ship Around!: A True Story of Turning Followers into Leaders

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Publisher's Summary

"Leadership should mean giving control rather than taking control and creating leaders rather than forging followers."

David Marquet, an experienced Navy officer, was used to giving orders. As newly appointed captain of the USS Santa Fe, a nuclear-powered submarine, he was responsible for more than a hundred sailors, deep in the sea. In this high-stress environment, where there is no margin for error, it was crucial his men did their job and did it well. But the ship was dogged by poor morale, poor performance, and the worst retention in the fleet.

Marquet acted like any other captain until, one day, he unknowingly gave an impossible order, and his crew tried to follow it anyway. When he asked why the order wasn’t challenged, the answer was, "Because you told me to." Marquet realized he was leading in a culture of followers, and they were all in danger unless they fundamentally changed the way they did things.

That’s when Marquet took matters into his own hands and pushed for leadership at every level. Turn the Ship Around! is the true story of how the Santa Fe skyrocketed from worst to first in the fleet by challenging the U.S. Navy's traditional leader-follower approach. Struggling against his own instincts to take control, he instead achieved the vastly more powerful model of giving control.

Before long, each member of Marquet’s crew became a leader and assumed responsibility for everything he did, from clerical tasks to crucial combat decisions. The crew became fully engaged, contributing their full intellectual capacity every day, and the Santa Fe started winning awards and promoting a highly disproportionate number of officers to submarine command.

No matter your business or position, you can apply Marquet’s radical guidelines to turn your own ship around. The payoff: a workplace where everyone around you is taking responsibility for their actions, where people are healthier and happier, where everyone is a leader.

©2013 L David Marquet (P)2013 Gildan Media LLC

What the Critics Say

"I don't know of a finer model of this kind of empowering leadership than Captain Marquet. And in the pages that follow you will find a model for your pathway." (Stephen R. Covey, author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People)

"David Marquet is the kind of leader who comes around only once in a generation. He doesn't just know how to lead, he knows how to build leaders. His ideas and lessons are invaluable to anyone who wants to build an organization that will outlive them." (Simon Sinek, optimist and author of Start With Why)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.6 (225 )
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4.6 (199 )
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Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Alex Wolf Teddington, Middlesex United Kingdom 21/07/2015
    Alex Wolf Teddington, Middlesex United Kingdom 21/07/2015 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
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    8
    1
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    Story
    "Holacracy at it's best"
    If you could sum up Turn the Ship Around! in three words, what would they be?

    Practical, Applicable, Provocative


    What did you like best about this story?

    Real life example of how a leadership model removed hierarchical order in a world where historically hierarchy is the only way the military has operated in. The journey of David Marquet including lessons learnt from the mistakes made - an honest appraisal of a Captains journey to successfully 'turn the ship around'


    Which character – as performed by L. David Marquet – was your favourite?

    David Marquet himself


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes - I listened to this over two days while travelling by train around the country


    Any additional comments?

    All leaders should read this book. An alternative view of how to effectively run a team. I would also recommend listening toHolacracy by Brian Robertson as a great companion to this book

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mr. Jon Barr Bristol, England 17/02/2018
    Mr. Jon Barr Bristol, England 17/02/2018 Member Since 2018
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    "A totally inspiring journey"

    An enlightening and inspiring journey on the US atomic submarine Santa Fe from leadership empowerment to leadership emancipation. Any leader in any organisation can learn why it is time to leave leader-follower leadership approaches behind.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chris Rodgerson 01/02/2018 Member Since 2017
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A book containing great information"

    I enjoyed the weaving of the stories onboard an operational submarine with the learnings and observations of differing leadership styles along the way.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Filta306 06/01/2018
    Filta306 06/01/2018 Member Since 2017
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    23
    3
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    Story
    "Way more than I thought"

    I watched the YouTube video of Greatness and was worried that I effectively got everything from that so didn’t need the book but I was pleasantly surprised.
    Lots to be learned from this book about your own leadership style and how to improve it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gupster 26/12/2017
    Gupster 26/12/2017
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    "An inspiring story & advice on how to achieve it"

    I loved this book. Hard listen as it has pockets of questions to ask your organisation to try to get similar results and I had to make lots of audio clips to come back to. Hard to when driving which is when i normally listen to audio books. Shame there is no companion PDF of these for easy reference.

    Having said that it was very interesting and narrated well and I have already recommended this book to several people.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chris 07/11/2017
    Chris 07/11/2017
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
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    Story
    "Very interesting approaches to growing a team"

    Very interesting story of Initial set backs and determination leading to the growth of an unfortunately rare and unique team dynamic.

    If anyone applied just one of the key takeaways from this book, I am certain it will have a positive effect on team morale.

    The information was conveyed brilliantly with the interesting tale of the Santa Fe. This would have been an interesting listen without the emphasis on how techniques can be applied transitively.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Charlene Allison 06/11/2017
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Very Interesting Book on Leadership"

    Someone recommended this book - not personally to me - but I decided to buy it. The book wasn't really for me or what I was looking for, however, it gave an interesting insight into leadership in the Navy. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone looking to develop a leader-leader instead of a leader-follower in their organisation.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    william king Glasgow 08/10/2017
    william king Glasgow 08/10/2017 Member Since 2015
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    "A Journey from Command and Control to Agile Leader"

    This book is well written. It takes you through the authors journey of being in the Navy and very much a command and control leadership culture. To where the author wanted to be, trust the people with the knowledge to do the job, the 'how'.

    Another great read for those who are on the journey of becoming a good to great leader.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sven 06/10/2017
    Sven 06/10/2017
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    REVIEWS
    3
    1
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    Story
    "Good insight but narration let it down"

    The content of this book is excellent and the journey of changing the processes and attitude in a highly hierarchical structure was fascinating.
    However the narration made it less engaging as it felt very monotonous and thereby difficult to keep engaged.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mr. Anthony G. Ballin 18/07/2017 Member Since 2017
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    2
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    Story
    "Very informative, "

    having now listened three times and each time picked up something else and now I find myself trying to think things over again from a different angle.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sort by:
  • Bret
    SOUTH BERWICK, ME, United States
    26/07/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Can't wait to put this to work-track needs editing"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    Not only educational, but entertaining. I definitely think this was time well spent.


    Any additional comments?

    The audio track needs to be re-edited. The cuts often resulted in repeated words or phrases, indicating that an editor needs to take a listen and re-splice the track.

    15 of 15 people found this review helpful
  • Buddha Weatherby
    Great Lakes, USA
    02/09/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Phenomenally Enlightened Leadership"

    I served 4 years each with the U.S. Air Force and the U.S. Army and this just became one of my favorite books on leadership . (I have read hundreds.)

    This book demonstrates the potential of unleashing and supporting dedicated, but otherwise normal people to achieve their missions, without unnecessary friction to impede them. I have previously only known of this style of leadership through emancipation in small elite teams and task forces.

    It is fascinating to learn how well it worked on the scale of an entire submarine crew. Captain Marquet's turn-around story for his crew is quite exemplary.

    I also recommend The Mission, The Men, and Me; as well as, Team of Teams. They cover much of the same ground from very different angles.

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • Kristin
    LUSBY, MD, United States
    08/05/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great book but fire the audio technician"

    I highly recommend this book to managers (especially those in the Department of Defense); however, having paragraphs repeated sometimes was annoying. The audio production could definitely be improved. The author made up for any shortcomings he had as a reader by being totally engaged with the text.

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • J te A
    Amsterdam
    17/02/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Good example of cultural change."

    Learned a lot about the Navy and its ways. Like any major institution, its ways are often deeply engrained in its culture. This is an example on how to improve effectiveness, staying with the original principles of the institution. The implementation of empowerment in the Navy is not something that can be "planned and executed", it must be experienced and tried in order to take place. This is a great achievement and thank you David for sharing how such a process can take place in any "institutionalized" organization, basicly any midsized or larger organization. Another main perspective of the book is about personal leadership. Read it ( or listen to the audio) and become inspired, this is not an easy thing, but maybe more natural than it seems. Clear narration with perfect intonations by the author himself, I enjoyed the submarine stories too!

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Gerardo
    Austin, TX, United States
    10/05/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "The Best Leadership Book I've Read"

    There are many leadership books that have lots of great quotations, thoughts and intellectually rich thoughts with a few examples.

    This book is different. It is told as a story. A real world-story that illustrates the challenges, the tension between the old and the new ways of doing things, the risks, the necessary managing up , and the results of 'leader-leader' leadership style.

    It is a fun book to read, full of practical knowledge. Almost like a real-world fable.

    If you manage teams or if you aspire to be a great leader, this is the book you should get first. It has the power of changing an entire organization.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Amazon Customer
    17/05/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Excellence"

    Woven into the engaging story are pearls of leadership wisdom. The listener does not have to recall isolated ideas but is shown how to accomplish the demonstrated leadership objectives. Delivery by the narrator is perfect.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Bryon E Brandt
    02/12/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Becoming a Leader That Others Want To Follow"

    When I read this book it felt like it was my psychic biography. I wasn't a nuclear submarine captain, but I did train Iraqi soldiers in Iraq with similar results from similar techniques and thought processes about what people are capable of with the right leadership.

    If you want to achieve more, because your people achieve more, this is the book for you.

    But it does seem like a bit of a conundrum, that if you apply what David teaches, that you likely become a leader that others want to follow, even though this isn't the intent of his Leader-Leader, leaders-at-every level model.

    Though, if you continue grow and develop the people under and around you, this will only be a temporary plateau as they continue to grow into their full fullness and potential as leaders in their own right.

    This book means so much to me, and is such a nice alternative to the all too common and sub-optimizing command and control, that I share it with almost everyone I know.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Amazon Customer
    Arvada, CO
    20/08/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great book with some technical issues"
    If you could sum up Turn the Ship Around! in three words, what would they be?

    I am considering making this required reading for everyone in my organization. This book along with a handful of others have served as a "rudder" for our management style. Getting the whole team to invest in the Leader, leader model is the real challenge. I believe, as Marquet suggests, that if we accomplish this in our firm, the sky is the limit.


    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • David B. Waples
    23/07/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Management theory put to work in a real world situation"

    What made this book special to me is that it was read by the author who has great passion for the leadership methods implemented on USS Santa Fe. I highly recommend this book.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • T. Pantazi
    Jacksonville, FL
    25/02/18
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Best leadership book I've read. "

    From the introduction I was hooked. I normally listen during my commute but this was too good to wait so I did it in two nights. I am not in any form of management but I am a technical leader who relies on inspiration and influence to lead teammates through persuasion. I have been using the Leader Leader model without knowing it had a name. Now I have a ton of ideas.

    I loved the way Capt. Marquet brought up a few topical and relevant questions to consider at the end of each chapter. That helped me review the concepts and find ways they might apply to my work.

    On a deeply personal note, I had a great battalion commander during my tour of duty in the US Army. Although I considered the US Navy I didn't think I would have enjoyed the long deployments at sea so I went with being a medic for an artillery unit. I loved it but I didn't reenlist. I am confident I would have made a career of the Navy had I been in his command. Ask any member of the service and they will tell you their branch is best. I have too many navy jokes to think of being a swabby but even though the US Marines are the Navy's men's department, I would have still served under Captain Marquet with pride.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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