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David Marquet

Retired US Navy Captain | Expert on Leadership and Organizational Design | Bestselling Author, Turn The Ship Around

David Marquet U.S Navy Speaker
Leaders Help People Feel Safe
David Marquet
Intent Based Leadership
David Marquet
What is Leadership?
David Marquet
David Marquet
David Marquet U.S Navy Speaker
Leaders Help People Feel Safe
David Marquet
Intent Based Leadership
David Marquet
What is Leadership?

Captain David Marquet imagines a workplace where everyone engages and contributes their full intellectual capacity, a place where people are healthier and happier because they have more control over their work — a place where everyone is a leader. His compelling presentations deliver the powerful message that in highly effective organizations, leadership is not for the select few at the top.

A 1981 US Naval Academy graduate, Marquet served in the US submarine force for 28 years. After being assigned to command the nuclear-powered submarine USS Santa Fe — then ranked last in retention and operational standing — he realized the traditional leadership approach of “take control, give orders,” wouldn’t work. He “turned the ship around” by treating the crew as leaders, not followers, and giving control, not taking control. This approach took the Santa Fe from “worst to first,” achieving the highest retention and operational standings in the navy. It also created more subsequent leaders than any other submarine.

An expert on leadership and organizational design, Marquet is the bestselling author of Turn the Ship Around, which was named Fortune magazine’s #1 must-read business book of the year and has been listed as one of the top 12 business books of all time by USA Today. His second book, Leadership is Language, has been featured in the Wall Street Journal’s Top 10 bestselling business books list. It was also named “book of the month” by the Financial Times.  

Marquet retired from the Navy in 2009, and now speaks to those who want to create empowering work environments that release the passion, initiative, and intellect of each person. His bold and highly effective framework is summarized as “give control, create leaders.” He was named one of the top 100 leadership speakers by Inc. magazine.

Marquet is a life member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and in 2015 was named to the American Management Association’s “Leaders to Watch” list.

Speaking topics

Presentations listed below include in-person and virtual keynotes, as well as workshops, fireside chats, and other presentation formats.

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Client reviews

  • David’s message on turning followers into leaders makes so much sense for both the individual employee as well as organizational development! His principles and methodology are extremely practical and urgently relevant for immediate and future organizational success and sustainability. In the six years of planning and implementing the University-wide Conference, I have never heard such a robust, rousing and extended round of applause for a keynote speaker as was generated for David!!!

  • Things went absolutely terrific with David. He was very gracious, great on podium, and very kind to stay for a while and talk to our guests / sign books. Word of mouth was extremely positive – I think we were right to have him close out the afternoon and bring that energy that people brought to our networking reception and into the next morning. Averaging out the Likert scale we used for people surveyed, he received a 4.85 / 5, which is very, very good.

  • Fantastic 1/2 day seminar Friday morning. My team really got a lot out of it and David was very effective! Thank you both for continuing to bring tremendous value to management teams throughout the valley.

  • David’s 1/2 day seminar was “a wildly successful event for the Chamber, and the feedback from attendees has been overwhelmingly positive.

  • Captured our key messages….We are using his “intend to” and “no they” guidelines for empowering our people to lead. Our HR head loves the “no they” example in resolving employee issues.”

  • To say I’m a fan of David Marquet would be an understatement. I’m a fully-fledged groupie. He is the kind of leader who comes around only once in a generation. He is the kind of leader who 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.

  • I wanted to thank you for your presentation to our managers at Veterans United Home Loans the other day. I’ve heard nothing but fantastic feedback. Every manager I’ve asked has said they loved listening to you and learned so much. I agree, it was amazing for me as well. Your message seemed to fit right in to the way we do things here at Veterans United Home Loans, even though generally, leadership messages from the outside don’t mix real well with ours. It was right on point, and actionable stuff for our folks. Thanks again!

  • I just want to say “thank you” for the time you spent with us today. Your speech and answers you gave to the team are simply fantastic! Already multiple members in the team came told me that they are really motivated. I will review the framework you sent to me with my team in coming weeks and discuss where we could apply the concepts/mechanism to create leaders at every level. Really appreciate your guidance and mentoring along the way.

  • David Marquet’s presentation on leadership at our Communicators’ Symposium was a wonderful addition to the event. His concepts were well-received by conferees, particularly those from outside the military who are not as frequently offered leader education opportunities. Discussions were animated and reactions were enthusiastic. David’s cutting edge ideas promise to effect positive cultural change across both private sector and governmental organizations.

  • David Marquet’s message aligned with our program themes. His easy delivery and ability to connect with the audience were appreciated by all. We have already ordered books for another team here who are looking to learn more about his LEADER-LEADER approach.

  • David was an excellent speaker who I would highly recommend to any group, organization and company open to changing the leadership paradigm in their environment! One of the Sr managers in attendance was so impacted he purchased 15 of David’s books for his leadership team to read and collectively begin looking at ways to implement aspects of his practices into the way they do business and operate.

  • David Marquet is a powerful speaker displaying the unique ability to bring his understandable and thought provoking ideas about leadership to a diverse group. During the presentation, the group was captivated. He researched our company and geared his message, including examples, so that our staff found it easy to relate to.

    I highly recommend reading David’s book as I believe this is how our future leadership will look. Participating in one of his presentations will leave you energized and eager to start implementing his methods immediately.

  • I had the great fortune of spending quality time with David and seeing first hand his passion, commitment and mentorship. He is an incredibly quick study, has a unique way of seeing the whole picture no matter how complex and he manages to affirm each person while holding them accountable. I highly recommend David Marquet and his book Turn The Ship Around!

  • David Marquet was a huge hit.  Smart, funny, self-deprecating, gave specifics, etc.  Multiple questions.  Standing O. Signed 80 plus books after.  He was perfect!

  • Stirring to say the least.  What a breath of fresh air.  Innovative new leadership methods that have been proven in the crucible of a demanding military combat unit, expertly delivered by one of the rising new voices on how to inspire and lead people to be their very best, unlock their full potential, and most importantly to develop them into innovative and confident leaders themselves.   Incredibly fortunate timing as our institution was in a turbulent time of recovery following an unplanned and significant change in leadership.  While Captain Marquet has departed, his ideas most certainly have not and will play a prominent role as we re-organize ourselves going forward.  The only real question for us is, not if ,but how soon he can return to help us through the next and subsequent phases on the road to institutional leadership excellence.

  • David Marquet knocked it out of the park for us at our Fortune Leadership Summit a couple weeks ago – standing ovation (only 4 in the 12 year history of the Summits) and highest Net Promoter Score to date – 90.4!

  • [David Marquet] had the highest rated session during our conference.

  • Most favorited speaker at the Copenhagen Happiness at Work conference 2016.

  • We received rave reviews on David’s talk from our people and customers.

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