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.
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 — that then ranked last in retention and operational standing — he realized the traditional leadership approach of “take control, give orders,” wouldn’t work. He “turned his 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.
After Marquet’s departure from the ship, the Santa Fe continued to win awards and promoted a disproportionate number of officers and enlisted men to leadership positions, including ten subsequent submarine captains. Having visited Marquet’s ship, Stephen R. Covey said it was the most empowering organization he’d ever seen and wrote about Marquet’s leadership practices in his book, The 8th Habit.
A student of leadership and organizational design, Marquet is the author of the Amazon #1 bestseller, Turn the Ship Around!, and The Turn the Ship Around Workbook. Fortune magazine called the book the “best how-to manual anywhere for managers on delegating, training, and driving flawless execution.” Marquet’s new book, Leadership is Language will be released in February 2020.
Marquet retired from the Navy in 2009, and 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.