On Monday, I got up super early and headed into the city for a talk on leadership by David Marquet. David is the author of Turn the Ship Around!: A True Story of Turning Followers into Leaders. I heard about David’s book a few months earlier from some friends who work at ansarada. Their CEO Sam is such a believer in the principles from the book that he bought a copy for everyone there and arranged for the author to come to Sydney to spend time with them! And fortunately enough for me, I was one of only a few outsiders to score a ticket. It wasn’t filmed, but you can get a pretty good overview from watching this video:

I’d read most of the book the week before, so nothing David said on the day was brand new for me. But it was great to hear his stories in person. I took some notes in Evernote if you’re interested…

Submariners are geeks 🙂

If your leadership was right for the past, it’s wrong for the future

The Industrial Revolution was all about reducing variability

  • …including boardrooms, leadership, the way we talk
  • Constrained thinking.

* Of 135 on sub, only 15 have college degrees!

The leader saying “I don’t know” makes it okay to ask questions

In a fear-based environment, bias is towards inactivity, avoiding decisions

“I intend to…”

Goal is to get to Know All, Tell Not. (Technical competence but still getting team to make decisions.

When hiring/recruiting:

  • Look for victim language – How much control do they evince in their life?
  • Do they have a growth mindset?

Assessing risk of letting employee take control when you disagree with decision – is outcome going to be “above the water” or “below the water”? (Below sinks the ship.)

In the future, leaders will get people to THINK rather than do

Don’t brief – certify

  • The people doing the jobs tell what they’re going to do
  • The group makes a decision
  • Relies on management making sure everybody knows what the plan is

Look for legacy practices that constrain variability and keep us from thinking

Covey’s Ladder of Leadership

Added 7. I’ve been doing…

Leaders should make people feel safe – not stressed

Teams use “we” not “they”

Weasel words: Effectively, operationally…