This week, I finished Turn the Ship Around! by David Marquet. It was probably one of my favorite Leadership books thus far. And below, I would like to share 3 of my favorite takeaways:
1. "I intend to" - Marquet talks a lot about creating a Leader-Leader culture as opposed to a Leader-Follower one. Before his command, officers used to ask permission to do things, or even worse yet, wait for orders to do something. To try and empower his crew and get them to be more proactive, he implemented the "I intend to" language. Thus, officers instead would come up to him and say "Captain, I intend to..." This small action made all the difference. It created ownership and a feeling of empowerment. This also resulted in more engagement and overall better morale. I think this has several applications, not only in the workplace but also at home. If done carefully, I think it would be a great way for parents to empower their children. Obviously, you still need to make sure the individual has the knowledge and skills they need as well as clarity on the overall goal, but the potential is real if done right.
2. Think Out Loud - I have benefited from this one first hand. Too often leaders take action and given directives without explaining to others their thought process. I think we often assume a position of defensiveness when asked to share how we got to a conclusion, but Marquet explained how sharing his thought process aloud to his crew actually helped prepare them to be future leaders. It also increased communication in general and prevented him from asking crew members unnecessary questions. With this method, many of the questions he would ask were already answered before he had to ask them. Again, this has great application in business and at home. At work, it has been invaluable to me to have our leaders think out loud. It helps me understand all the things they have to consider when making a decision. Often this included considerations I had no idea needed to be considered because I was not at that level yet in my career. It has been invaluable and a big reason I believe for how and why I have been able to get multiple promotions. It helps me understand the bigger picture and the strategy behind what we are doing, and it gets me to start thinking that way about issues before I even bring them up the chain of command. It benefits everyone if those lenses have been applied to problems early on, and the only way we would know about those lenses is if our top leaders share what is in their heads. I have been thinking that it could also have great application at home with my daughter. If I can think out loud and explain what I'm doing and why I am doing it, I think it will help with her overall development and critical thinking skills.
3. Deliberate Action - This one was interesting to me. Marquet mentioned how many times we go on auto-pilot or if we're tired or actually going too fast, we make mistakes and do things that we theoretically and in hindsight know are wrong. So the Captain implemented Deliberate Action which included pausing before taking action and saying out loud what you intended to do. It might seem silly but it prevented a lot of mistakes. Marquet's crew garnered the highest inspection ratings ever given, and the inspectors said his crew members tried to commit just as many errors as other crews, BUT because of Deliberate Action, other crew members were able to stop and prevent their colleagues from making these mistakes. By pausing and saying their intent out loud, others were able to chime in, when on other submarines, the crew member would have already acted and the error done. I think of when I'm cooking or working on an intense project. Sometimes I think I do talk to myself, like repeating the directions out loud before I do it. It does help me perform the task better though.
Hope you enjoyed this week's takeaways. Obviously the original book does a much better job of fully explaining these concepts and in context. I hope these little blurbs inspire you to read or listen to the original works, but if not, then these posts are also perfect. It's like when I attend book clubs where I haven't read the book. I still gain a great deal from the conversations, which leaves me in a much better place than not going to the book club or reading the book at all.
Until my next Book Club With Raina, cheers!
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