Book Review: “Turn the Ship Around! A True Story of Turning Followers Into Leaders”

Turn the Ship Around!

Fortune magazine called the book the “best how-to manual anywhere for managers on delegating, training, and driving flawless execution.”

About the Author: L. David Marquet

W. Edwards Deming lays out the leadership principles that became known as TQL, or Total Quality Leadership. This had a big effect on me. It showed me how efforts to improve the process made the organization more efficient, while efforts to monitor the process made the organization less efficient. What I hadn’t understood was the pernicious effect that “We are checking up on you” has on initiative, vitality, and passion until I saw it in action on Santa Fe.”

Quotes from “Turn the Ship Around”

“When the performance of a unit goes down after an officer leaves, it is taken as a sign that he was a good leader, not that he was ineffective in training his people properly.”

“Achieve excellence, don’t just avoid errors. Build trust and take care of your people. Use your legacy for inspiration. Use guiding principles for decision criteria.”

“What it does mean is giving them every available tool and advantage to achieve their aims in life, beyond the specifics of the job.”

“Use immediate recognition to reinforce desired behaviors. Begin with the end in mind. Encourage a questioning attitude over blind obedience.”

“Are you content with the reason “Well, mistakes just happen” when it comes to managing your business? We rejected the inevitability of mistakes and came up with a way to reduce them.”

“Excellence was going to be more than a philosophy statement pasted to the bulkhead; it was going to be how we lived, ate, and slept.”

“ACHIEVE EXCELLENCE, DON’T JUST AVOID ERRORS is a mechanism for CLARITY. (The book to read is Simon Sinek’s Start with Why.)”

“CONTINUALLY AND CONSISTENTLY REPEAT THE MESSAGE is a mechanism for COMPETENCE. Repeat the same message day after day, meeting after meeting, event after event.”

Marquet Asks Challenging Questions

“How do you respond when people in your workplace don’t want to change from the way things have always been done?”

“What are some of the costs associated with doing things differently in your industry?”

“Do we act first, and think later? Or do we think first, and then change our actions?”



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