Reading List: Turn the Ship Around!

UPDATED: May 4, 2013
PUBLISHED: May 4, 2013

By L. David Marquet, Captain, U.S. Navy (retired)

Portfolio/Penguin; $25.95

Tasked with taking over command of a nuclear submarine with a lousy reputation and a demoralized crew, Capt. David Marquet rejected the Navy’s entrenched top-down, leader-follower management style for a more inclusive leader-leader model that “not only achieves great improvements in effectiveness and morale but also makes the organization stronger,” he says. He realized he was leading a culture of followers–and that put them in danger. So Marquet knew he had to turn his crew into leaders, each responsible and engaged in their assigned roles. Developed as a diary, Marquet’s account of his decision-making process and the implementation of his new management style is well-written, absorbing, insightful, and offers an intriguing glimpse of life aboard a nuclear submarine. Marquet wisely includes a glossary of technical terms, slang and military jargon. Along with actual pearls of wisdom, Turn the Ship Around!  can be applied to the workplace and is peppered with bulleted lists of questions to consider while tweaking your leadership style. Marquet’s successful makeover of the Santa Fe from bottom to the top in the fleet reveals the determination it takes to be an officer and a gentleman… and an innovative leader.