Turn the Ship Around! by L. David Marquet

Published January 28, 2022

Turn the Ship Around! by L. David Marquet

Book info

  • Title Turn the Ship Around!
  • Author L. David Marquet
  • Year 2013
  • Genre Business

Captain David Marquet was used to giving orders. In the high-stress environment of the USS Santa Fe, a nuclear-powered submarine, it was crucial his men did their job well. But the ship was dogged by poor morale, poor performance and the worst retention in the fleet. One day, Marquet unknowingly gave an impossible order, and his crew tried to follow it anyway. He realized he was leading in a culture of followers, so he upended the traditional leadership model and put control in the hands of his crew. Before long, his team became fully engaged and the Santa Fe skyrocketed from worst to first in the fleet.


I bought this, obviously, because of the submarine connection - submarines have fascinated me for a long time now, that claustrophobic and tense bullet of steel travelling under the sea to either cause chaos or mitigate the threat of others. The book was actually about leadership, with the author using examples from his time as captain of a poorly-performing submarine and how he turned things around.

It’s about a new model of leadership, giving control to the people and guiding in as hands-off a way as possible. It’s very readable, not too preachy, and I think I learned a thing or two along the way! Plus submarines!

Rating: 4 / 5

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