If you can’t see the above video, you can find it here on YouTube. Like all TedX talks, it is 12 minutes long.
The military is the penultimate example of top down leadership. After all, lives are at risk. There is no room for error. David Marquet, a retired Navy Captain, took exception to that notion when he became the commander of a nuclear submarine, the USS Santa Fe. His book, Turn the Ship Around, is the story of how he did this. You can buy the book here on Amazon.
The primary tenet of his work is that the Navy’s use of a Leader – Follower model of leadership (the same one most business use) is inherently inefficient and less productive than an alternate model, which he implemented – called Leader – Leader.
Marquet provides detailed descriptions of processes you can implement in your own company to enable leadership thinking at all levels of your company. They are contained within the overall framework of -
- Use guiding principles to enhance clarity
- Repeat the message continuously and consistently
- Eliminate top-down monitoring systems
- Begin with the end in mind
Like so many things we read about, they are easy to understand but sometimes difficult to do. Difficult because they require change and letting go of the old way of running your company with you making all decisions and everyone else doing what you say. Even the best of my EOS clients take awhile to achieve point #3.