Prior to the global COVID-19 pandemic, I talked with L. David Marquet, a top graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, and commander of the nuclear-powered fast-attack submarine USS Santa Fe from 1999 to 2001. As commander, he transformed the sub from “worst to first,” and achieved the highest retention and operational standings in the navy.
In this interview, David discussed his realisation that the traditional leadership approach of “take control, give orders,” wouldn’t work. He “turned his ship around” by treating the crew as leaders, not followers, and giving control, not taking control.