Hear (but don’t see) David Marquet, former submarine Captain and author of ‘Turn the Ship Around‘ explain how he used mission command and genuine empowerment (he calls it ‘intent based leadership’) to turn around the way his submarine worked.
David was posted to a submarine of a different type to the one he knew how to run. So he had to let his subordinates make all the decisions – every one apart the release of weapons. In this talk you can even pick out some of the Army Leadership Code: encourage people to think and strive to create team goals through use of intent (or vision).
We have a view that the leader has to make decisions, have the best ideas, be everywhere and be in charge. David suggests the opposite.
- If everyone makes the decisions and all you do is set the intent, will you get recognised as a good leader? How will this affect your SJAR or OJAR? Do you care? Harry S Truman: “It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.”
- If you allow everyone to make decisions, some of them will be worse than the decisions you would have made. Do you let everyone make every decisions? Which decisions do you hold? How do you let your followers know which is which?
- If you engender thinking and create empowerment, what are the risks? If you fail and go back to the old ways, is that a bigger risk?
- David suggests that you ask ‘Is it militarily safe?’ and ‘Is it in line with my intent?’ and that’s enough. Is it really? What other factors will you have to think about? If it takes a year to really work, how many failures can you accept?
- Would you like a boss who operated like this? Would you grow and learn? Do you do this?
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