Summary of Turn the Ship Around!

A True Story of Turning Followers into Leaders

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Turn the Ship Around! book summary
How a US nuclear sub commander motivates employees, shares responsibility and builds excellence.


8 Overall

9 Applicability

8 Innovation

7 Style


The US Navy operates with a traditional “leader-follower” management structure. Corporations call this command and control. In the Navy, officers make decisions and enlisted personnel carry them out. This structure is a tremendous source of frustration and inefficiency while giving leaders the illusion they are “in charge.” These limitations were at a breaking point aboard the USS Santa Fe – once the worst performing nuclear submarine in the US fleet. In 1999, Commander L. David Marquet assumed command of the Santa Fe and developed an innovative management system known as “leader-leader.” This transformed the Santa Fe into a top-performing sub. Marquet explains how to implement leader-leader and how to use his “deliberate action” and “I intend to” management strategies. getAbstract recommends his hard-earned, applicable lessons to executives, HR managers, entrepreneurs, business students and professors, and anyone at sea.

In this summary, you will learn

  • How “leader-follower” systems disempower followers,
  • Why the “leader-leader” system works, and
  • How to use the “I intend to” and “deliberate action” strategies.


How Bosses Kill Motivation
Most people are enthusiastic when they begin new jobs. They have innovative ideas and suggestions to share with their supervisors. But most inadvertently shut down their new employees pretty quickly, telling them to be “team players” and follow instructions. ...
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About the Author

A 1981 US Naval Academy graduate, L. David Marquet served in the US submarine force for 28 years. He is the former captain of the USS Santa Fe and a highly requested global keynote speaker.

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