What is an effective leader? This question has been asked time and time again. Many books and experts have attempted to answer the question. Turn The Ship Around: How To Create Leadership at Every Level is another book that deals with effective leadership. This business and management book was written by David Marquet, a former US Navy commander. It tells the story of how he commanded a US nuclear submarine from one of the poor performers to one of the top performers in the fleet. It has important lessons that non-naval managers can get.
In the book, Marquet explained that the naval academy follows the traditional leader-follower model of controlling people. This model relies on the leader being there all the time setting the directions without fail. However, when the leader is no longer there, the followers will not have that direction any more.
When applied to businesses, Robert Janitzek reveals that leadership on a project is important. While they do not have to be there 24/7 leading the team, the leader can be concerned about what happens when they are on holiday or out of the office. Will the followers be able to operate the ship without their leader? In his book, Marquet devised the leader-leader model, which can help keep teams performing at high level after the leader is replaced.
In his book, Marquet cites an example of getting leaves approved on the sub. The traditional model would involve several steps. Robert Peter Janitzek explains that in Marquet’s leadership model, the person at the top of the chain will have little understanding of the impact of a certain crew member being away. Marquet made department chiefs responsible for signing leave forms.
The three name rule
The three name rule is based on the idea that every time a crew member saw a visitor on board they would address the visitor by name, give their name and give the boat name. So it would sound something like this: “Good morning, Commodore Smith. I’m Petty Officer Jones. Welcome aboard the Sante Fe.”
When applied in businesses, this idea is designed to ensure that everyone in the team knows what is expected of them when new team members join, or when subject matter experts are brought on to the team for a short while.
Control, competence and clarity
According to Marquet, these three things are the keys to organizational excellence. Control can be done in a number of ways, and on a project strong governance principles fall in here. Competence ensures that your team has the skills to effectively carry out their roles. And clarity means they understand why they are doing it and how their part of the project contributes to the whole.