Turn the Ship Around!: A True Story of Turning Followers into Leaders by L. David Marquet
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This book was presented in a very easy to read way. Showing how the leadership model can work in quite a challenging environment. The book lists a lot of questions which are useful and worth thinking about. These are:
- Why do we need empowerment?
- Do you need someone to empower you?
- How reliant is your organisation on the decision making of one or a small group of people?
- What kind of leadership model does your organisation use?
- In your organisation, are people rewarded for what happens after people leave?
- Are they rewarded for the success of their people?
- Do people want to be “missed” after they leave?
- When an organisation does worse after someone leaves, what does it say about this persons leadership? what does this say about the organisation?
- How does the perspective of time horizon affect our leadership actions?
- What can we do to incentivise long-term thinking?
- What are you willing to personally risk? (Sometimes taking a step for the better requires caring/not caring. Caring deeply about the people and the mission, but not caring about the bureaucratic consequences to your personal career)
- What must leaders overcome mentally and emotionally to give up control yet retain full responsibility?
- What;s the hardest thing you experience in letting go of micromanaging, top-down leadership, or the cult of personality?
- How can you get your project team interacting differently but still use the same resource?
- What can you, as a subordinate, do to get your boss to let you try new ways of handling a project?
- Do you give employees specific goals as well as the freedom to meet them in any way they choose?
- Do you have to be the smartest person in your organisation?
- To what degree does technical competence form the basis for leadership?
- Is that technical competence a personal competence or an organisational competence?
- How do you know what is going on “at the deck plate” in your organisation?
- Is there a call to action in your organisation?
- Do people want to change, or are they comfortable with the current level of performance?
- Are things too comfortable?
- Is there a feeling of complacency?
- Do people take action to protect themselves or to make the outcome better? Does leadership in your organisation take control or give control?
- Why is doing what you are told appealing to some?
- Do people really just want to do as they are told?
- If a snapshot of your bussiness went viral on the Internet, what would it reveal about your workers?
- Do your procedures reinforce the leader-follower model?
- Are your people trying to achieve excellence or just avoid making mistakes?
- Has your organisation become action-adverse because taking action sometimes results in errors?
- Have you let error-reduction programs sap the lifeblood out of initiatives and risk taking?
- Do you spend more time critiquing errors than celebrating success?
- Are you able to identify the symptoms of avoiding errors in your workplace?
- When you ask people what their jobs are, do they answer in terms of reducing errors?
- When you investigate the criteria that went behind decisions, do you find that avoidance of negative outcomes far outweighs the accomplishing positive outcomes?
- What is the primary motivation of the middle manager and rank an file?
- How can you minimise errors but not make that the focus for the organisation?
- How can you prepare your mid-level managers to shift from holding a “position of privilege” to one of “accountability, responsibility, and work”?
- What procedure or process can you change with one word that will give your mid-level managers more decision-making authority?
- When thinking about delegating control, what do you worry about?
- What do you as a proponent of the leader-leader approach need to delegate to show you are willing to walk the talk?
- How do you respond when people in your workplace don’t want to change from the way things have always been done?
- What are some of the costs associated with doing things differently in your industry?
- Do we act first, and think later? Or do we think first, then change our actions?
- How would you counter any reluctance on the part of your team to have early, quick discussions with you, the boss, to make sure projects are on course?
- To what degree is trust present in your organisation?
- Is your staff spending time and money creating flawless charts and reports that are, simultaneously, irrelevant?
- What can you do in your organisation to add “a little rudder far from the rocks” to prevent needing “a lot of rudder next to the rocks”?
- What commonplace facts can you leverage to make information more valuable and accessible to your employees?
- Have you eve uncovered a “reason why” akin to being a random decision?
- What causes us to take control when we should be giving control?
- Can you recall a recent incident where your subordinate followed your order because he or she thought they learned the secret information “for executives only”?
- What would be the most challenging obstacle to implementing “I intend to …” in your place of bussiness?
- Could your mid-level managers think though and defend their plan of action for the companies next big project?
- How deeply is the top-down, leader-follower structure ingrained in how your bussiness operates?
- Do you recognise situations in which you need to resist the urge to provide solutions?
- When problems occur, do you immediately think you just need to manage everything more carefully?
- What can you do at your next meeting with senior staff to create a space for open decisions making by the entire team?
- Are you underutilising the ideas, creativity, and passion of your mid-level managers who want to be responsible for their department’s work product?
- Can you push tasks to a lower level rather than having high level demands for things to be done?
- How many top-down monitoring systems are in play within your organisation? How can they be eliminated?
- Do you ever walk around your facility listening solely to what is being communicated through informal language?
- How comfortable are people in your organisation with talking about their hunches and their gut feelings?
- How can you create an environment in which mean and women freely express their uncertainties and fears as well as their innovative ideas and hopes?
- Are you willing to let your staff see that your lack of certainty is strength and certainty?
- To what degree does trust factor in the above?
- How do you use outside groups, the public, social media comments, and government audits to improve your organisation?
- What is the cost of being open about problems in your organisation and what are the benefits?
- How can you leverage the knowledge of those inspectors to make your team smarter?
- How can you improve your team’s cooperation with those inspectors?
- How can you “use” the inspectors to help your organisation?
- How do you react when an employee admits to doing something on autopilot, without deliberately thinking about the actions or its consequences?
- Do you think that by implementing a system of taking deliberate action you can eliminate errors in your company, or within certain departments in your company?
- Will employees in your workplace revert to acting hastily and automatically in a real-life situation?
- How effectively do you learn from mistakes?
- Are you aware of which areas in your bussiness are marred by mistakes because the lower-level employees don’t have enough technical competence to make good decisions?
- Ho could you implement a “we learn” policy among your junior and senior staff?
- Would you consider writing a creed for your organisation?
- Are people eager to go to training?
- How do you shift responsibilities for performance from the briefer to the participants?
- How much preparation do people do prior to an event or operations?
- When was the last time you had a briefing on a project?
- What would it take to start certifying that your project team know what the goals are and how they are to contribute to them?
- Are you ready yo assume more responsibility within the leader-leader model to identify what near-term events will be accomplished and the role each team member will fulfil?
- Are there employees who are going to quit because they are overworked and underappreciated?
- When is it right for the leader to overturn protocol in the effort to rescue a single stressed-out subordinate?
- What message do you need to keep repeating in your bussiness to make sure your management team doesn’t take carer of themselves first, to the neglect of their team?
- Have your processes become the master rather than the servant?
- How can you ensure adherence to procedure while at the same time ensuring that accomplishing the objectives remains foremost in everyone’s mind?
- Have you reviewed your operations manual lately to replace general terminology with clear, concise, specific directions?
- Are your staff complying with procedures to the neglect of accomplishing the companies overall objectives?
- What would you and your team like to accomplish?
- How can you, as a leader, help your people accomplish it?
- Are you doing everything you can to make tools available to your employees to achieve both professional and personal goals?
- Are you unintentionally protecting people from the consequences of their own behaviour?
- What is the legacy of your organisation?
- How does that legacy shed light on your organisations purpose?
- What kind of actions can you take to bring this legacy alive for individuals in your organisation?
- How can you simplify your guiding principles so that everyone in your organisation understands them?
- How will you communicate your principles to others?
- Are your guiding principles reference in evaluations and performance awards?
- Are your guiding principles useful to employees as decision-making criteria?
- Do your guiding principles serve as decision-making criteria for your people?
- Do you know your own guiding principles? Do others know them?
- Do you have a recognition and rewards system in place that allows you to immediately applaud top performers?
- How can you create scoring systems that immediately reward employees for the behaviours you want?
- Have you seen evidence of “gamification” in your workplace?
- For how far in the future are you optimising your organisation?
- Are you mentoring solely to instruct or also to learn?
- Will you know if you’ve accomplished your organisational and personal goals?
- Are you measuring the things you need to be?
- Have you assigned a team to write up the companies goals three to five years out?
- What will it take to redesign your management team’s schedule so you can mentor one another?
- How can you reward staff members who attain their measurable goals?
- How do we create resilient organisations where errors are stopped as opposed to propagating through the system?
- Will your people follow and order that isn’t correct?
- Do you want obedience or effectiveness?
- Have you built a culture that embraces a questioning attitude?
|Don’t do this||Do this|
|Take control||Give control|
|Give orders||Avoid giving orders|
|When you give orders, be confident, unambiguous, and resolute||When you do give orders, leave room for questionning|
|Have meetings||Have conversations|
|Have a mentor-mentee program||Have a mentor-mentor program|
|Focus on technology||Focus on people|
|Think short-term||Think long-term|
|Want to be missed after you depart||Want not to be missed after you depart|
|Have high-repetition, low quality training||Have low-repetition, high quality training|
|Limit communication to terse, succinct, formal orders||Augment orders with rich, contextual, informal communications|
|Be questionning||Be curious|
|Make inefficient processes efficient||Eliminate entire steps and processes that don’t add value|
|Increase monitor and inspection points||Reduce monitoring and inspection points|
|Protect information||Pass information|