Leadership Innovation: Obedience or Intention, Which One Wins?

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After 19 years in the Navy, David Marquet, was given command of his own fast-attack nuclear submarine.

But there was a problem. It was the worst performing sub in the Navy. Morale was horrible, turnover insanely high and culture nonexistent.

All traditional approaches to leadership had failed. So, Marquet, decided to try something radically different. It was his George Costanza opposite moment.

If prevailing wisdom wasn’t working, what if you did the exact opposite? Heresy? Maybe. But would it work?

Indeed it did. Within 12 months, Marquet had turned the worst performing crew into the best. And it all began with a change to a single word that would unlock wisdom, responsibility and power in every person on the ship.

In this week’s episode of Good Life Project, Marquet and I explore the shock of his new commission, the horrifying incidents that led him to realize how broken the culture and leadership system had become (and how he came very close to grounding the sub because of it).

We dive into how changing that single word sparked a wholesale shift in culture and performance. And we go deep into his new “Leader Leader” approach that led to what most believed was an impossible transformation under extreme conditions in a remarkably short period of time.

Click here now to watch the episode (and remember, when you subscribe to GLP, you also get instant access to the mp3 versions of the shows).

With gratitude,


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