L. David Marquet: “Turn the Ship Around” | Talks at Google

L. David Marquet: “Turn the Ship Around” | Talks at Google


[MUSIC PLAYING] THERON TINGSTAD:
Hello, everybody. Welcome to Talks at Google. We’ve got an incredible
speaker today. I’d like to introduce
Captain David Marquet. Captain Marquet is
best known for his work that he did with
the USS Santa Fe, where he took that nuclear
powered submarine from worst to first. And it ended up generating
the most leaders that the Navy has ever seen
out of the submarine program. He’s going to share
some of his insights today of what he has learned
over his time in the Navy. How he has an alternative
take on leadership. And he shares these
insights with companies around the world. And I think we’re
very lucky today to have him here at Google. He’s documented a
lot of his story and his insights in the
book, “Turn the Ship Around– A True Story of Turning
Followers into Leaders.” So without further
ado, Captain Marquet. DAVID MARQUET: Thank you. Thank you. [APPLAUSE] Thanks! It’s great to be here. So thanks a lot,
thanks for having me. Yeah, we advertise the
book on AdWords a lot. Sell a bunch. So what does having to run a
nuclear submarine have anything to do with working
here at Google? Well, hopefully by the
end of this session, you’ll have some connections. What I want to talk today about
are seven myths of leadership, seven things that
I thought I was dead sure I knew about
leadership, which I now think are actually unhelpful
or just basically wrong. So here we are with the
crew on the submarine. Submarines spend most of
their time underwater. And even when the submarine is
on the surface, most of it’s underwater, like an iceberg. But here, the
submarine’s in dry dock. There’s a crew of about 135,
the average age is 27 years old. So it’s probably not
much different than what we have here. These are the officers. These are the only guys
with college degrees. Then the technicians,
the blue shirts, are the guys who
do all the work. And then over here,
these are the chiefs, so they’ve been technicians. They did a good job,
they got promoted. They’ve been in the
Navy for 6, 8, 10 years. We promote them,
we let them wear the same brown, highly
fashionable brown uniform that the officers wear. And we turn them into leaders. We say they’re leaders. So there’s not a lot
of room on a submarine, because we’re going to
put all these people inside the submarine and
most of the submarine is taken up by equipment. So there’s not a lot
of exercise space. So for example, one
of the things we do is we take a SEAL
team, and we have to deliver them to wherever
they’re going to do. Any SEALs out here,
Special Forces people? I know I’ve got at
least one Marine. OK, so these SEALs are
super fit individuals. They in the gym all the time. But there’s no gym
on a submarine, so their bodies deteriorate
every passing day. So the Navy says, you can’t
bring these SEALs on board until the very last minute,
because the submarine is a toxic environment for
these elite individuals, these elite athletes. Now this was always
troublesome for me, because we’d live
there for 180 days. No one cared about that! So here’s what happens. They say, we’ve got to
pick up a SEAL team. So we take the submarine
away from the shoreline. We surface it, which
we don’t like to do. It puts us in a
vulnerable position. And we want to be there as
short a time as possible. Then the helicopter shows
up with the SEAL team. They’re going to
come down this rope. These guys in orange, this
is the submarine crew. I’m up here, in charge
of this deal, right? And then we’ve got to find
some young guy to go back here and hold on to this rope. Because it’s important to
tether the rope at the bottom. SEAL team comes
down one at a time. Now this young man, in my
case there were all men. We now have women on submarines,
which I think is great. But this young man has got to
make a bunch of snap decisions. Because we’re moving together. And if the helicopter hovers
and it starts moving away, do I let go of the rope,
do I hold on to the rope. A wave comes, could
knock someone overboard. And this person is going to
make a bunch of decisions. They’ve got a helicopter
hovering right over their head. [MAKING HELICOPTER SOUNDS] Even if they had time,
no one can hear him. What do you want
me to do about– [MAKING HELICOPTER SOUNDS] And he couldn’t
hear the response. So for this to be
successful, we need to train a team
that needs to know what they need to do and make
decisions without being told. Without being told
and oh, by the way, this is my view from
up there on the bridge. I can’t even see
what’s going on. And we think oh, when I get
into the moment of crisis, when the disruption comes, we’re
going to really want to win, and we’re going to
win because we really want to win has nothing
to do with winning. It’s are you willing
to do the hard work before you get to here. Have you created a team
that when this happens, you don’t need to
tell them what to do. That’s going to determine
success in this event. But this picture I think is
exactly relevant for you guys. Exactly relevant, because you
can walk down the hallway, you can stand
behind an engineer, you can stand behind one of
the people, one of the sales people. And you can watch them, move
the mouse right, move it left, click enter, closed bracket. We get a sense, oh,
I can control it. But for the most
important things that you all bring to
work with every day, which is your creativity and your
passion, it’s just like this. It’s invisible. And the degree to which we
go out there and try and tell people what to do, we’re
just throwing cold water on that spark that comes
inside of every human being to do this. We’re throwing cold
water on their passion. This is a hard lesson
that I learned. Because for me,
leadership was all about telling people what
to do for a long time. Seven myths of leadership,
what is leadership? Now I hope to have this be
a little bit interactive. I know we’re broadcasting it,
so everyone can participate, including the remote people. Hopefully you have phones. And we’re going to go to this
website called P-O-L-L-E-V. And I’ve got about half a
dozen of these throughout the presentation, just to get
a sense of what we all think here, or any web enabled device
here, like the computers. So go ahead and type this in. P-O-L-L-E-V.com/intent. And I’m going to bring
up the first question. Here’s a warm up question. All right, good,
we’re getting there. OK, so you see it right up
here, P-O-L-L-E-V.com/intent. What’s your hometown? What city did you grow up in? Good. Good, good, good. I figured you guys at Google
would figure this out. [LAUGHTER] I have some audiences
that need a little help. Let’s see. I’m guess Anarbor. Don’t put a space in it. It treats every word
like a separate response. Now we’re building a word
cloud, which I know you’ve seen. The idea is the more people type
in the same word, the bigger that particular word gets. So we see Detroit, which makes
sense, I’m here in Anarbor. Anarbor, Chicago, Dunes,
Ogden, Boston, Burlington. Da Nang, I saw. Johannesberg,
Pittsburgh, Lambertville. All right, so that’s great. We got that. That’s our warm up question. Now I’m going to ask you
a very serious question, serious question. And I’d like you to take a stand
here, one side or the other. If you had to, which
is, business value here at Google,
more business value be created either A, people
independently thinking, or B, better at doing
what they’re told. So we’re gonna get a
bunch of results here and then we’ll go ahead
and expose the results. OK. You guys are pretty far over
on the displaying independent thinking. That’s good, because that’s
what this whole talk is about. Creating a team that displays
independent thinking. Now it didn’t used
to be like this. For your parents, grandparents,
great, great grandparents, work used to look like this for
the last several hundred years of our human existence. We’ve come through this
thing called the Industrial Revolution. And work during the
Industrial Revolution was what we called for
most people neck down. It’s what I do with my hands. This is a radio factory
outside of Philadelphia just before World War II. These people are
hired for what’s happening here with their hands,
not what’s happening up here. One person in the
back of the factory has done the thinking and the
deciding for these people, and these people are
all in the doing part. And it turns out that this
legacy of work is an anchor. Because the language
and the structure that we use for
our organizations still, in many ways,
hearken back to this legacy. So when we say we come
to work and do our jobs, like the fact that
we even say we come to work and do our
jobs, because most of you actually don’t do anything. Like you think your
jobs, I would say, right? But we don’t say, because
that sounds weird. But that’s because this has
influenced the way we talk. And so that’s influencing
our behaviors. And schools were
designed to create people who were
comfortable going into environments like that. So the schools were about
conformity and compliance. Now this group of sad people is
the 1977 Concord-Carlisle High School math team. And this is me. I was a mathlete. [LAUGHTER] Yeah, I have some weird– I can’t even look at the camera. I have weird social issues. Any mathletes out there? Yes? All right! Thanks for– good! Yes! I knew Google would have at
least a couple brave people. So I was in the math
team and the chess team and I was in the computer club. And my high school was one
of a few public high schools. We got our computers
back in 1976. It was this big machine. And we fed in these
tapes, this pink tape that was punched holes in it. And we had the computer
do amazing things, like count to 10 and
calculate square roots. And you’d feed the
tape in in the evening, and you’d push play. You’d watch it– [MAKING WORKING SOUND] And then you’d go home and you’d
come back the next morning, and find like it
hung two minutes after you left and you’d
have to start over again. And that was me in high school. And it was the 70s, and
we were in this tough time in the country. I felt I wanted to do
something about that. If you’re a geeky
introverted kid, so for me I wanted to go in the military. I had no military
in my family, but I was like, I’m going to
be a submarine commander. Like, why? I don’t know. It popped in my head. I think it was because
if you’re an introvert and you want to go
in the military, it’s where you can hide. So I set myself down that path. And you know what? It actually happened. So here’s my book. Now remember, as a geek, I
took my studies very seriously. Here’s my leadership book
from the United States Naval Academy. Here is what it says. Leadership can be defined as
directing the thoughts, plans, and actions of others, so
as to obtain and command their obedience, their
confidence, their respect, and their loyal cooperation. Now what do you think of that? I want you to just
talk to your neighbor for 30 seconds about this. How would it feel to
work in this environment. Then we’re gonna have
a short conversation. Then we’re gonna keep going. Go. OK, five, four, three, two, one. Does anyone have any
words that kind of come to mind to describe this? I’ll repeat them. Just shout them out. Micromanage, good. Rigid. Prescriptive. Dead weight loss. Intimidating. Tell me more about intimidating. Scary, don’t mess up, right. It’s a fear based environment. Very good, what else? So this is predicated
on the assumption that first of all, the
leader knows all the answers. And your job is just to show
up and do what you’re told. Then we say, well
where’s your passion? Where’s your engagement? Do you guys do these
employee engagement surveys? You do? Yeah, OK. I’m not engaged. You made me feel this way! So we’re going to fix this. I call it know all,
tell all leadership. And one of the questions
that I’m gonna leave you with is where here in
this quadrant do you want to operate as a leader. I thought it was
know all, tell all. Leader knows all the answers,
gives all the orders. That was the best place
you could be as a leader. I got ordered to be the
captain of the USS Olympia 17 years after I graduated
from the Naval Academy. I was super excited about it. The Navy took me out of
my job and they sent me to school for 12 months so I
could learn every single detail of this ship. It’d be like having
the CEO come in here and stand behind your
desk and fix your code. Freaky. Anyway, there was another
submarine, the USS Santa Fe. And the Santa Fe was
the Enron of submarines. The Santa Fe was a
submarine where you see that picture of sailors? Every year, a quarter of them
come and a quarter leave. And then when they leave,
so that’s about 35 people, they say, hey, how was
your Navy experience? Would you like to stay in? Three of them said yes. That’s how bad it was. And the captain on the
Santa Fe was supposed to be there for another year. So we were all like
oh, who’s gonna get the poor job of being
the Santa Fe’s captain. Because it was a year
ahead of time and that’s when the Navy
announced the captain. But you know what? He quit early, and
they said well, we can’t have a sumbarine
without a captain, so Marquet, Santa Fe. That was my oh, sugar moment. Because now I’m about
to be a know not leader. Because the problem wasn’t the
bad morale and [INAUDIBLE].. The problem was the Santa Fe was
a totally different submarine, one of the newest
submarines in the fleet. So my question here is. Because I’m going to
take over a broken team. And my question is, and
this is quoting some work that you guys have
done here at Google is, what’s the most
important determinant of team performance? Who’s on the team,
what positions they’re in, or how
the team interacts. So let’s see if you guys read
your own, eat your own dog food on this one. Yes, very good. Exactly. And it turned out for me,
I didn’t know any of this. Because Google wasn’t
even invented then. But I couldn’t control
who came to the ship. The Navy decided who
came to the ship. And I couldn’t put
change to the provisions. The only thing I could
play with was basically how we talked about
it to each other. That was the only
variable I had. And it turned out, just by
luck, that it turned out to be the most important one. And the other cool
thing about it is it’s the thing that
everybody on the team can do. Everyone participates. Everyone participates. So here I am, I didn’t know
how this was going to work. Because I’d never taken over
a situation where I didn’t basically know all the answers. So my world was turned
upside down here. My hatch would fall off. Down in the sonar room. So there’s no windows
on the submarine. What we learn about in the
outside world, we listen to. You hear and see in the movies
like this pinging, pinging, that sonar? We don’t do any of that pinging. That pinging would give us away. We convert the sound
to these yellow lines. And we analyze it
and we say, oh, that’s a surface ship,
that’s a school of shrimp. That’s a distant oil well. That’s a submarine. And it’s important
to know what’s what. And then we have
all these buttons. And this is how we interact
with our equipment. Now on the Olympia
I would have known how every button dip worked. But on the Santa
Fe, I didn’t know. So I walked down the ship, I
just took over, and I said hey, tell me about your buttons here. And the sailors would be like,
well, this button does this, this button does that. They’re all confident
about what they’re doing. And then there’d by this
button off to the side, like over here. OK, what about this one? I noticed the sailor
would avoid that button, so I knew hey, what
about this one. I forget. That was a no, no. Because they expected
this, well, I’ll tell you. But I didn’t know either. So the first thing was,
oh man, I shouldn’t have asked that question. Because now they’re
all looking at me. And it was very scary. Going into combat for me was not
scary, but this was very scary. I wanted to pretend I
knew, but I couldn’t. First of all, the clock
was ticking in my head. I was finally like,
I don’t know either. But you’re a submarine captain. Yeah, go figure. [LAUGHTER] And I said hey, let’s press
it and see what happens. So I’m going start getting
to some of these myths now. Myth number one, good
leaders know all the answers. Wrong. Fact, good leaders
say I don’t know. I don’t know opens
the door to learning. Even when you know,
it’s helpful, I think, to just say I don’t know,
what do you guys think. For as long as
you think you know and you keep saying
you know stuff, you’re not going to create a
team that’s curious and has a learning mindset. So it’s OK to say you
don’t know something. It’s going to break the
paradigm from the normal know all tell all paradigm. The next thing that happened
had to do with this knob. This is how we control the
speed of the submarine. Now I just took over the worst
performing ship in the fleet. And what we’re going to do
is our favorite exercise, we’re going to shut
down a reactor, and we’re going to run on
an electric backup motor. This is not like a Tesla, right? This is a 300 horsepower
electric motor, but it’s in a 6,000
ton submarine. So this electric motor just
barely pushes the submarine through the water. And there’s two speeds. So what’s happening
is when you’re operating the electric motor
with the reactor shut down, you’re draining the
battery pretty quickly. And there’s a race to
get the reactor started. So here we are,
we’re running on. We’re at 1/3. We shut down the reactors,
the very first drill. I’m standing in
the control room. The officer has been
on the submarine the longest, Bill Green is
his name, is controlling this. And he’s doing the right thing. He’s ahead 1/3,
conserving the battery. Now in every other
submarine I’ve been on, there was two speeds
to this electric motor. But unbeknownst to me, on the
Santa Fe, there’s only one. So I’m thinking,
hey, if we speed up, it’s going to drain
the battery faster, it’s gonna put some
stress on the team. Train harder. And so I suggest, hey,
why don’t we speed up on this electric motor? And he gives the order. But the sailor
sitting at this panel does nothing, actually
kind of goes like this. I said, hey, what’s going on? He says captain, on this
ship, unlike your other ships, it’s just one speed motoring. That was embarrassing. And I thought about
Bill, and I said Bill, do you know about this. And he said, yes, sir I did. Really? Well, riddle me this. Why did you order it? What do you guys think he said? Exactly, because it’s all
about telling people what to do and doing what you’re told. And this was like a
hammer blow to my head. Because my whole
leadership training was about being really good
at telling people what to do. So I said, look,
I’m going to stop telling you guys what to do. I’m gonna stop giving
you guys orders. I’m never going to
give another order as a captain of a submarine. And they were like, OK. No one knew what
that would look like, but it was better than
dying, which is what would have happened eventually. So we say, good leaders give
good orders, that’s the myth. I now think good leaders
actually don’t give orders. They create a team that doesn’t
need to be told what to do. So now I’ve decided not to
give my guys any instructions. I still don’t know
the submarine. So now I’m a know
not, tell not leader. If you’re brand new
to an organization, maybe this is where you need
to live for a few days, weeks, or months. But eventually people
are going to stop paying you for being down here. So it’s not a good
long term strategy. Now the torpedoes,
here’s how they work. First of all, there’s
a long wire that pays out through the ocean. So when we shoot the torpedo, it
connects back to the submarine and it sends signals
back saying, here’s what I’m seeing as I’m out
here looking for the bad guy. And we can steer it. We can say turn
right 20 degrees. Turn left, whatever. We can chase down the enemy. So they’re pretty potent. Then they don’t hit the ship
like you see in the movies. They actually go under,
and then they detonate. And what we’re doing is
blowing a hole in the ocean. Why? Because then the ship
falls into that hole. Breaks in half. And you end up right here. So that’s what sinks the ship. So these torpedoes
are big deals. Here, we’re loading
a torpedo in Japan. Now I was all about
empowering my team. I got on this kick of I’m
not going to give any orders. Like what do you think,
and it was all about that. I was really good about it, in
fact I was really bad about it. Because I did it so well
that we were setting up to do this and they
made a mistake. And before we did
it with the torpedo, we do it with a shape,
a concrete shape, which is the same shape and weight. But it’s inert, and
we end up dropping it. We almost could’ve
killed somebody. And I was really scared, I
was like oh, this is wrong. This is the wrong
way to do business. I need to go back and be
in control of everything. But I talked to my
team and we said, you know what, it’s not that. We’re just missing something. And here’s the model
we came up with. We said, I’ve given
too much control. I was irresponsibly
giving control. And what I really needed to do
was tune the level of control to how much they knew about
their jobs and the clarity of purpose. This is the why that
Simon Sineks talks about. Because if you say,
you get to make a decision on which
customer you call, you could talk, forget the
script, just talk to him. You need to know what
we’re trying to achieve. And so we now say leaders tune. The word is tune. We tune the level of control
and we invite the team to higher and higher levels. So we don’t empower teams. First of all, teams
are already empowered. It’s inside every human being. But what we do is we tune
the empowerment to the levels of competence and control. Otherwise, it’s just
irresponsibility. Now, this is Dr. Stephen Covey. He wrote “7 Habits of Highly
Effective People,” which is an awesome book and
I was a huge Covey fan. And what happened
on the submarine was things started going
really, really well. Every single sailor
in the next 12 months re-enlisted, 35 out of 35. And we were evaluated
by the Navy, and the crew of the Santa
Fe got the highest score in the history of
the inspection team. They never had records
that had a higher score. And everyone was
really confused. How did that crew that
was so bad get so good? And the rest of the Navy
thought I was just giving some really great orders. My peers would call me
and say, congratulations, you must be making some
really good orders. I’d just be like, I’m actually
trying this new thing. I’m not giving orders, not
telling them what to do. They’re like, what? Like, yeah, nevermind. Because from their paradigm,
it just didn’t work. But what we had done, I realized
that later what we’d done is gone from one leader
and 134 followers, and one thinker
and 134 doers, just like that picture of the
factory to 135 active thinking, passionate, creative people,
which I call leadership. My role as the
captain was simply to create this environment
where people could come to work and just be their best. That’s all I did. All day long, all day long. And it worked amazing. And so Dr. Covery
watched the ship. And now we were about intent. I’m stopping telling
you what to do, but you’ve got to come to me to
tell me what you intend to do. If I’m not telling
you what to do and you’re not doing anything,
then I’m leaning back and you’re not leaning in to me. So I actually think
leaders lean back and the team leans forward. So Dr. Covey saw how
we talked to each other and he said this is how I
think you guys are doing it. When people come up and say,
well, tell me what to do, we resist telling
them what to do. The instinct is you want to,
because you know the answer, and it’s so psychologically
fulfilling to say yes, do this. Boy, I solved so many
people’s problems today. Well, don’t I feel
good about that. And we say, well,
what do you see? This is description. What do you think? What do you think we should do? Hey, what do you intend to do? Maybe you should just do it. Depends on what it is. We would just invite people
and we’d have close the latter, and you guys have a card
that describes how this went. But this is how you tune it. This is why you can
dial it exactly. Question for you. So you’ve got
someone on your team and they’re down there,
tell me what to do. You probably don’t have any
of these people at Google, but just imagine you did. They’re like, well,
what do I do here? And you’re inviting them. You say, well,
what do you think? What should we do? And they just seem stuck
at tell me what to do. What keeps people stuck
at tell me what to do. Go ahead and send a bunch of
words, let’s see what we get. And you can type
in a bunch of words and hit enter and have
all the words come up. Get a whole bunch of words. Let’s see what we’ve got. Confusion, confidence,
disillusionment, understanding, inexperience, mistakes, pride,
misunderstanding, status, superiority. And fear. Fear is always the
biggest problem. I’ve done this to
over 100 audiences in 20 different countries
and every single time, fear has been the biggest word. In fact, if I aggregate
those 100 speeches, this is what it looks like. The reason people are not
saying what they think is not because they don’t know. It’s because they’re
afraid of being wrong, they’re afraid of
being laughed at, they’re afraid of being the
person who thinks differently from everybody else, afraid
of taking responsibility, whatever it happens to be. And this gets me to the
next leadership myth. I thought my job as a leader
was to quote “motivate” my team. And a lot of times,
motivate meant add stress. Come on, guys, we can do it. What leaders need to do
is make it feel safe. Because fear is the problem. So the antidote
to fear is safety. So my job all day long
was to say yeah, it’s OK. Express that in probabilities. Just give me a scale, 1 to 10,
how do you think about that. And really ask questions in
a way that made it feel safe. I’ll give you a
very small example. People would come
up to me and they’d say, well, I think we should
do this, are you sure. No, that doesn’t feel safe. No, I’m not sure to be honest. Or they have this
false bravado, yes, I’m sure, which is always wrong. So what’s your sense of
enthusiasm over this. And we’d ask
questions, if you want a clue for asking a
question, always try to put how at the beginning. How likely it is we’re going
to launch a product on time. Not will we launch on time. We just make it safe. And all day long, trying to
make it safe for my people to share what they
thought, even if it was potentially wrong or different. Especially if it were different. Here we are, we’re
fighting a fire. We were not very good at this
when I first got to the ship. And then we’d sit
in a room, we’d do a retrospective or a critique
or a fact finding, whatever you want to call it. And I heard a lot of that. I was listening to the
language and they would say, well, they didn’t
pressurize the hose, they didn’t change the
batteries on the thermal imager. They hung the gear up
twisted, so it took me longer to get there
than it should have. There was all this
they, referring to all these other people
on board the submarine. There was they by rank,
there was they by department. And I got upset one
day with this they. Because it didn’t
feel like a team. I said there’s no
more they on Santa Fe. It rhymed. So that was good. You can only use the word we. Very next day, the
engineer walked up to me. Now he wants to tell me
that the supply department, he’s in charge of engineering,
that the supply department has ordered the wrong part. You know what I’m talking about. So he comes up to me. He says, Captain,
I’ve got bad news. I’m kind of hanging out
in the control room, like I would usually do. He says, Captain,
I’ve got bad news. I said yeah, what do you got? Says, Captain, we can’t
fix the pump, because th– th– he wants to say
they, but he can’t. So he says because we
ordered the wrong part. I kind of look at him, he
looks at me, I look at him, and he just goes like. It was super awesome. There’s no blame
in recommendations. So when I go into
organizations, I listen for what I call
the we they boundary. Like where is it we? Like we’re in the engineering,
but they’re in marketing. And where does it
go from we to they? Because as soon as you
go from we to they, that’s where the
team boundary ends. And so the problem is
most people say well, think like a team. Here’s some posters
that tell us. Send some emails to
encourage people, whatever. That doesn’t make team
performance happen. We just said the word we. And six months later, we
had rewired our brains and it felt like a team. People would come down the
ship and say oh, it’s amazing, it feels like a team. They wouldn’t even know why. But it was because we
now became one big we. And so this gets me to there’s
the no they on Santa Fe. Myth number five, which is teams
think their way to new action. Any change management that
I’ve seen starts with well, we’ve got to create a mindset
and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. That’s I’m going to think my way
to new behavior, which I don’t think is the way it works. We behave our way
to new thinking. A perfect example is
in your lunchroom. Because Google did a study,
because they wanted more team interaction. They found out they had all
these little small tables in all the lunchrooms. So when people go
to lunch, they’d only sit with two or
three people at most. You replace them and now
you have those long tables. It’s because of when
you go to lunch, now you can sit with
bigger groups of people. We don’t give people a lecture. We don’t annoy them with
a whole bunch of emails. We just put some big tables in. They sit with more people,
they get to know more people. It feels like more of a team. So we act our way
to new thinking. So at the end of the
day, partly because I was curious and not afraid
to say I don’t know, I learned the ship. I learned it pretty well. My temptation was to
go back to be the old know all, tell all leader. Because I was firmly
rooted in that behavior. When I got stressed
out, I would always default back to that behavior. That was my default wiring. If I hadn’t slept
well, didn’t eat well. My boss yelled at
me, so of course, I had to yell at my people. But I’d seen the power of not
telling my people what to do. Because I’d seen this explosion
in creativity and performance in the team. I saw the excitement
in their eyes. So I really resisted it. So now I tried as much as
possible to live over here. Even when I knew the answer and
they came up to me and said, well what do you
want us to do here, I would really
resist telling them. Because over here, you
focus on ownership. Over here, you focus
on the long term. Over here you’re
focusing on your people and developing
them into leaders. And yeah, some days you might
need to operate over here. But here’s task accomplishment. This is short term. This is where, unfortunately,
a lot of leaders live all the time. You should decide where
you want to be here. You should decide. It shouldn’t be determined
just by whether you know the answer or not. Most leaders, if they know
the answer, they operate here. If they don’t,
they operate here. They’re down here, right? I can’t tell you,
because I don’t know. Or sometimes they operate here. I don’t know, but I’m
still going to tell you. Myth number six, leaders
know all, tell all. The fact is the right
place for a leader to be is to still know your job. I’m not saying the lesson
is not don’t know your job. That’s what it took for me to
understand the power of this, though. But to resist giving
your team the answer. So one last poll, one last poll. A lot of what I’m talking about
is about giving up control. So I want you to think, and
again push in a bunch of words. In fact take 30 seconds,
talk to your neighbor. And then together, let’s put in
a bunch of words about what it feels like to give up control. Here’s the thing I tell my
CEOs that I’m coaching to do. I say, you can go to dinner. Next time you go out to
eat, you don’t get to order. I want you to just turn to
the waiter or the waitress and say, pick my meal. They’re all control freaks,
so this freaks them out. So I want you to get that in
your head and think about that, and set up a bunch of words. See what we’ve got. Yeah, this is coming out. I love it. Because look what we got. Scary, risk, losing. We’re going to lose control. At the same time, I
have trust and freedom and other good things. They’re all coming
up on the screen. These words here, this
is how I felt every day as a submarine captain. Every day when I was
trusting my team, every day when I was saying
you guys get to choose, this is how I felt. I
felt for a long time that these were
the wrong feelings. That I was doing something
wrong, because I felt this way. I was a little bit
nervous and scared. I call it the suck air
through teeth maneuver. That’s your call. See what you guys do with that. But I now think this is
actually the way you’re supposed to feel every day as a leader. Every day, if you
don’t feel like you’re on the verge of
this, then you’re playing it too
close to the vest. You’re too in control. You’re too comfortable and
you’re not building a team. It’s just about you. So the final thing here is we
talk about oh, trust your gut, trust your instincts. But part of
leadership is feeling the way you’re programmed
as a human to feel. Because you’re program
to want to be in control and to reduce uncertainty. It’s wading into that,
leaning into that discomfort and acting contrary to how your
gut might take you many times. Because it’s not normal to
put your life in the hands of some other person. You’re not biologically
wired to like that. But I think this
is the real way. This is why leadership is hard. That’s why we have so
few really good leaders. Because you have to
act contrary to that. So we go back to this. Here’s my plug to you guys, OK? You guys are some of the most
creative, talented, smart people on the planet, working
for an amazing organization. What I worry about
when I interact with– you’re young people
to me, sorry– young people,
millennials, or coders is like, I don’t care about
that leadership stuff. Because we’ve associated a
bad word with leadership. Because leadership means
telling people what to do. We have so much baggage
over leadership. So I don’t want to be a leader,
I just want to be a coder. I just want to do my job. The world needs you. The world needs
you to be leaders, not in the traditional,
so I’m going to go out and tell a bunch
of people what to do. But in the way of everybody
in the organization where I’m going to listen to
the diverse opinions, I’m going to encourage
someone to say something. I’m going to be
part of making it safe to say something
that’s different than what everybody else thinks. So that’s my ask of you guys. Is don’t shy away from that. Yeah, you’ve got to do your
job and you’ve got to do that. But start bringing in
this leadership piece. You’re all leaders,
and we need it. The world needs it,
the planet needs it. Problems are too complex, too
hard, too sticky, too thorny. If you’re not
convinced at this point that no group of
quote “experts” is gonna solve these
problems [INAUDIBLE],, I don’t know what’s going to. So we need you. The world needs you guys. One other thing,
we have a channel. It’s on YouTube, of course. It’s called “Leadership
Nudges” where you can see there’s 150 of them now. They’re typically
60 to 90 seconds. I just talk about
one little thing, one of the things we
talked about today. And sometimes weird things,
I’m going to show you one. I’m going to tell you how
you can enroll in these. But I taped this when I was in
[INAUDIBLE] a couple weeks ago. In the hotel bathroom,
I saw something that was really interesting to me. So I’m in a bathroom here. [VIDEO PLAYBACK] – Today I’m going to
talk about mechanisms. Mechanisms are a greay way
for influencing human behavior in organizations. The way mechanisms
work is the system is designed so that you
can’t help but comply with the desired behavior. In this case, it’s putting
the toilet seat down. [INAUDIBLE] It works like this. The toilet seat,
when you raise it, covers the button
to flush the toilet. So you can’t push the
button to flush the toilet without putting the seat down. I love it. I’m David Marquet, and
that’s your Leadership Nudge. [LAUGHTER] [END PLAYBACK] DAVID MARQUET: Yeah, so I had
fun with that one obviously. You’ve got your phones
out, you can just text the word Nudge to 44144. You’ll get on our Nudge, we’ll
enroll you in the nudges. You can also send up
for them on the website, because I think this
texting is a US only thing. So you go to 44144,
type the word nudge. We’re not even going
to ask for your name. All we need is your
email, and then you’re going to get on the nudge list. But also, you can go back
to the YouTube channel and look at some
of the old ones. If you want to share some
of what we talked about today with your team
or anybody else, they’re all on that little
YouTube channel with little 60, 90 second things. That’s it. I’m going to have a short
conversation here with Theron. Are you going to come on up? But remember, my ask, I
need you guys to be leaders. I need you to think of it. Don’t shy away from stepping
up and being leaders. [APPLAUSE] THERON TINGSTAD:
We just have time here for about one question
for the film piece. So I wanted to ask
you, you mentioned that the average age on the
Santa Fe was 27 years old. The average age
on our sales floor here if you average in people
like me is about 27 years old. So I skew the average
up a little bit. The tech industry on
the whole skews younger. Do you feel that there are,
you mentioned millennials, do you feel that there are
generational differences as far as how the leadership
philosophy should be applied. Actually, no. I think just like all these
myths there’s another myth. One of the myths
is millennials are different than
everybody else, somehow they’re aliens or weird. So I have three kids,
they’re all in their 20s now. So they’re all millennials. So I speak a little millennial. Here’s what I think. I think millennials are
just like our parents and our grandparents and
our great great grandparents in terms of their
genetic wiring and what they want as human beings. What I think has changed
is that the ability to say this job isn’t
worth being treated badly has changed. In the United States,
when I was growing up, the average new house
was 1,500 square feet. The average new house size
today is 2,500 square feet. The average family size in
household went from 2.5 to 1.5. I grew up in a family of four. I couldn’t wait to
get out of there. Now it’s changed a little bit. So I would have put up
with any amount of pain to be gone and be out on my own. Now it’s different, because
there’s not so much pain back home, which I think is awesome. So my deal is the way that
millennials are saying, look, I want a job that matters. I want to feel valued. I want to be part of a team. I want some degree of control
over when and how I work and what I work on. That’s how we should
treat everyone. So they’re just telling us
how we should treat everybody. THERON TINGSTAD:
Well, I just wanted to thank Captain Marquet
for coming here today. Please feel free to
come up and ask him some questions in person here. But as far as the film portion. Again, Captain David
Marquet, author of “Turn the Ship Around.” Featured by Steven Covey on
just an incredible example of leadership in what
he’s done and what he continues to do with
companies around the world. Thank you so much
for coming today. DAVID MARQUET: Thanks
everyone for coming out. [APPLAUSE]

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    Furqan Habib

    Every other person wants to be a leader, wants to run a company. Only few will actually invest 45 minutes of their lives on videos like this.

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