L. David Marquet

Leadership Is Language
  • Leadership Is Language

  • 'Full of compelling advice on how to lead more effectively by choosing your words more wisely' - ADAM GRANT, author of Originals and Give and Take

    FT Book of the Month

    Your words matter more than you think

    Most of us use the language we inherited from a time when workers worked with their hands and managers worked with their heads. Today, your people do much more than simply follow orders. They contribute to performance and solve problems, and it's time we updated our language to reflect that.

    In Leadership Is Language, former US Navy captain L. David Marquet offers a radical playbook to empower your people and put your team on a path to continuous improvement. The framework will help you achieve the right balance between deliberation and action, and take bold risks without endangering your mission. Among other things, you'll learn:

    · How to avoid the seven common sins of questioning, from binary questions (should we do A or B?) to self-affirming questions (B is the better option, right?)

    · Why you should vote first, then discuss, when deciding on a plan with your team, rather than voting after discussion

    · Why it's better to give your people information instead of instructions

    As a submarine captain, Marquet used his counterintuitive model of leadership to turn the worst-performing submarine crew into the best-performing one in the fleet, a story he recounted in his bestselling book Turn the Ship Around! Now, in Leadership Is Language, he draws on a wide range of examples, from the 2017 Oscars Best Picture mishap to the tragic sinking of the SS El Faro, to show you exactly how the words you use (and don't use) impact how your people contribute.

L. David Marquet, a top graduate of the US Naval Academy, commanded the nuclear-powered, fast-attack submarine USS Santa Fe from 1999 to 2001, transforming it from the worst-performing submarine in its fleet to the best. Since retiring from the navy, Marquet has worked with businesses nationwide as a leadership consultant. He gives presentations around the world about his acclaimed first book, Turn the Ship Around: A True Story of Turning Followers into Leaders.


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