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David Marquet

Retired US Navy Captain | Expert on Leadership and Organizational Design | Bestselling Author of Turn The Ship Around

Captain David Marquet imagines a work place where everyone engages and contributes their full intellectual capacity, a place where people are healthier and happier because they have more control over their work–a place where everyone is a leader.

A 1981 U.S. Naval Academy graduate, Captain Marquet served in the U.S. submarine force for 28 years. After being assigned to command the nuclear powered submarine USS Santa Fe–then ranked last in retention and operational standing–he realized the traditional leadership approach of “take control, give orders,” wouldn’t work. He “turned his ship around” by treating the crew as leaders, not followers, and giving control, not taking control. This approach took the Santa Fe from “worst to first,” achieving the highest retention and operational standings in the navy.

After Captain Marquet’s departure from the ship, the Santa Fe continued to win awards  and promoted a disproportionate number of officers and enlisted men to positions of increased responsibility, including ten subsequent submarine captains. Further, having been on the ship, Stephen R. Covey said it was the most empowering organization he’d ever seen and wrote about Captain Marquet’s leadership practices in his book, The 8th Habit.

Captain Marquet is the author of Turn the Ship Around! A True Story of Turning Followers Into LeadersFortune magazine called the book the “best how-to manual anywhere for managers on delegating, training, and driving flawless execution.” He is also the author of Turn Your Ship Around, A Workbook for Implementing Intent-Based Leadership.

Captain Marquet retired from the Navy in 2009, and speaks to those who want to create empowering work environments that release the passion, initiative, and intellect of each person. His bold and highly effective framework is summarized as “give control, create leaders.”

He is a life member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and in 2015 was named to the American Management Association’s “Leaders to Watch” list.

What exactly is intent-based leadership? It is the ability to stop yourself from giving orders and working in an an environment where you are responsible for everything! Create Leaders – NOT followers. Is this easy? Definitely not. Is this doable? Absolutely! Does it create an awesome culture where people can be great? — Yes!

To some extent, the capacity for great leadership is innate. However, learning how to be a more effective leader is within everyone’s grasp. Intent-based leadership works when you allow yourself to let go and give others the freedom to soar. Strong leaders treat people the way they want to be treated.

Everyone benefits from using Intent-Based Leadership!

Our police department began using IBL principles.  We now use them in the entire district. What a difference this is making to our people.  And...crime is down 3%.

Intent-Based Leadership reduces stress in your organization!

Intent-Based Leadership has made a HUGE difference in my stress level. I’ve lost 50 lbs!

Why should you empower people?

We have been using Intent-Based Leadership and found that when we began to trust and empower our people, our company doubled in revenue and size.

What does using Intent-Based Leadership do?

Intent-Based Leadership has made such a difference for our call center. We have reduced our quarterly attrition from eight people to zero.

Intent-Based Language

By changing how I asked a question, my staff began to feel safer and responded completely different to me. Language does make a difference!

What do organizations achieve using Intent-Based Leadership?

We just achieved a “top-level performance status” and we did it using Intent-Based Leadership principles.