Book Cover - Book Review: Turn the Ship Around!: A True Story of Turning Followers into Leaders

The story is just incredible. Who could have imagined leadership to be rethinked in such an improbable environment.

What impressed me the most in this book is the courage of David Marquet. Of course, his ideas were not totally new. His inspiration comes partly from classic books such as The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. But relying on intuition is not at all easy. The most obvious approach is to act like everyone else and to protect ourselves. This is not what David Marquet did. And when you do things differently, you start seeing different results.

The book relates the events over several months. We are present, day after day, side by side with David Marquet, during his moments of doubt and reflection. We understand the huge challenges he faced, the huge risks he took, and also the motivations that push him to act. David Marquet demonstrates the importance of perseverance. Success didn’t happen overnight. He even failed during his previous attempt on a different submarine. Change is hard but not impossible. David Marquet is a great source of inspiration, and I now understand why Turn the Ship Around! is cited in so many other books.

This is the kind of book every leader should read. Leadership is not about reorganizing the whole company, taking all decisions, or putting forward his ideas. Leadership is helping everyone to act as leaders. If challenging the leader-follower approach worked so well on a nuclear submarine, it probably can do wonders in your environment too.

About the author

Julien Sobczak works as a software developer for Scaleway, a French cloud provider. He is a passionate reader who likes to see the world differently to measure the extent of his ignorance. His main areas of interest are productivity (doing less and better), human potential, and everything that contributes in being a better person (including a better dad and a better developer).

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