» Give Up Control Give Up Control – David Marquet

Give Up Control

Weekly Nudge – Give Up Control

We are wired to take control and create followers. Taking control and creating followers has been very successful in the business world. In the military it has long been the only way to lead. What I experienced when I decided to give control and create leaders was tremendously more powerful.

The hardest step was retraining my brain, my internal desire to take control. I found a few simple exercises that would help me learn this new behavior. Start with things that are easy. For me, it started with allowing the barista or a friend to choose my coffee.

My friend Robert Stephens, the founder of “Geek Squad” takes it a step further. “Here is a good tip in two parts. You can practice this every day. You go to a restaurant and you tell the waiter, you pick! You pick the drinks. You pick the meal. And don’t play it safe, that’s the key.”

By retraining our brain, it will be much easier to move control to others on your team when they have displayed the competence and clarity you know they need to lead. See if you can act on Robert’s advice and give control this week.

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0 thoughts on “Give Up Control”

  1. Carrie

    Hi David,
    I heard your presentation today for the ANCC Magnet conference. I meant to ask you what leadership model you follow -it sounds like Servant Leadership, but I blanked and forgot to say something.

    If it is Servant Leadership, how did you learn about it, and what inspired you to do try it? If not, to which model do you most relate?

  2. Cas Luis

    I also heard you speak in Atlanta (ANCC Magnet conference). Having read your book, I was thrilled to hear your inspirational thoughts in person! I am sending your link to all my colleagues to provoke pushing the control to our staff nurses. One of the reasons that I am a fan is because I served in the Navy (as a nurse) for 6 years (at the end of Vietnam into the President Carter days). Leaving, mostly due to leadership styles, I served 14 years in the Reserves. My foundations, as an Officer, contributed immeasurably to my roles as a nurse…many of them leadership positions. I wish, even after 40 + years, that I could go another 40. Love, love, love nurses!
    Thank you for making a difference!

  3. Nukeitout

    My peers and I had the pleasure of hearing your story through Andy Worshek, Senior Chief on the Santa Fe, yesterday. A very inspiring story of giving up control to emancipate leaders (and results).

    I do enjoy the idea of having the waiter order for you. It is fun to see/hear the responses you get when you present the challenge. Even though you are giving up control it is important to set the boundaries with Clarity and first ensure Competency otherwise you have no idea what you will be eating!

    Kudos to Andy!



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