» Stop Telling People What To Do Stop Telling People What To Do – David Marquet

Stop Telling People What To Do


This week’s Leadership Nudge comes from my visit to France. I was in Saint-Tropez where I saw some incredibly beautiful sail boats. I am always amazed at how well the crews function when sailing these magnificent craft. When these guys round the mark there’s not a lot of yelling and telling people what to do. Everybody onboard knows exactly what to do and they do it without being told.

We can get human organizations to pretty high levels of performance by telling people what to do. To get the highest level, which is the only thing we are interested in at Turn the Ship Around, LLC, you have to stop telling people what to do.

A crew on a sailboat like the one I saw in Saint-Tropez rounding a mark, a NASCAR team in a pit stop, or a submarine crew bringing on a SEAL team are great examples of human organizations operating at the highest levels. In all those cases people are doing what they know needs to be done, and not waiting to be told what to do.

Our Leadership Nudge to you this week is this:

In some small way stop telling your people what to do. Just wait 30 seconds and let them struggle with the decision. Instead of telling them what to do, try asking questions like this; “Hey, what would you do? What do you think? Tell me more about that.” That is when they will be doing their leadership pushups and developing their ability to make decisions.

Let us know what how it goes!

Enroll for the Leadership Nudge –  www.davidmarquet.com

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