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Our Story

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.” 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.

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