How Great Leaders Serve Others. Leadership training from the TEDx talk. – David Marquet
David Marquet - Intent Based Leadership: Create Leaders at Every Level

How Great Leaders Serve Others. Leadership training from the TEDx talk.

Great Leaders give control, they don’t take control. That creates leaders, not followers.

The following questions might guide your discussion if you are interested in further leadership training based on my TEDx talk:

  1. What are your images of leaders from movies and books? What characteristics do they share?
  2. Why do we like to take control?
  3. What gets in the way of us giving control?
  4. Why is it hard for some people to resist taking responsibility?
  5. Why is it harder to think than just do what you are told?
  6. What percent of people just want to be told what to do?
  7. Have you ever been in a situation where
  8. What’s your organization’s time constant?

And a longer list:

(Generated from discussion with NextJump on 15 June 2012)

  1. Were there any repercussions to the counter culture that you created?
  2. What was your motivation for doing this?
  3. When it came to making that final decision to launch/fire upon the enemy, how do you get yourself to make that decision?
  4. Have you seen leaders not succeed and why do you think they failed?
  5. What is the role of a leader?
  6. What if people do not want control and the responsibility of making decisions?
  7. How should leaders go about communicating organizational goals and criteria for making decisions?  How can this be done without a huge checklist, which may miss the entire point of giving control?
  8. Does change in how children are taught in schools help them take their own decisions more confidently?  How would culture play a part in development?
  9. Giving the power to take decision may still not make some people do it.  Are there any ways of making/encouraging them to take decisions?
  10. Do you think that military notions of leadership are wrong and should be changed?
  11. Did the crew have a hard time taking more ownership of their roles?
  12. Do you face a lot of opposition or skepticism while changing the way the culture on the submarine works?
  13. Why did the navy put you in charge of a sub you weren’t familiar with?
  14. Although you want to give control, how do you steer the crew in the right directions without taking too much control?
  15. What leaders/people inspire you?
  16. How do you inspire people to want to have control instead of wanting to be told what to do?
  17. What action steps can be taken to move the focus of control in people who are used to being told what to do?
  18. How do you build confidence in people who are not used to making decision?
  19. How do you encourage leaders to trust their subordinates in order to allow them to build confidence in their own decisions?
  20. Was there a particular turning point that led you/inspired you to throw away the secret copy of the tickler?
  21. How do you think military experience is so valued in leaders?
  22. How did you work with the crew/officers right after the incident (2/3 order)? Were they apprehensive?
  23. Did you even meet the former captain? What was their reaction to your success?
  24. What is next for you personally?
  25. Did you have objections from below? From above?
  26. What did you try to learn about the crew/ship in the small amount of time? What was #1 priority – people or systems?
  27. Do you think you would have had the same epiphany if you had been properly trained on the ship/crew?
  28. How do we prepare for the unforeseen?
  29. How long did it take to change everyone to say “I intend to do”?
  30. How long did it take until true change happened?
  31. How do you lead when you know as little or less than the ones you are leading?
  32. What is the first most important step to take when you would like to change the culture/actions?
  33. Did you flip the script before Santa Fe?
  34. What gave you the notion and strength to work outside the box?
  35. Was there a moment you thought you shouldn’t have done something due to haste/lack of knowledge? How did you rectify it?
  36. While you were starting to make changes, how did you get the navy (supervisors) to buy in?
  37. How does a leader measure success after he has given control to subordinates
  38. Wouldn’t giving too much control to a wrong person backfire? How do you avoid this?
  39. From all of your experience, how does one best draw the line between complying with leadership out of respect for their position (as the crew on your ship) and stepping up to say something when you see a mistake or a better way?
  40. Is the reason some people just want to be told what to do just a result of conditioning? Shouldn’t the conditioning process change at an earlier stage, and how?
  41. Do you think submarine’s initial standing had an effect on your “change”? If you went to a “great” submarine, do you think crew would have responded differently?
  42. How do you balance giving control v. anarchy? You need to have some control over your crew.
  43. How do you know how much control to give without giving too much?
  44. Did you ever go to a different ship & bring this model?
  45. Are other countries’ militaries running the same way (controlling people) ?
  46. Did you try to work with those two dissenting sailors to see if they could be brought around?
  47. What are some skills that undersea warfare teaches you that other kinds of combat do not?
  48. How do you measure combat effectiveness for citizens?
  49. Do you think the navy was more receptive to this change in protocol than other branches would be?
  50. Why do you think so much of our notion of “Loyalty” “Respect” is tied up in doing what someone asks of you?
  51. What inspired you to enlist?
  52. As a leader, when you think you know the right path and need to guide your team along that path, how do you convince yourself to give up micromanagement and let the team make their own choice? (Start teaching?)
  53. Did you find yourself with closer friends with co-workers?
  54. How difficult was it to cultivate relationships while onboard?
  55. As the captain, were you asking for approval when making these changes? did you ask first or act first?
  56. What to do with order takers?
  57. Have you ever brought back old officers to speak with the new crew?
  58. What happens when a subordinate on your ship starts acting on the idea you don’t agree with?
  59. What leaders inspire you?
  60. What are you doing now?
  61. Unclear – why was it empowering as a leader to be only one with “to do” list?
  62. Ask Charlie – What % of people just want to be fed what to do (in this experience)?
  63. What should the role of the leader be? If subordinated are the one executing, and you are letting them make decisions and give them control, what in your opinion is the role, qualities of the good leader?
  64. Changing the established power structure is frankly easy when you’re at the top.  What about those who aren’t?  How does one affect a culture from the bottom?  Is this possible?
  65. How “safe” is it to give control to everyone? How do you know how to judge who is worth it?  Control in the wrong hands can be potentially dangerous…
  66. Why is it that it is harder for us to accept responsibility/be given control?
  67. What was the initial response from your fellow leaders? Was there any friction?
  68. It’s easy to fall back to just “well tell me what to do, and I’ll do it”…How do you achieve the goal of building a business/company to go out and get things done on their own??
  69. How do you breed free thinking in a company?  Especially where people are repressed?
  70. Can this idea of changing a company culture, affecting, empowering ppl to take action be from non-leaders?
  71. Did you ever have an incident where a subordinate has put others in danger due to an uninformed decision?
  72. How do you maintain a balance between control and taking control?
  73. What kind of organizational constraints can be put in place to prevent certain individuals from taking more control than they were offered? Do these kind of constraints violate the very idea of giving control rather than executing it?
  74. How do you coerce those who are capable of taking control, but are reluctant to take responsibility?
  75. How did the US Navy react to the drastic changes being made on your sub? Did their opinion change at all as time went on?
  76. How fast did it take for the crew to adjust to the new mentality?
  77. How were you able to get the most difficult people to shift from controlled to taking control?
  78. What will the role of the Leader be if the decisions are being made by subordinates?
  79. Vulnerability as a leader – how without losing respect of your team? How do you overcome it?
  80. Do you think leadership is innate or can be taught?

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