David Marquet - Intent Based Leadership: Create Leaders at Every Level

Monthly Archives: August 2016

Move to the Near Horizon

Leadership Nudge – MOVE TO THE NEAR HORIZON 

When building clarity with your team, move to the horizon you can see. When we start a project or are working on something, we often want clarity about where we are ultimately trying to go. When we get total clarity, we can then lock in our efforts.  We know we are not going to waste any time on tangents or offshoots or on things that are not going to work. That would be a perfect world. Unfortunately, in this very fast moving world, there is considerable uncertainty. Having complete clarity about a project is pretty unrealistic. But I can see to the near horizon.

One thing I know is that I can move in that general direction. And when I get to that horizon, I can then see the next horizon. I can say, “Ah, ok, now I need to go a little bit to the left or a little bit to the right.” When I get there I can make another course adjustment. So, the idea is this: think of the project as a journey across the ocean with multiple horizons. I don’t need to know exactly the right course to get to the final destination. I just need to know the general direction. Then, when I get to that horizon, I can adjust for the next one.

Our Leadership Nudge to you this week is this:

When you are working on a project and it feels like you are unclear on the final objective, start moving in that general direction. That will uncover the clarity that you need.

Let us know how it goes!

Enroll for the Leadership Nudge –  www.davidmarquet.com

Fast Forward

Leadership Nudge – FAST FORWARD

Utilizing the Ladder of Leadership™ to build your team’s competence and clarity so you can freely give control is an awesome way to bridge the gap from “Tell me what to do” to “Hey boss, here is what I intend to do.” In last week’s Leadership Nudge™  we offered you a strategy to help your team bridge that gap. That strategy was “Change Perspectives.”

This week we offer you another strategy. We call this “Fast Forward.” Here is how it works. If one of your team comes to you with a “Hey boss, can you tell me what to do?” try this: Open the calendar to a date six months in the future and ask, “If it were six months from today, what do you wish we had discussed today about this issue?” Challenge them think about how today’s decision could affect the future.

Our Leadership Nudge to you this week is this:

Try FAST FORWARD. Challenge your team to look at a challenge based on how it could impact the future.

Let us know how it goes!

Enroll for the Leadership Nudge –  www.davidmarquet.com

Change Perspectives


Utilizing the Ladder of Leadership™ to help grow your team’s capabilities can come with its own set of challenges. Especially when your team comes to you with ‘tell me what to do.” If your team starts at level one on the Ladder, and you opening the door for them to move up the ladder results in an exchange like this:

Team: “Hey, I have this issue here, what would you like me to do?”

Leader: “Well, what do you see here?”

Team: “I see that you are the boss and you should tell me what to do.”

There are strategies you can use to help them develop their leadership abilities. One strategy is to change perspectives. Try asking your team this; “If you were me, how would you see this issue?” Don’t stop with a change in language, actually change positions. If you are seated at your desk, have them sit in your chair, and you stand.

Our Leadership Nudge to you this week is this:

Change Perspectives; ask your team to look at a challenge from another’s point of view and physically change where you are standing when working with your teams.

Let us know how it goes!

Enroll for the Leadership Nudge –  www.davidmarquet.com


Leadership Nudge – D2A2

This week’s Leadership Nudge is about the D2A2 structure for reporting issues and taking action. D2A2 stands for:


Here’s how it works. First, we sense or DETECT that there is an issue, or a problem, or an opportunity. We notice it. We smell it. We see it. Then, we DESCRIBE it. This is the who, what, when, and where of what’s happening. Next, we ASSESS. We might say, “Hey, here is what I think is going on.” Then, we take ACTION. Our action could be, “Here’s what I think we should do, or here’s what I intend do,” or maybe even, “Here’s what I did.”

D2A2 works nicely with Ladder of Leadership. As we move up the D2A2 structure, we are moving up the Ladder. I detect something, then I describe it. Describing it, “Here’s what I see,” is level 2 on the Ladder of Leadership.

Then I assess it. On the Ladder this is level 3, “Here’s what I think.” Then, I take action. This could be level 4, 5, or 6 on the Ladder. “Here’s what I would like to do, or I intend to do, or I have done.”

At each step there is more engagement, more creativity, and more involvement.

Our leadership nudge to you this week is this:

Start practicing using the D2A2 approach as you report problems to your boss; and your teams to report problems, or issues, or simply decisions that they need to make, to you.

Let us know how it goes!

Enroll for the Leadership Nudge– www.davidmarquet.com


Millennials in the Workplace

Leadership NudgeTM – Millennials in the Workplace

One of the most frequently asked questions I receive is about the subordinate’s role in workplace relationships in an Intent-Based LeadershipTM organization. I hear things like; “This sounds great, but what about me? I am the subordinate. I’m new to the organization. I am the millennial. My bosses aren’t adhering to the principles you espouse – giving control to your people.”

We want you to remember there is a relationship between your level of competence and clarity and the ability of your boss to give control. Your responsibility is to build your competence and build your clarity. You need to demonstrate it and make it visible. It is not enough to just say, “Hey I know what am doing.” You have to let your boss see that. That will make it feel safer and easier for your boss to give you control.

Bosses, you have a responsibility in this. Your responsibility is to give your people opportunity to show their competence and clarity. When they do – give them control. Actually give them control in small bits first, so they can demonstrate their competence and clarity.

Our leadership nudge to you this week is this:

Demonstrate your competence and clarity and make it safe for your boss to give you a little bit more control.

Let us know how it goes!

Enroll for the Leadership Nudge – www.davidmarquet.com


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