Leadership Nudge™ – Above and Below the Waterline – David Marquet
David Marquet - Intent Based Leadership: Create Leaders at Every Level

Leadership Nudge™ – Above and Below the Waterline

Today’s Leadership Nudge is called “Above and Below the Waterline”. The idea is this:

For this ferry here, that is coming into Sydney Harbor, a hole below the waterline can sink it. A hole above the waterline will cause damage, but it’s not going to sink it.

The idea is: For your daily operations and decisions, certain of those are going to be more important. They’re going to risk killing people or they’re going to potentially bankrupt the organization. We call those ‘below the waterline decisions’ and you’re going to control those much more tightly than above the waterline decisions.

“Above the waterline” is where you’re going to start giving control. That’s where you’re going to start running your experiments.

So my leadership nudge to you is this: Identify, is this an above or below the waterline decision?

If it is an above the waterline decision, then try to give a little bit of control there. Try to run your experiments there.

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