Leadership Nudge® – Say What You See – David Marquet
David Marquet - Intent Based Leadership: Create Leaders at Every Level

Leadership Nudge® – Say What You See

I’m here on Das Boot.

This is the submarine where the movie Das Boot was filmed and this is the periscope.

Now, because the earth is curved, ships far away, you can only see the very top of them.

The top of a merchant ship might look like just a cross at the top of an antenna, but it might also be the same antenna on a war ship.

So, when you’re looking through the periscope, and you see just that tiny bit start to peek up just above the horizon, you aren’t sure whether it’s a warship or a merchant ship that’s harmless.

So, the person on the periscope says, “I see a ship. This is the direction of it.”

If we, as a leader, say “Well, is it a warship?”

“Umm. Well… …ummm. I’m not sure.”

We need to ask a question in a way that makes it easy for our people to say that they’re not sure and to assign a probability.

“How likely is it that it’s a warship?”

Or, just tell us what you saw and then we can describe it.

Then, we’ll assume it’s a warship until we get confirmation that it’s not. Because that’s going to keep us alive.


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