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

Category Archives: Uncategorized


Leadership Nudge® – Strive For 5

Ok. This week we’re gonna talk about this two dimensional plane of empowerment and communication.

What we want is both empowerment and high degrees of communication.

So, here’s what we see at different levels of the Ladder of Leadership.

Down at level 1, there was a low level empowerment. Level 1 is “Tell me what to do”.

Low level of empowerment and very little communication.

As we move up the ladder, we tend to see more communication and, of course, more empowerment.

Then, “I intend to…” at level 5.

Then we get to level 6, “I’ve done…” – Yes, it’s more empowerment but we tend to see the communication drop off.

The reason they’re talking to their boss is to get permission so if they don’t need to get permission, they don’t need to talk to their boss.

Then, level 7 is up here.

This is why we loved I intend to. It’s the sweet spot of high empowerment AND high communication.

So, try that. Aim for level 5 on the Ladder of Leadership to maximize empowerment and communication.

Let us know how it goes.

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.

Leadership Nudge® – Mistake? Thanks! – With Andy Worshek

The next time someone reports a mistake to you, respond with the words, “Thank you!”

If you find the mistake, go to the person, let them know you found the mistake, but let them know it’s ok.

You know that there was a mistake made, but you’re going to learn from it.

Training your brain to react positively to a mistake is one of the best things you can do as a leader.

It makes is safe for your people to report mistakes to you.

You can’t fix things that you don’t know about.

Leadership Nudge® – I Don’t Know

Here are 3 words every leader should say, (even though a lot of them resist saying it) – “I don’t know.”

Even when you know, every once in a while, practice saying “I don’t know.”

If you can’t say the words, then your team can’t say them.

If your team can’t safely say they don’t know, then you’ve closed the door on learning.

All learning starts with “I don’t know. Let’s find out. Let’s run an experiment. Let’s collect some data. Let’s look it up. Let’s find some research reports.”

It always starts with you, however. You set the example. You say, “I don’t know”, and see what happens with the learning in your organization.

I’m David Marqeut and that’s your Leadership Nudge.

Leadership Nudge® – Are You Up For The Challenge?

Giving control and creating leaders is so much better than taking control and forging followers.

The hard part is learning to give control.

We’ve challenged you in the past to allow the person you’re with to order your coffee, or allow a waiter or waitress to order your meal.

Well, this month, for June, We have a new challenge for you.

The next time you go to the movies with somebody, let them choose the movie.

Then, watch it and enjoy it. Let us know how that goes.

Leadership Nudge® – Don’t You Trust Me?

Today, we are going to talk about trust.

Trust means trust. Trust isn’t a combination of trust and confidence, as a single idea.

Let’s use the following example:

Let’s say you are driving me to the airport and we get to a stop sign and you turn left, (when I really think we should turn right).

Do I trust you?

Well, it depends. If I think you are trying to get me to the airport, then yes, I trust you. I trust that you are trying to get me to the airport.

That doesn’t necessarily mean you can get me to the airport. That’s an issue of reading the local traffic and the maps. That’s an issue of competence.

Now, there’s a reason it’s important to break out trust from confidence.

We want to have the ability, in our organization, to have conversations about – ‘should we be turning left or right?’ – without bringing in the baggage of – ‘Oh, don’t you trust me?’

That’s why we break these two things apart.

Trust means that you and I have the same end state. I think you are trying to get me to the airport.

We call this ‘ability’.

So, here’s my nudge to you this week:

When you want to show confidence in one of your people’s ability to make a decision, don’t say “I trust you to make this decision.”

Say, “I’m confident that you have the ability to make the decision.” That means that you trust that you are trying to do the right thing and you have the skills, knowledge and technical competence to make the decision.

Let me know how it goes.

Leadership Nudge® – Is Your Door Always Open? – With Peter Russian

Leaders often say, ‘My door is always open’, but is that always true and do we understand the consequences of that?

The truth is, our door isn’t always open, all the time. Sometimes, it has to be closed.

When we say ‘My door is always open’, what we mean is, we are approachable and we are here to help.

But what if, in doing that, we inadvertently create an expectation that we’re here to solve everyone else’s problems?

We end up with a long queue outside our door.

Being approachable, and here to help, is an important role of a leader, but that doesn’t mean that we have the answer to everything. It doesn’t mean to say that we can solve everybody’s problem.

In fact, every time we solve somebody else’s problem, we stifle a bit of learning and a bit of development.

So, the next time somebody comes to you with an issue that you think that they can resolve, invite them to tell you what they see, what they think and what they interpret as a result, and what they would like to do.

Being a leader who’s door is always open is important, but that queue can get shorter if people start telling you what they intent to do, rather than asking you to tell them what to do.

My name is Peter Russian from re:Markable, (the UK and Ireland partner for Intent-Based Leadership).

Let me know how you get on!

Leadership Nudge® – Give Information, Not Instructions

Hey, I’m here in Dublin; across from St. Stevens’ Square and in front of the Royal College of Surgeons.

There are a lot of signs I don’t like, but I actually like this sign.

Bicycles attached to these railings will be removed.

It doesn’t say, “Don’t attach your bicycle”, it just says you’re going to lose it if you do.

So, it’s simply stating the consequences of your action.

Now, I would like it a little bit more if there were the natural consequences of your action but this still is a pretty good sign.

State the consequences of your action. Don’t tell people what to do.

Give them information, not instructions.

I’m David Marquet. That’s your Leadership Nudge.

Leadership Nudge® – How Leaders Manage Change – With Jenni Jepsen

Today, I’m at my favorite local grocery store and they’ve just finished a complete remodel.

It has been a confusing and frustrating process for me, because I used to know where everything was – now I don’t.

The thing is, the employees here have been wonderful about recognizing that frustration that their customers are having and supporting and encouraging people through the change.

So, they’ve been going around and asking, “Hey, have you found what you’re looking for? Can I help you with something?”

So, the next time you’re going through a change in your organization, acknowledge where your people are at. Acknowledge that there’s some frustration with this change, that there’s confusion around what we’re supposed to do.

Then, support and encourage them through the change.

I’m Jenni Jepsen with your Leadership Nudge. Let us know how it goes.

Leadership Nudge® – Praise the Behavior

Praise the behavior that you want repeated.

Carol Dweck wanted to know if the kind of praise that children received affected their desire to challenge themselves. It turned out that it did.

Brooklyn 5th graders were given an easy puzzle to solve, which they did. They were then randomly praised in one of the following ways:

  • Half were praised for their intelligence – “Oh, you must be smart at this.”
  • Half were praised for their efforts – “Oh, you must have worked hard at this.”

The children were then given a second test and a choice – they could choose either a harder test, which they were told they might not succeed at, or the same easy test that they had before.

Of the children who were praised for their intelligence, less than half chose the harder test.

Of the children who were praised for their effort, over 90% chose the harder test.

So, when giving praise, praise people for their effort, like resourcefulness, attention to detail or grit, – and not for their intelligence.

Praise the behavior that you want repeated.

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