Fast. Motivated. Hard-hitting.
That's what every business wants to be. And that's why the U.S. Marines excel in every mission American throws at them, no matter how tough the odds. In Corps Business, journalist David H. Freeman identifies the Marine's simple but devastatingly effective principles for managing people and resources -- and ultimately winning. Freedman discusses such techniques as "the rule of three," "managing by end state," and the "70% solution," to show how they can be applied to business solutions.More info →
"Leadership should mean giving control rather than taking control and creating leaders rather than forging followers." David Marquet, an experienced Navy officer, was used to giving orders. As newly appointed captain of the USS Santa Fe, a nuclear-powered submarine, he was responsible for more than a hundred sailors, deep in the sea. In this high-stress environment, where there is no margin for error, it was crucial his men did their job and did it well. But the ship was dogged by poor morale, poor performance, and the worst retention in the fleet.
Marquet acted like any other captain until, one day, he unknowingly gave an impossible order, and his crew tried to follow it anyway. When he asked why the order wasn't challenged, the answer was "Because you told me to." Marquet realized he was leading in a culture of followers, and they were all in danger unless they fundamentally changed the way they did things. That's when Marquet took matters into his own hands and pushed for leadership at every level.
Turn the Ship Around! is the true story of how the Santa Fe skyrocketed from worst to first in the fleet by challenging the U.S. Navy's traditional leader-follower approach. Struggling against his own instincts to take control, he instead achieved the vastly more powerful model of giving control. Before long, each member of Marquet's crew became a leader and assumed responsibility for everything he did, from clerical tasks to crucial combat decisions. The crew became fully engaged, contributing their full intellectual capacity every day, and the Santa Fe started winning awards and promoting a highly disproportionate number of officers to submarine command.
No matter your business or position, you can apply Marquet's radical guidelines to turn your own ship around. The payoff: a workplace where everyone around you is taking responsibility for their actions, where people are healthier and happier, where everyone is a leader.More info →
Selected as a Financial Times Best Book of 2013
In Strategy: A History, Sir Lawrence Freedman, one of the world's leading authorities on war and international politics, captures the vast history of strategic thinking, in a consistently engaging and insightful account of how strategy came to pervade every aspect of our lives.
The range of Freedman's narrative is extraordinary, moving from the surprisingly advanced strategy practiced in primate groups, to the opposing strategies of Achilles and Odysseus in The Iliad, the strategic advice of Sun Tzu and Machiavelli, the great military innovations of Baron Henri de Jomini and Carl von Clausewitz, the grounding of revolutionary strategy in class struggles by Marx, the insights into corporate strategy found in Peter Drucker and Alfred Sloan, and the contributions of the leading social scientists working on strategy today. The core issue at the heart of strategy, the author notes, is whether it is possible to manipulate and shape our environment rather than simply become the victim of forces beyond one's control. Time and again, Freedman demonstrates that the inherent unpredictability of this environment-subject to chance events, the efforts of opponents, the missteps of friends-provides strategy with its challenge and its drama. Armies or corporations or nations rarely move from one predictable state of affairs to another, but instead feel their way through a series of states, each one not quite what was anticipated, requiring a reappraisal of the original strategy, including its ultimate objective. Thus the picture of strategy that emerges in this book is one that is fluid and flexible, governed by the starting point, not the end point.
A brilliant overview of the most prominent strategic theories in history, from David's use of deception against Goliath, to the modern use of game theory in economics, this masterful volume sums up a lifetime of reflection on strategy.More info →
The story of Captain D. Michael Abrashoff and his command of USS Benfold has become legendary inside and outside the Navy. Now Abrashoff offers this fascinating tale of top-down change for anyone trying to navigate today's uncertain business seas. When Captain Abrashoff took over as commander of USS Benfold, a ship armed with every cutting-edge system available, it was like a business that had all the latest technology but only some of the productivity. Knowing that responsibility for improving performance rested with him, he realized he had to improve his own leadership skills before he could improve his ship. Within months he created a crew of confident and inspired problem-solvers eager to take the initiative and take responsibility for their actions. The slogan on board became "It's your ship," and Benfold was soon recognized far and wide as a model of naval efficiency. How did Abrashoff do it? Against the backdrop of today's United States Navy-Benfold was a key player in our Persian Gulf fleet-Abrashoff shares his secrets of successful management including:
See the ship through the eyes of the crew: By soliciting a sailor's suggestions, Abrashoff drastically reduced tedious chores that provided little additional value.
Communicate, communicate, communicate: The more Abrashoff communicated the plan, the better the crew's performance. His crew would eventually call him "Megaphone Mike," since they heard from him so often.
Create discipline by focusing on purpose: Discipline skyrocketed when Abrashoff's crew believed that what they were doing was important.
Listen aggressively: After learning that many sailors wanted to use the GI Bill, Abrashoff brought a test official aboard the ship-and held the SATs forty miles off the Iraqi coast. From achieving amazing cost savings to winning the highest gunnery score in the Pacific Fleet, Captain Abrashoff's extraordinary campaign sent shock waves through the U.S. Navy. It can help you change the course of your ship, no matter where your business battles are fought.
The world is facing a global leadership crisis. Seventy-seven percent of leaders think they do a good job of engaging their people, yet 88 percent of employees say their leaders don't engage enough. There is also a high level of suffering in the workplace: 35 percent of employees would forgo a pay raise to see their leaders fired.
This is an enormous waste of human talent--despite the fact that $46 billion is spent each year on leadership development.
Based on extensive research, including assessments of more than 35,000 leaders and interviews with 250 C-level executives, The Mind of the Leaderconcludes that organizations and leaders aren't meeting employees' basic human needs of finding meaning, purpose, connection, and genuine happiness in their work.More info →
Being a lean leader is an inherently rewarding job. You don’t need to wait for a quarterly report or annual performance review to know that you are making a difference. Improvements happen all the time, and everyone you work with can see and feel them.
But being a lean leader also can be immensely difficult and — at times — seemingly impossible. In a complex work environment run by people (who naturally make mistakes and can be uncomfortable with change) performing multiple processes (which naturally become less efficient and effective over time), building and sustaining a continuously improving culture takes never ending effort, a laser-like focus on principles and purpose, and constant realignment.More info →