The story of David Marquet
as captain of the USS Santa Fe
and how it became a submarine workshop
Captain David Marquet was trained for ten months in 1998 to take command of the nuclear submarine USS Olympia. He was to become the best-trained soldier on that boat. Shortly before taking command, the Admiralty ordered his assignment to another ship - the USS Santa Fe*. A boat of completely different design and also with extremely poor crew morale and performance at the time.
David Marquet hardly knew anything about this new boat. His technical training for it was useless and he could not apply his knowledge. This forced him to adopt a completely different style of leadership from the start: instead of giving instructions, he was forced to ask questions. Through his special way of leading, he was able to demonstrably increase the performance and morale of the sailors on board the Santa Fee from low performers to the top team in the Navy within 9 months.
He described his experiences in the book "Turn the ship around". From this, we have created a workshop concept that allows you to relive David Marquet's story and the leadership principles he applied in our submarine workshop.
In 2019, David Marquet and Tom Senninger met at the IMD in Lausanne. This encounter gave rise to the idea for an innovative leadership workshop that allows participants to relive David Marquet's leadership principles through exercises and examples in a submarine setting. We call this workshop -> "Changing Course Leadership".
In the submarine workshop, the participants slip into different -> roles and thus stand in a hierarchical relationship. In this way, different -> leadership principles can be tried out, compared and implemented.
* Los Angeles class, in service 1994, 135 sailors, 7 hierarchical levels - a thoroughly comparable establishment size of many companies.