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Control, Competence, and Clarity: The “Leader-Leader” Approach to Management

Turn The Ship Around

Last month, Level 2 Legal proudly sponsored the 2018 Global TEC Forum presented by the Minority Corporate Counsel Association. At the Forum, Level 2 Legal Director of Innovation Leigh Vickery chatted with in-house IP counsel for a well-known social media company. He highly recommended a book he was reading – Turn the Ship Around!: A True Story of Turning Followers into Leaders by retired U.S. Navy Captain L. David Marquet.

What the IP counsel may not have known is that recommending a book to Leigh – especially one that might help Level 2 Legal further innovate for the good of our clients and team members – is equivalent to issuing a speed reading challenge. Sure enough, within a week of returning from the conference, Leigh had not only finished the book, she also successfully advocated for our entire senior leadership team to read and discuss it, too.

And how right she was to do so. In my judgment, Turn the Ship Around! should be on every legal professional’s summer reading list. In it, Captain Marquet details the true story of how the USS Santa Fe – one of the Navy’s most modern nuclear-powered attack submarines – “skyrocketed . . . to first in the fleet by challenging the U.S. Navy’s traditional leader-follower approach.”

Captain Marquet called his alternative to “leader-follower” the “leader-leader” approach. The mechanisms he put in place to implement his novel management style “were evolutionary,” but the results obtained “were revolutionary.” He organized the mechanisms into three groups: Control, Competence, and Clarity. Over the next three weeks I’ll be blogging about each of the three groups in turn. If nothing else, I promise that thinking through the mechanisms in each group will force a healthy reconsideration of your management priorities, strategies, and tactics.

I hope you’ll grab a copy of Captain Marquet’s book and follow along. You’ll be glad you did.