“You Dont Need My Permission”

Jason Fried. I dont often read books about business, but last year I found one that made a deep impression on me. Expand your ship” by captain David Marquet. I understand that this is not the full extent of the business literature, and thats why I liked it. Here is its description on Amazon.

“Leadership should mean giving up control, not taking control, and the formation of leaders is followers”. David Marquet, an experienced officer of the submarine fleet, accustomed to give orders. As the new captain of the nuclear submarine Santa Fe, he was responsible for hundreds of sailors in deep water. In this tense environment, no room for error, it was very important that his men did their job and did it well.

But the ship was dominated by low morale, poor performance, and the boat was attributed to the worst performance in the fleet. Marquet acted like any other captain until, yet not realizing he gave an impossible order, and his team still tried to implement it. When he asked why no one challenged the policy, he said. “Because you said to do it”.

Marquet realized he manages the people who used to follow someone, and they are all in danger if you do not change the fundamental principles of. Thats when Marquet took matters into their own hands and have tried to bring leadership to all levels. “Expand your craft” — this is a real story about how the Santa Fe quickly became the worst submarine, at best, challenging the traditional approach.

Fighting her own instincts, urging him to take control, Marche, instead, developed a much more powerful model of the transfer of control. Each member of the crew became a leader and received the responsibility for their actions, from stationery items to major combat solutions. The team became fully engaged, fully investing your mental capacity every day, and the Santa Fe started winning awards and many of her sailors were promoted.

A fundamental prerequisite is that Marquet realized when people come to you for guidance or asking for your permission to do anything, they dont think about their own responsibility. They ask if they can do something. This shifts the responsibility on you. They do not need to fully study the matter, because they still need your approval. You play the role of door stop.

It does not concern them or what they want to do is concerns what actions you approve of. Even if you give the nod, it will happen just because you said it can happen. This creates too many dependencies, and — like Mark — I believe that people and teams in organizations must be able to act independently from each other.

Less dependency, not more. So instead of having to ask permission or wait for orders, the men had come to him with the intention of. Instead of “Captain, can I rotate right 30 degrees?” (this is the same what to ask to order), he wanted the people came to him, saying, “Captain, Im going to turn right 30 degrees”. The difference in a few words, but the essence is completely different.

“Can I” transmits all the power and responsibility of the person giving permission. “Im going” directly puts the responsibility on the one who is going to perform the action. When a person is performing work, is forced to deal with the consequences, he carefully reflects on what he is doing. Considering from different angles, different takes, more thoughtfully, because ultimately everything depends on him.

When you do not have permission, it all depends on you. Captain Marquet wanted to hear the intention — especially when the result would impact on all the ship, and especially in the early stages, when it introduced a new system — but in the end it helped to use one of the smaller brain (captain) and a hundred more minds (all the other people on the ship). As the head of Basecamp, I took it to heart.

Im still working on myself is a huge shift, and Im pretty much abandon some old habits — but I dont want people to ask me for permission. In almost every case, when I have permission, it means that something goes wrong. People should not ask me can or they can not to do something. I wish they told me that they are going to do.

If they want to know what I think about their intentions, we can talk to discuss this. But dont ask me can you do this or that — tell me, what are you going to do to you I encouraged, helped, asked, or suggested a different approach, which would be nice to think about. But if the action does not happen without my instructions — Im not going to give such an instruction. All this does not mean that I will not give feedback, will not denote the vector does not describe a vision or set a goal.

It doesnt mean I cant disagree — sometimes very strongly. And all this does not mean that if you are going to fold over the cliff, I will not stop you. But it does mean that most of the time — and, hopefully, more and more often — people will consider their actions, to cultivate the confidence to stand up for their beliefs and take full responsibility for what they do.

Im not talking about complete freedom of action. Im talking about the freedom of thought. Of course, there are always exceptions. Captain Marquet has reserved the right to give one order — the order to murder.

If the submarine needs to do a volley, and someone can die, it is the responsibility of the captain. Im still trying to figure out what should be my own orders, but hopefully they will become less over time.

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