You are currently viewing Harnessing Leadership Styles: Exploring Turn the Ship Around and The Introverted Leader

Harnessing Leadership Styles: Exploring Turn the Ship Around and The Introverted Leader

Turn the Ship Around by L. David Marquet

In today’s fast-paced and ever-changing corporate landscape, leadership has become a focal point for organizations striving to stay competitive and adaptable. Companies are realizing that the traditional authoritarian leadership style is no longer effective in fostering employee engagement and driving innovation. As a result, many books have emerged, providing alternative leadership approaches that nurture a more inclusive and dynamic work environment.

Two such books that have gained significant attention in the realm of leadership literature are “Turn the Ship Around” by L. David Marquet and “The Introverted Leader” by Jennifer B. Kahnweiler. While both books address the need for a paradigm shift in leadership, they do so from entirely different perspectives – one focusing on the role of empowerment and distributed decision-making, and the other exploring the unique strengths and abilities of introverted leaders.

L. David Marquet, a former submarine commander in the United States Navy, had a transformative experience while in command of the USS Santa Fe. His book, “Turn the Ship Around,” chronicles his journey of turning a poorly performing ship with disengaged crew members into one of the most effective submarines in the Navy fleet. Marquet challenges the traditional hierarchical command-and-control structure by advocating for a leader-leader model, where decision-making authority is pushed down to the lowest possible level.

On the other hand, Jennifer B. Kahnweiler, an expert in executive coaching and leadership development, delves into the distinct qualities of introverted leaders in her book, “The Introverted Leader.” She argues that the often-overlooked strengths of introverts, such as deep listening, reflecting, and thoughtful decision-making, can have a profound impact on a team’s success. Kahnweiler believes that organizations need to recognize and leverage the unique contributions of introverted leaders to build more inclusive and effective workplaces.

While these two books seemingly address different aspects of leadership, they both challenge the conventional understanding of what it means to be an effective leader. Marquet emphasizes the importance of empowering individuals at all levels and instilling a sense of ownership and responsibility for decision-making, while Kahnweiler emphasizes the value of introverted leaders’ innate talents in building strong teams and enabling collective success.

In this comparative study, we will critically analyze the central themes, theories, and practical applications presented in “Turn the Ship Around” and “The Introverted Leader.” By examining both books side by side, we aim to uncover the underlying similarities and differences in their perspectives on leadership. Additionally, we will explore how these ideas can be implemented in various organizational contexts, and the potential implications for improving leadership practices and team dynamics.

Ultimately, this study endeavors to shed light on the evolving landscape of leadership and inspire leaders, emerging or established, to adopt progressive approaches that drive organizational success. By examining the philosophies presented in “Turn the Ship Around” and “The Introverted Leader,” we hope to contribute to the ongoing dialogue surrounding effective leadership and encourage individuals to challenge traditional notions, embrace diverse perspectives, and cultivate environments that foster growth and innovation.

Brief Summary of Two Books

Turn the Ship Around by L. David Marquet

“Turn the Ship Around: A True Story of Building Leaders by Breaking the Rules” is a book written by L. David Marquet, a former submarine captain in the United States Navy. In this book, Marquet shares his experiences and the lessons he learned during his time as the commander of the nuclear-powered submarine USS Santa Fe.

The book highlights the traditional, top-down leadership model of the military and how it can hinder innovation, growth, and accountability within an organization. Marquet challenges this model and proposes a different approach called “intent-based leadership,” where decision-making authority is distributed throughout the organization, empowering every individual to take ownership and make thoughtful decisions.

Marquet discusses his journey of transforming the USS Santa Fe from one of the worst-performing ships in the navy to one of the best. He reveals how he shifted the paradigm by encouraging his crew members to speak up, ask questions, and take initiative, regardless of rank or hierarchy. This approach not only improved the crew’s morale but also significantly enhanced the ship’s operational effectiveness.

Throughout the book, Marquet provides practical advice and case studies to help readers implement intent-based leadership in their own organizations. He emphasizes the importance of establishing a shared purpose, fostering a climate of trust, and ensuring that everyone understands the organization’s goals and their role in achieving them.

“Turn the Ship Around” offers valuable insights for leaders at all levels who want to create an environment where their teams can thrive, adapt to changes, and take responsibility for their own success. Marquet’s captivating storytelling combined with his profound leadership principles make this book a compelling read for anyone interested in transforming their organization’s culture and achieving peak performance.

The Introverted Leader by Jennifer B. Kahnweiler

“The Introverted Leader” by Jennifer B. Kahnweiler explores how introverted individuals can excel in leadership roles despite societal biases towards extroversion. The book highlights the unique strengths that introverts possess, such as active listening, thoughtful analysis, and a preference for meaningful one-on-one connections. It provides practical strategies and tools that introverted leaders can utilize to leverage their strengths, communicate effectively, build strong teams, and adapt their leadership style to different situations. Through case studies and real-life examples, Kahnweiler challenges the notion that extroverts are better suited for leadership and encourages introverted leaders to embrace their natural tendencies and make a positive impact in their organizations.

Comparison between Two Books

Turn the Ship Around by L. David Marquet

Similarities in Leadership

Leadership is a central theme in both “Turn the Ship Around” by L. David Marquet and “The Introverted Leader” by Jennifer B. Kahnweiler. Although the books tackle different aspects of leadership, there are several similarities that can be identified:

1. Empowering Team Members: In both books, the authors emphasize the importance of empowering team members and giving them autonomy to make decisions. Marquet promotes a leader-leader model where every individual takes ownership and responsibility for their actions, while Kahnweiler highlights the need for introverted leaders to empower their team by providing space for individual contributions and the opportunity to shine.

2. Building Trust: Both authors stress the significance of trust in effective leadership. Marquet describes trust as the cornerstone of a successful team, where leaders build trust by demonstrating competence, integrity, and consistency. Kahnweiler also emphasizes the importance of building trust, particularly for introverted leaders, through active listening, authenticity, and following through on commitments.

3. Effective Communication: Communication is a fundamental aspect of leadership explored in both books. Marquet focuses on encouraging a culture of open and honest communication, where leaders actively listen, ask questions, and promote dialogue. Similarly, Kahnweiler emphasizes the need for introverted leaders to develop their communication skills, such as speaking with intention, listening deeply, and adapting their communication style to connect effectively with their team.

4. Emotional Intelligence: Both authors recognize the importance of emotional intelligence in effective leadership. Marquet discusses the significance of leaders being aware of their own emotions and how they impact their decisions and interactions with others. Kahnweiler highlights the need for introverted leaders to tap into their emotional intelligence, such as understanding the emotions of their team members and responding empathetically, to create a positive work environment.

5. Continuous Learning and Growth: Lastly, both books emphasize the value of continuous learning and personal growth for leaders. Marquet encourages leaders to embrace a mindset of “leadership at every level” and focus on developing the leadership skills of their entire team. Similarly, Kahnweiler urges introverted leaders to step outside their comfort zones, continuously learn, and develop their leadership capabilities.

In summary, “Turn the Ship Around” and “The Introverted Leader” share various similarities in their approach to leadership, including empowering team members, building trust, effective communication, emotional intelligence, and continuous learning and growth. Together, these books provide valuable insights into leadership strategies that can benefit leaders regardless of their personality type or organizational context.

Divergences in Leadership

Turn the Ship Around by L. David Marquet and The Introverted Leader by Jennifer B. Kahnweiler are two books that explore leadership from different perspectives. While both books provide valuable insights into effective leadership, they diverge in their approach and focus.

In Turn the Ship Around, Marquet, a former submarine captain, shares his experiences of transforming a low-performing team into a highly effective one by empowering his crew members. The book emphasizes the importance of decentralized decision-making and creating a culture of leadership at all levels. Marquet advocates for a “leader-leader” model, where leaders are not solely responsible for making decisions, but instead distribute control and decision-making authority to their team members. The book promotes fostering an environment of trust and accountability, where everyone feels empowered to take ownership and make decisions based on their expertise.

On the other hand, The Introverted Leader by Kahnweiler explores the unique strengths and challenges faced by introverted leaders in extroverted settings. The book focuses on developing leadership skills that cater to introverted personalities, such as active listening, thoughtful reflection, and leveraging quiet strength. Kahnweiler highlights the importance of introverted leaders recognizing their own strengths and utilizing them to their advantage, rather than trying to conform to extroverted leadership styles. The book offers practical strategies for leveraging introverted qualities, such as careful preparation, deep thinking, and thoughtful communication, to effectively lead teams and organizations.

The divergence between these books lies in their approach to leadership. While Turn the Ship Around emphasizes the role of a leader in creating a culture of empowerment and distributed decision-making, The Introverted Leader focuses on adapting leadership styles to suit introverted personalities. Marquet’s book advocates for a leadership model that encourages individuals to take initiative and make decisions, while Kahnweiler’s book recognizes and celebrates the unique strengths of introverted individuals, providing guidance on how they can effectively lead despite operating in extroverted environments.

Furthermore, Turn the Ship Around provides a broader perspective on leadership, applicable to various industries and organizations, while The Introverted Leader specifically addresses introverted leadership styles. Marquet’s book is rooted in his experiences as a submarine captain, highlighting principles that can be universally applied, whereas Kahnweiler’s book is more tailored to individuals who identify as introverted leaders.

In conclusion, although both Turn the Ship Around and The Introverted Leader offer valuable insights into effective leadership, they diverge in their approach and focus. Marquet’s book emphasizes creating a culture of empowerment and distributed decision-making, while Kahnweiler’s book focuses on leveraging introverted strengths in leadership.

Turn the Ship Around by L. David Marquet


Both “Turn the Ship Around” by L. David Marquet and “The Introverted Leader” by Jennifer B. Kahnweiler are highly regarded books in their respective areas. However, the decision of which book is more worthy of reading depends on your personal interests and goals.

If you are interested in leadership and management, particularly in the context of a Navy warship, then “Turn the Ship Around” would be more appropriate. L. David Marquet shares his experiences as a submarine captain and offers insights on how to empower your team and create a highly effective and autonomous organization. This book focuses on shifting from a leader-follower model to a leader-leader model, unlocking the potential of every team member.

On the other hand, if you are more interested in leadership traits and strategies for introverted individuals, “The Introverted Leader” would be the better choice. Jennifer B. Kahnweiler provides guidance for introverted leaders on how to leverage their strengths, overcome challenges, and succeed in environments that may favor extroverted traits. This book aims to help introverts develop their leadership abilities while staying true to their natural tendencies.

Ultimately, the decision of which book to read depends on your personal preferences, interests, and needs in terms of leadership development. Both books have a strong following and have received positive reviews, so you may consider reading reviews, summaries, or excerpts from both books to make an informed decision based on your specific goals.

Leave a Reply