David Marquet: Happiness at work on a nuclear submarine

When David Marquet took command of the nuclear submarine USS Santa Fe, he knew he needed to change a lot of things. It was the worst performing submarine, was never ready for its missions on time and was basically the laughing stock of the US navy.

David came in with a plan to improve the results on the submarine and thereby make its crew happier. By accident, he found that he had to do it the other way around: Make the submarine a happy workplace and results would follow.

The new plan worked, and the USS Santa Fe became the best performing submarine.

In this speech from the Arbejdsglaede Live! 2013 conference, David Marquet explains how he did it and how you can create a happier workplace too.

5 thoughts on “David Marquet: Happiness at work on a nuclear submarine”

  1. Excellent speech. I can use that in my own work.

    The one thing I always wonder when I see such a speech is if we are not already preaching to the choir. The ones there in the audience and the ones on this website already want to improve the quality of work. But what about those who are ignorant or even unwilling?

  2. This is really powerful – I can see using this with leaders who doubt the effectiveness of happiness at work – those who think it’s fluff, or time-consuming, or ineffective. This is a really compelling story. Thanks for sharing!

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