“Leadership Is Language” Interview With David Marquet

By February 5, 2020Agile, Article, Leadership


In this Agile Uprising podcast, co-hosts Andy Cleff and Erik Cottrell sit down with David Marquet to discuss his latest book, “Leadership is Language”. It’s no secret we are huge fans of David Marquet’s work, including his book, “Turn the Ship Around!: A True Story of Turning Followers into Leaders” so when we were presented with the opportunity to chat with him, it was a dream come true. 

The hypothesis behind “Leadership is Language” is that how we communicate at work has been programmed by Industrial Revolution thinking. However, in today’s world of creative knowledge work, we no longer labor on old-fashioned assembly lines. So why should we use language that was designed to separate the thinkers from the makers? 

David, Erik, and Andy discuss six plays to change the way leaders show up, the impact that language has on our organizational culture, and ultimately on business outcomes:

  • Control the clock, don’t obey the clock
  • Collaborate, don’t coerce
  • Commit, don’t comply
  • Complete, don’t continue
  • Improve, don’t prove
  • Connect, don’t conform

Order “Leadership Is Language: The Hidden Power of What You Say–and What You Don’t” to learn more about the six plays mentioned above.

You can read more on the topic of modern leadership in Erik Cottrell’s article, 3 Principles Agile Leaders Should Live By During An Organizational Transformation

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