It’s 9.00am. You get to your desk, fire up your emails and attempt to get to inbox zero. Before you’ve opened the first message, you’re called for a meeting. Meeting over, you’re back at your desk. Just as you’re about to reply to that first email, you’re called into another meeting. Second meeting done, you’re back at your desk, but now it’s lunchtime – and you’ve achieved nothing.
Whether it’s meetings for meetings’ sake or being micromanaged every second of the day, office life can sometimes leave us feeling frustrated, dehumanised and, frankly, unhappy. But according to Mr L David Marquet, author of Leadership Is Language: The Hidden Power Of What You Say And What You Don’t, it doesn’t have to be that way.
Mr Marquet, a top-grade graduate of the US Naval Academy who is renowned for his success commanding submarine crews, knows what it takes to empower a team. “I needed to entrust people with authority and autonomy in order to give them the opportunity to prove themselves,” he writes of his time as captain of the nuclear-powered submarine USS Santa Fe. “Once people were given autonomy over their work, became connected to a purpose that mattered and felt like part of a team, they became happier. Morale soared. Then the performance improved.”