- Paperback: 224 pages
- Publisher: Warner Business; Reprint edition (2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0446690570
- ISBN-13: 978-0446690577
- Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars See all reviews (549 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #416,578 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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It's Your Ship: Management Techniques from the Best Damn Ship in the Navy Paperback – 2009
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Top Customer Reviews
Leadership is emphasized in the book, and in every endorsement quote on the back cover. Yet, the subtitle says "management techniques," not "leadership techniques." Leadership did not come easy to Abrashoff; he had a lot of learning to do...and undo. As he moves through the chapters, this retired Navy Captain talks about his experiences in leading by example, listening, communicating purpose and meaning, creating a climate of trust, focusing on results, taking calculated risks, building people and unity, and strengthening quality of life.
Good leaders can tell you all about these concepts and how they are applied in their organization. Aspiring leaders and those who have not yet seen the light will be awe-struck by what Abrashoff accomplished. Solid, experienced leaders will see this book as more of a case study and a reinforcement of what they're already doing. As I have observed today's military leaders-as a citizen and as a consultant who has had the privilege of working with military leaders, the "system" is not as counterproductive as the author would lead us to believe. Bureaucracy is still bureaucracy, but Abrashoff is not alone in his practice of leadership skills.
Abrashoff applied leadership skills on his ship to achieve significant measurable results. I'm glad he documented his achievements so others might be inspired.Read more ›
The book is packed full of some ones learning on how to implement what a lot of other books explain in theory. The author doesn't plot out checklists, but gives meaningful anecdotes to explain his experience and point he is making. His key points are the chapter headings:
Lead by Example
Communicate Purpose and Meaning
Create a Climate of Trust
Look for Results, Not Salutes
Take Calculated Risks
Go Beyond Standard Procedure
Build Up Your People
Improve Your People's Quality of Life
A key take away for me, and in my experience, it is one thing to "COPY EXACTLY" (stealing an Intel term), it is another to understand the principle. By his examples, he indicates that other ships copied techniques (benchmarking) and improved specific areas of performance (all good), but failed to understand the principles involved. This allowed them to not extend improvements to other areas of their processes. This has been mimiced in business by all the failed initiatives that litter the highway, all good if you pay attention to their design, key assumptions, and core principles.
I though the book was well written, to the point, well illustrated with examples, all expressing key truths (though not new, well done). You can find other books that take each aspect (check the chapters) and dive deep into theory, but if you want a practitioners guide to how to get it done, this is a great book.
Having spent many years in the "old Corps (USMC)", heavy industry and higher education, I, too, have come to reject the old fashioned and dysfunctional command and control approach to leadership. There is a much better model and it is well described and richly illustrated in this book.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Awesome insight and guidance how to overcome the "traditions” of an organization, and what it means to be a leader. Capt. Read morePublished 2 days ago by Amazon Customer
Sales book. Uses experience commanding a ship as analogies to business/manager situations.Published 9 days ago by BigTSpear
On the first day of my new job as a middle manager, my boss told me to get this book, read it, understand the "point" and make things happen within the company based on... Read morePublished 17 days ago by Mark W Forquer MSG (ret)
Great book. He was the keynote speaker at a conference I went to last weekPublished 17 days ago by Amazon Customer
Carmax put me on to this, though my son. He states that Carmax gives this book to all rising administrative staff. Read morePublished 27 days ago by Jim Hill
Great storyteller. Easy read thanks to the many examples illustrating the pointsPublished 27 days ago by charlieMcJ