Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $3.99 shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
It's Your Ship: Management Techniques from the Best Damn Ship in the Navy, 10th Anniversary Edition Hardcover – October 9, 2012
|New from||Used from|
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
About the Author
CAPTAIN D. MICHAEL ABRASHOFF is a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD, and was a military assistant to the former secretary of defense, the Honorable Dr. William J. Perry. Abrashoff left the Navy in 2001 and became the founder and CEO of Grassroots Leadership, Inc., in Boston. You can visit his website at www.grassrootsleadership.com.
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
What does leading a ship in the U.S. Navy have to do with your workplace? You might be surprised!
It's Your Ship is not a book I would necessarily have picked up for myself but, on a friend's recommendation, I gave it a try. By the time I finished reading and obsessively highlighting the Introduction, I was hooked.
Taking command of the Navy ship, USS Benfold, Captain D. Michael Abrashoff quickly discovered his leadership skills needed refining if he was to succeed in his new role. It's Your Ship summarizes his lessons learned, which eventually set Benfold apart as an extraordinary model of efficiency, teamwork, and multifaceted leadership. Right from the start, Abrashoff puts into practice one of the most important leadership principles: In order to successfully lead others, you must first lead yourself - be the leader in your own life.
Abrashoff shares excellent tips highlighted by the context of his Navy experience. While you may think your organization differs vastly from the military, his stories and examples help you easily apply his suggestions to leadership roles in business, nonprofit, academia, and beyond. I have shared many of his tips with my coaching clients, with three in particular that stand out:
1. Listen Aggressively.
Abrashoff discovered early that his crew was talented, smart, and filled with good ideas - but they hadn't always felt they were heard. "I decided that my job was to listen aggressively," he writes, discussing how he conducted one-on-one interviews with each of his 300+ crew members. He learned about their families, their reasons for enlisting, what they liked and didn't like about Benfold, and more.
"Something happened in me as a result of those interviews," Abrashoff shares. "I came to respect my crew enormously."
When you truly listen and act upon their suggestions, your team feels validated and important - like they matter. Nearly all of us crave this sense of mattering in our work experience. As a leader, you can uplift your team profoundly by simply asking questions and listening deeply.
2. Never Fail The Washington Post Test.
One of the first principles Abrashoff learned involved leading by example. As Gandhi famously said, "You must be the change you wish to see in the world."
Winning is important, but not at the cost of one's ethics and integrity. Abrashoff kept himself in check by regularly asking himself: "If what I'm about to do appeared on the front page of the Washington Post tomorrow, would I be proud or embarrassed?"
This simple question can do wonders as an accountability check, especially important since, as he later reminds us, "A leader's every action is always scrutinized." You could replace Washington Post with your most respected publication or person; in my family we often substitute "your grandparents."
3. Communicate Meaning And Purpose.
This lesson is twofold: First, your team must purposefully connect with the mission of your organization. When Abrashoff noticed low passion and enthusiasm among his crew, he realized what was missing: "No one had ever thought to give them a compelling vision of their work, a good reason to believe it was important." Burnout, loss of engagement, even turnover often result from a sense of disconnect between an employee's work and its importance to the organization, consumer, and world at large. As a leader, you need to help your employees connect these dots.
Second, you must communicate well, effectively, and often. "No matter how fantastic your message is," Abrashoff learned, "if no one is receiving it, you aren't communicating." Define the vision, mission, and values of your organization, then communicate them clearly and often.
I recently reviewed The Servant by James C. Hunter, in which the author outlines the qualities of servant leadership: Respect, dignity, and a focus on developing other leaders rather than building your own prestige, to name a few. Abrashoff's suggestions thoroughly align with this powerful leadership concept, while providing the unique perspective of its application in the military.
Throughout It's Your Ship, Abrashoff exhibits his "winning leader's first principle: Optimism rules." He clearly understands that the leader sets the tone and focused his energy on creating an atmosphere of positivity, excellence, and trust, recognizing the win-win outcome. "Anything you can do to understand your people, support them in tough times, and nurture their gifts," he writes, "will pay benefits to your bottom line."
Whether your "ship" is an actual Navy ship, a company, a department or a family, It's Your Ship offers insightful, practical strategies that will elevate your leadership and strengthen your team with meaning and purpose.
Mr. Abroshoff’s writing style kept my interest throughout the book and I will probably read the book again...and perhaps again.
He is able to take his failure and provide a game plan as to how he would better approach each character building situation. He furthermore lays out traits and characteristics that could bring out the inner leader in each and everyone of us!
Most of these suggestions are similar to what I've always done, but it was great to see it used in a more rigid environment than my experiences have been and still see success.
A great read for managers and employees alike.