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It's Your Ship: Management Techniques from the Best Damn Ship in the Navy, 10th Anniversary Edition Hardcover – October 9, 2012
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Other than the sobering fact that real lives are regularly at stake, running a navy ship is a lot like running a business: leaders of both must get the most out of their crews to operate at peak efficiency and complete the tasks at hand. As commander of the highly acclaimed USS Benfold, Captain D. Michael Abrashoff irrefutably demonstrated how progressive management can succeed at sea; in It's Your Ship, he translates his methods into an approach that can also be applied by land-bound captains of commerce and industry. Describing "the ideas and techniques that I used to win my sailors' trust and, eventually, their enthusiastic commitment to our joint goal of making our ship the best in the fleet," Abrashoff cites embarrassing failures along with subsequent triumphs to illuminate the keys to his accomplished 20-month tenure aboard the guided missile destroyer. His suggestions: lead by example; listen aggressively; 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; generate unity; and improve your people's quality of life. While hardly original on the surface, Abrashoff's course should provide practical direction and inspiration for any leader hoping for similarly positive results in similarly rigid organizations. --Howard Rothman
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.
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Top Customer Reviews
Abrashoff writes with an interesting combination of pride and modesty. There's no limit in to how far you can go if you do things to improve your company without caring about who gets the credit. Give opportunities to succeed to others below you, recognize the individual's characteristics, talents, views and needs and seek ways to incorporate them into the organization to improve it for everyone!
Decades ago my teenage niece gave me a paperweight which I kept prominently displayed which read:
"You're not hopeless, we can use you as a bad example."
At first it comes across as a put down, but to me it was a tongue-in-cheek reminder that everyone has value and can contribute to the group's success.
The biggest thing that I got from this book (and I fully intend to reread it and take notes the second time through) was how to be effective when procedures, culture, and bureaucracy all seem to be fighting against you. Not everyone may appreciate Captain Abrashoff's style, but there is no doubt the rapid and impressive results he achieved testify to many of the truths he adopted and employed. As a middle manager at a growing company, this book has energized and inspired me in many ways, and has also confirmed for me many of the things that I have been doing or have wanted to do. I have also been awakened to the importance and the challenge of managing up, something that I have not wanted to spend much if any time doing in the past.
See the ship through the eyes of the crew: By soliciting a sailor's suggestions, Abrashoff drastically reduced tedious chores that provided little additional value.
Communicate, communicate, communicate: The more Abrashoff communicated the plan, the better the crew's performance. His crew would eventually call him "Megaphone Mike," since they heard from him so often.
Create discipline by focusing on purpose: Discipline skyrocketed when Abrashoff's crew believed that what they were doing was important.
Listen aggressively: After learning that many sailors wanted to use the GI Bill, Abrashoff brought a test official aboard the ship-and held the SATs forty miles off the Iraqi coast. From achieving amazing cost savings to winning the highest gunnery score in the Pacific Fleet, Captain Abrashoff's extraordinary campaign sent shock waves through the U.S. Navy. It can help you change the course of your ship, no matter where your business battles are fought.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
At first I was like, mehhhhhh, because I had to read this book for a leadership class and any time i'm assigned to read something, I assume it's not going to be...Read more