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It's Your Ship
Cover of It's Your Ship
It's Your Ship
Management Techniques from the Best Damn Ship in the Navy
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The story of Captain D. Michael Abrashoff and his command of USS Benfold has become legendary inside and outside the Navy. Now Abrashoff offers this fascinating tale of top-down change for anyone trying to navigate today's uncertain business seas.

When Captain Abrashoff took over as commander of USS Benfold, a ship armed with every cutting-edge system available, it was like a business that had all the latest technology but only some of the productivity. Knowing that responsibility for improving performance rested with him, he realized he had to improve his own leadership skills before he could improve his ship. Within months he created a crew of confident and inspired problem-solvers eager to take the initiative and take responsibility for their actions. The slogan on board became "It's your ship," and Benfold was soon recognized far and wide as a model of naval efficiency.

How did Abrashoff do it? Against the backdrop of today's United States Navy-Benfold was a key player in our Persian Gulf fleet—Abrashoff shares his secrets of successful management including:

  • 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.

The story of Captain D. Michael Abrashoff and his command of USS Benfold has become legendary inside and outside the Navy. Now Abrashoff offers this fascinating tale of top-down change for anyone trying to navigate today's uncertain business seas.

When Captain Abrashoff took over as commander of USS Benfold, a ship armed with every cutting-edge system available, it was like a business that had all the latest technology but only some of the productivity. Knowing that responsibility for improving performance rested with him, he realized he had to improve his own leadership skills before he could improve his ship. Within months he created a crew of confident and inspired problem-solvers eager to take the initiative and take responsibility for their actions. The slogan on board became "It's your ship," and Benfold was soon recognized far and wide as a model of naval efficiency.

How did Abrashoff do it? Against the backdrop of today's United States Navy-Benfold was a key player in our Persian Gulf fleet—Abrashoff shares his secrets of successful management including:

  • 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.

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About the Author-
  • D. Michael Abrashoff: Former Commanding Officer, USS Benfold, United States Navy; Author; Founder and CEO of GrassRoots Leadership, Inc.

    As one of the youngest commanding officers in the Navy's Pacific Fleet, following his post as Military Assistant to the Secretary of Defense, Mike took command of his first ship and wasted no time instituting radical changes. Antiquated, do-as-I-say leadership practices literally went overboard when Mike stepped aboard USS Benfold. Mike went to work on one of the lowest retention rates and poorest performing ships, solving core problems with grassroots solutions. Practices that included converting dated command and control with commitment and cohesion to Mike's greatest asset in any situation—People. "You need to recruit your people everyday even though you already have them onboard." Immediately after leaving the Navy, Mike created GrassRoots Leadership, advising others on how to empower their people while increasing profits and cutting costs. Mike continues to spread his message through his first book, It's Your Ship, published by Warner Books.

Reviews-
  • AudioFile Magazine Part leadership lesson and part memoir, this compact audio is a testament to the author's understanding of leadership in any large organization. His message is about helping people engage with their mission, which in his case was operating the 8,600-ton guided missile destroyer he commanded in the late 1990s. He advocates respecting people at every level, providing personalized training, and having an orderly system for rewarding high performers with more responsibility. Abrashoff is definitely in command and proud of his story but not lacking in humility and human perspective. Leaders of fast food restaurants and warships alike will be uplifted by his relentless efforts to care for the 310 men and women under his command. T.W. (c) AudioFile 2006, Portland, Maine
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    All copies of this title, including those transferred to portable devices and other media, must be deleted/destroyed at the end of the lending period.

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It's Your Ship
It's Your Ship
Management Techniques from the Best Damn Ship in the Navy
Captain D. Michael Abrashoff
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