Customer Reviews for

It's Your Ship: Management Techniques from the Best Damn Ship in the Navy

Average Rating 4.5
( 70 )
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Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 71 Customer Reviews
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  • Posted July 6, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Command-and-control: If the Navy can get over it, you can too!

    I like business books, but many of the professionals I work with aren't big readers. The text-of-the-day often comes across as too academic for their real world problems. The author of It's Your Ship doesn't suffer from that problem. In fact, after sharing this book with one of my I-don't-enjoy-business-books colleagues, he actually read it and told me to buy another copy for myself as he was keeping that one! "Bad News Doesn't Get Better With Age" is one of the practical quotes from the book I have heard that leader use regularly to teach others not to "shoot the messenger."

    The style of writing makes for very readable anecdotes. At first, the command-and-control environment of the Navy didn't seem to hold that much in common with our corporate culture. However, after reading the book, the paradigm shift was complete: a) I realized our culture was way more top-down command-and-control than I realized; & b) Captain Abrashoff's success was, due to his learning, "I found that the more control I gave up, the more command I got."

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 18, 2010

    Abrashoff makes management technique entertaining

    There are so many management books out there that read just like a boring textbook. Refreshingly, Abrashoff has a way of telling stories that keep you hooked, and along the way, dispensing some of the management tidbits that we all know are good but seem to forget in our daily lives. He takes the management technique, explains it, and then relates it to a story from his military career. Most of his stories have you waiting to find out how they end. My favorite story is the one about buying beer for his crew and trying to find a way to serve it that wasn't on the ship. I have found myself recommending this book more than I recommend any other management book.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 12, 2009

    You're not a Manager

    Until you have read this book, learned from it, and then truly utilize this method of management you will lack the support of those you serve and those who desire to serve you.
    Traditional posturing of managers fails each and every day to motivate, and usually retards progress through intimidation or a "can't do attitude".
    "Allowing" those who do the job and know it best, can bring progress to every company.
    Management unfortunately stands in the way of the progress 85% of the time.
    If every manager worked this way they would get, Better Damn Results.
    Chris V.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 2, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    HOW TO MAKE A BUSINESS GO AND GROW

    A new captain taking command of a ship is a ceremonial occasion. There's a reception, speeches, attendance by dignitaries, and the former commander is piped ashore. When Captain D. Michael Abrashoff took command of the USS Benfold on June 20, 1977 it was patently obvious that the crew was not at all sad to see their former captain leave. Abrashoff began to wonder if when he departed in two years the situation would be the same. He well realized that he was totally responsible for the way the crew performed. But, how to do it without a company of unhappy men? As he points out being liked wasn't necessary but he did want to win his men's respect and trust. Thus, all would be more effective. The knotty question was how to do this. In search of answers Abrashoff turned to some exit surveys, assuming that the main reason for leaving would be low pay. That was not the case at all. People left because they did not feel respected and they did not feel they had an impact on the organization. A low salary came in fifth as a cause for moving on. Abrashoff felt that he could apply these principles to his crew, and he did with stellar results. Firstly, he stresses the importance of seeing the ship through the eyes of the crew. He solicited suggestions and many times found them to be extremely helpful. Communication was also high on his list as well as instilling in the men a sense of importance in what they were doing. The payoff for captain and crew came not only in huge cost savings but also achieving the highest gunnery score in the Pacific fleet. Abrashoff posits that what brought extraordinary change and success aboard his ship can do the same for a business. You'll be a believer after hearing his suggestions read in his own voice, one that speaks clearly, without hesitation, and with authority grounded in proven experience. - Gail Cooke

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 28, 2003

    A must for leadership!

    History teachers, basketball, & volleyball coaches will receive numberous ideas for leading their students. The premise of this book applies into many areas.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 27, 2014

    Excellent Read

    Book is easy to follow, written in simple language. Recommend for anyone in leadership position , either new or season. Thinking about recommending to my students.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 5, 2013

    Strong Stories

    Hugely entertaining. Just enough humor to keep you involved and inspired.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 19, 2012

    leadership

    Follow these aand you'll have people asking to be on your team.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 21, 2012

    Must read for those taking on new leadership roles

    This book is a very quick read and has helped me understand the difference between managing and leading people.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 1, 2012

    A New Way to Define Teamwork and Accountability

    Although the material in this book is not new, by any means, the examples given and the enthusiasm that you can actually "feel" from the captain and all the members of his crew put a very fresh twist on known management techniques and inspires you to want to go out there and emulate this "It's My Ship" style in your own management environment. I enjoyed it very much!

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  • Posted January 17, 2012

    What a way to start off my management career!

    After receiving a promotion I felt I was quite ready for, the next thought was, "What do I do now that I've got what I asked for?!". Well, given the problems I inherited, and the high level of 'thirst' my team has for leadership, this book was a blessing! I can't even recall how I found it- but I've highlighted much of it and plan to review it often, as there is so much of it that rings true within me as to give me confidence in my own judgement on how to create an excellent team.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 17, 2010

    USS Benfold

    Overall I would say this book was inspring. But I also wonder if it was just a set of chronological successes to be promoted. I tried contacting the PAO of the USS Benfold to find out how the ship is doing now. So far I haven't received a response so that might say something. The tour of duty on the USS Benfold was good for this Captain but I guess it takes more than some rah-rah Amway type pep rally speaker to help us change our lives and the lives of others for good.

    U.S. Navy Veteran
    Temecula CA

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 23, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    An Awesome Read

    A great book for anyone in management or looking to move into a leadership position. The lessons taught in this book can work in any environment from the military to the boardroom. All lessons are applicable to any business in the world.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 13, 2005

    Packed with Knowledge!

    Like many books on leadership from nonbusiness walks of life, this sea tale offers a refreshing new perspective. U.S. Navy Captain D. Michael Abrashoff explains how he and his crew turned their under-performing vessel into the pride of the Pacific Fleet. His colorful, somewhat self-promotional style of storytelling makes it enjoyable, especially for those who are curious about life on a guided missile destroyer. What is less clear, however, is how to apply the Captain¿s lessons from a naval vessel to the business of running an ordinary corporation. 'Generate unity' and 'build up your people' are noble maxims, but how do you apply them in a corporate environment where the greatest threat often stems from friendly fire? In any case, the Captain offers engaging stories about how he steered the USS Benfold back on course. We recommend his book to executives and students of management who appreciate an anecdotal approach to shipshape leadership.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 13, 2004

    Great Stories

    Most management books I find boring to read. Not so with this one. Abrashoff's combination of colorful stories and sound management techniques makes this book a must read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 21, 2003

    Best Darn Book In My Management / Leadership Library

    Mike hits all the key elements needed to make changes happen. I am changing jobs and find myself reading the book again to guide me in 'commanding a great ship', as he would say. Fantastic; and his techniques work!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 5, 2003

    Solid Advice

    Very simple, straight-forward management advice, backed up by entertaining real world examples from the authors experience. Motivating without being saccharin.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 4, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 15, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted September 30, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 71 Customer Reviews
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