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

4.3 70
by D. Michael Abrashoff
     
 

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ISBN-10: 0446529117

ISBN-13: 9780446529112

Pub. Date: 05/22/2002

Publisher: Grand Central Publishing

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

Overview

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.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780446529112
Publisher:
Grand Central Publishing
Publication date:
05/22/2002
Pages:
224
Product dimensions:
6.32(w) x 9.28(h) x 0.87(d)

Table of Contents

Author's Note ix

Introduction 1

Chapter 1 Take Command 11

Chapter 2 Learn Real Leadership 30

Chapter 3 Lead by Example 42

Chapter 4 Listen Aggressively 54

Chapter 5 Communicate Purpose and Meaning 63

Chapter 6 Create a Climate of Trust 74

Chapter 7 Look for Results, Not Salutes 93

Chapter 8 Take Calculated Risks 116

Chapter 9 Go Beyond Standard Procedure 130

Chapter 10 Build Up Your People 152

Chapter 11 Generate Unity 181

Chapter 12 Improve Your People's Quality of Life 199

Chapter 13 Life After Benfold 212

Epilogue Out of Uniform 221

Acknowledgments 225

About the Author 227

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It's Your Ship: Management Techniques from the Best Damn Ship in the Navy 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 71 reviews.
Learning_to_park_my_ego More than 1 year ago
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."
ShawnaR More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
GailCooke More than 1 year ago
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
Guest More than 1 year ago
History teachers, basketball, & volleyball coaches will receive numberous ideas for leading their students. The premise of this book applies into many areas.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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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Hugely entertaining. Just enough humor to keep you involved and inspired.
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Follow these aand you'll have people asking to be on your team.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is a very quick read and has helped me understand the difference between managing and leading people.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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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Guest More than 1 year ago
I run a Fraternity of 40 men. This book greatly helped me come to terms with my leadership ability and gave me some brilliant ideas to keep us on the edge. Also greatly influenced my decision to join the Navy as an officer.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago