Mike Abrashoff learned about leadership as captain of the USS Benfold, a guided-missile destroyer that he and his crew transformed from a dysfunctional disgrace into the best damn ship in the U.S. Navy. He told that story in a best-selling book, It's Your Ship. Now he's distilling the lessons of that experience, plus what he's learned as a consultant and speaker, into a series of brief, practical guides to effective leadership. This one focuses on turning around a troubled organization.
The Atlanta Falcons hit rock bottom the day a tornado ripped off half of its stadium's roof. By then, their charismatic quarterback, Michael Vick, was in prison for leading a dog-fighting ring. Their coach, Bobby Petrino, had defected in mid-season to college football. They'd won only four games in 2007, losing 12. They weren't just defeated; they were demoralized, beaten, losers. It was up to their owner, Arthur Blank, cofounder of Home Depot, to turn this sorry situation around. And in one of the deftest performances ever, he did. By the end of 2008, the Falcons had gone to the playoffs with an 11-5 record. Their new coach, Mike Smith, was NFL Coach of the Year. Their quarterback, Matt Ryan, was NFL AP Offensive Rookie of the Year. "This is the season of miracles." Blank said.
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