It's Your Ship

  • by D. Michael Abrashoff
  • Narrated by D. Michael Abrashoff
  • 6 hrs and 24 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

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 the 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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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

great story

if more businesses follow these principles, business would run a lot smoother. The statement, it's just business, does not have to be acceptable
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- Brandon

Helpful strategies for managers, but a few land mines, too.

I found the Captain's narrative to be thorough and thought provoking. Certainly striving to be the best is paramount for any organization and helping employees find strengths within themselves is the best path for achieving goals.

Capt. Abrashoff's experiences aboard his naval vessel parallel a lot of what I have seen in my business career so I found his advice to be applicable to what I am trying to accomplish in my own company.

I will say, though, that towards the end of his book more and more of his stories involved breaking rules, throwing parties and spending money on extravagances. While this technique will most assuredly foster a fun environment, and maybe even better performance, I don't think that is a prescription for success across the board.

I would suggest caution when following some of this advice. Not a great fit in all industries.

Despite that caveat, I definitely recommend the read.
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- Len

Book Details

  • Release Date: 10-09-2012
  • Publisher: Hachette Audio