Friday, March 30, 2012

It's Your Ship -- Tips from Captain D. Michael Abrashoff

“The key to being a successful skipper is to see the ship through the eyes of the crew. Only then can you find out what’s really wrong and, in so doing, help the Sailors empower themselves to fix it.”

“Give the troops all the responsibility they can handle and then stand back.”

“Whether you like it or not, your people follow your example.  They look to you for signals, and you have enormous influence over them.”

“Give me performance over seniority any day of the week.”

“Leaders need to understand how profoundly they affect people, how their optimism and pessimism are equally infectious, how directly they set the tone and spirit of everyone around them.”

“Never once did I do anything to promote myself, just the organization. That way, no one could ever question my motives.”

“Your people…are more perceptive than you give them credit for, and they always know the score – even when you don’t want them to.”

“In addition to ensuring our safety and security, we should be providing life-forming experiences that shape the characters of young men and women to make them outstanding citizens and contributors to this great country.”


Anonymous said...

Mike runs GLS Worldwide now. It was founded on the success story of USS Benfold as chronicled in his best-selling business book It's Your Ship.

Under the leadership of Captain Mike Abrashoff, USS Benfold, an underperforming Naval War Ship, became the best ship in the Pacific Fleet within 12 months.

Financial Times PRESS said...

D. Michael Abrashoff

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 top-performing ship in the U.S. Navy. Publications from Fast Company to the Harvard Business Review have heralded the USS Benfold’s remarkable turnaround, and business schools have made it a case study in organizational success. Abrashoff told the USS Benfold’s story in It’s Your Ship: Management Techniques from the Best Damn Ship in the Navy, a bestseller with over 550,000 copies in print.

Anonymous said...

Participatory Management was the hallmark of what we used to teach new CPO's in Washington back in the 90's.

A lot of what we taugh came from Adm Elmo Zumwalt, who used this style at one of his early commands, a very run down DD.

As a concept, it can work, but you have to be willing to no micromange major events, and let your subordinates figure out how to succeed. You have to be there to guide them, and you can't let them ignore safety regulations, but most junior sailors want to succeed.

It takes a lot more work as a JO or CPO, but the turn around can be spectacular.