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It's Your Ship: Management Techniques from the Best Damn Ship in the Navy Hardcover – May 22 2002

4.6 out of 5 stars 60 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 211 pages
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing; Later Printing edition (May 22 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446529117
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446529112
  • Product Dimensions: 16.5 x 3.2 x 26 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 408 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars 60 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #179,387 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

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


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4.6 out of 5 stars
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Format: Audio CD
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
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Format: Hardcover
I am a plankowner of the Benfold and admired Capt. Abrashoff's leadership. His superior leadership brought the moral of our ship from just ordinary shipboard life to a ship that many in the fleet wanted to become a part of. Our ship was a show-piece and we were proud to carry out his orders. What could have been a horribly desolate six months on deployment, including the holidays spent in the Gulf in 97-98, turned into a memorable experience for all, thanks to Capt. Abrashoff who even made UnRep a grand event! We learned from him that although we had a VERY important job to conduct, we were rewarded with pride in our accomplishments. Capt. Abrashoff was a very approachable Commanding Officer, an experience I had never encountered in the military and has been rare while employed with state government. He made an effort to see that his crew not only did their jobs exceptionally well, but that we enjoyed the festivities he provided for the ship while in port. I have read his fantastic book, reliving all the memories of my Benfold life and have used his leadership knowledge to become a successful professional in the "civilian" world. To the readers who feel Capt. Abrashoff is "arrogant" in his leadership style--I think if you had as awesome a ship as the Benfold to be a part of, you would be extremely proud of it and the leadership that made it such a fine place to spend a few years of your life.
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Format: Hardcover
I just read Abrashoff's "It's Your Ship" and strongly recommend the book to managers at all levels and academics that teach Management, Organizational Behavior and Leadership. The author, Captain D. Michael Abrashoff - former commander of the USS Benfold, write in an engaging, easy to read style. The information he conveys is priceless. If you are concerned about productivity, profitability and opportunities for growth, the book is a handbook for success.
Having spent many years in the "old Corps (USMC)", heavy industry and higher education, I, too, have come to reject the old fashioned and dysfunctional command and control approach to leadership. There is a much better model and it is well described and richly illustrated in this book.
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Format: Hardcover
Abrashoff was one of the most effective Commanders in the Navy in recent history - this book recounts his lessons learned and is very proactive with respect to empowering your staff and delegating to them as well. On Page 158, he has a great line - Expect the best from your crew (and you will get the best).
When we have high expectations and we properly equip people to deliver, harmony is created and a virtuous cycle of achievement and progress is created.
Abrashoff was very objective focused as opposed to process or traditional ways of getting things done. He also took care of his people and made exceptions where feasible to ensure their long term emotional stability and commitment to the Navy. He understood the true costs of acquiring, training and bringing new staff up to speed. Often your best investment is employee retention!
A very good book with a different focus than the standard mantra management book. Well worth the read!
It is a loss for the US Navy that Abrashoff retired to pursue other life objectives. He was a strong credit to the Navy.
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Format: Hardcover
As a long-time Air Force Instructor who specializes in teaching leadership courses, I was stunned at the simplicity and wildly effective techniques described in this book. Captain Abrashoff simply followed his heart, and in the process, not only nearly transformed the Navy but created allegiances so herculean that you'd think you were reading Greek mythology. Nothing fancy here--a committed leader, determined to do what makes sense and what makes his people feel most empowered and personally satisfied. His eager crew knocked the socks off every existing comparable ship in the fleet, but that wasn't his best legacy. His greatest gift as a leader was his willingness to learn and to change as needed--and that, as uncomplicated as it sounds, created physical and emotional miracles. More than once, I reached for the tissue box, and more than once, I asked Providence to bless him and anyone else who was determined to lead as he did and does. Easy to read, brief, and magnetically compelling, this is a magnificent primer for every person who leads or who aspires to do so one day. I have read many dozens of books on leadership for my profession, but this one blows every single one of them "out of the water". Read and heed, and your abilities as a great inspiration and guide will multiply exponentially. Extraordinary!
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