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It's Your Ship

Management Techniques from the Best Damn Ship in the Navy
Narrated by: D. Michael Abrashoff
Length: 6 hrs and 24 mins
5 out of 5 stars (27 ratings)

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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.

©2006 D. Michael Abrashoff; 2012 Hachette Audio

What listeners say about It's Your Ship

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Turning my ship

Possibly the best books I have read or listened to. It was easy to listen to and I could see how each scenario would work for me.

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This is literally “the best damn leadership advice I’ve ever heard!”

Being someone who struggles leading people, yet continually find my self doing so, I have invested heavily in leadership advice. I listen to lectures, buy programs, books and audio books. I have spent a lot of time and money trying to better myself, and all the other resources I have and have been through are all very good, but they all lack the same thing, the practical application. I find it very difficult to apply what are good ideas and principles in my own work place, this book however is similar to my own surroundings and personalities. It’s the best I’ve come across since hands down!

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  • Ann-Marie
  • 08-02-2016

Very Inspirational

I was very surprised, I really thought this book was going to very Millitary and corporate. Totally the opposite. What a great and inspiration story.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Rafik Farouk
  • 25-01-2015

Exceptional

I have enjoyed this book so much. Great stories and leadership lessons that I forget about with time and career growth. Take notes, observe what you do and make changes. This book is not only change some of my approaches, it's going to help make a difference in other people lives. Definitely worth reading.

3 people found this helpful

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  • A. Yoshida
  • 05-09-2016

Trust your crew to do their best

Whether commanding a ship or leading a company, the reasons that sailors or employees leave an organization are similar:
1. Not being treated with respect or dignity
2. Being prevented in making an impact
3. Not being listened to
4. Not being rewarded with more responsibilities
5. Low pay

The top four reasons are controllable by the leaders of the organization, which is what Captain Abrashoff set off to do. The book isn't the result of years of research and studying business operations. Captain Abrashoff worked with his crew to come up with ideas to make it the best damn ship in the Navy. Particularly admirable was that Captain Abrashoff gave his crew the responsibilities they were willing to take on and trusted they would do it well. Many leaders would be unwilling to give up what they perceive as their source of power - the ability to tell people how to do their jobs.

8 people found this helpful

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  • William
  • 05-10-2018

Excellent Examples of Leadership

I came across this book after reading an article in The Athletic. I would strongly recommend this book for those wanting to learn about leadership strategies, techniques and its application. Excellent Book.

1 person found this helpful

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  • branda22
  • 05-10-2018

a must read leadership book

If you are a leader you need to read this book. It is one of the best books I've read on leadership , and I would recommend it to anyone.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Gregory
  • 01-01-2016

A good read for leaders who haven't lead in awhile

Well written and captured your attention. For leaders with modern degrees or leadership training, the author does well to reinforce what you've learned recently. For leaders with old training or haven't lead in awhile, it provides insight into modern leadership philosophies more aligned to today's workforce.

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  • Sharon Schafer Bennett
  • 31-01-2013

Empowering and Full of Good Advice

I really enjoyed listening to this, and I have started incorporating what I learned into where I work. And it is working, much to my boss's surprise. You might be surprised if you try it too. I may not work on the best damn ship in the Navy, but I definitely now work at the best damn store in the chain.

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  • Mr. Majestic
  • 07-09-2020

A must read for those wanting to improve culture through leadership

This should be a must read for anyone heading into a position where they are responsible for results or meeting unreachable expectations. The points given are sound and relatable. The cost in personal energy, time, and level of commitment is truly understated in this book, but it’s already a given that leadership is hard.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 05-09-2020

Captivating

I highly recommend this book. One of the best leadership books I have read. It is inspiring and provides valuable information that can be instantly apply to any profession.

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  • Stephen
  • 22-08-2020

Great book on leadership

One of the best books on leadership I’ve ever read. Up there with 5 Levels of Leadership.

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  • mp
  • 11-07-2015

one of the most fantastic books about leadership

I really love this book. very inspiring and loads of to learn. it has change a lit in my life and work. Thank you Captain!!!

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  • Vid C
  • 28-08-2019

An excellent insight into Leadership skills!

This was a recommended read, which I want to listen to again! A must read!

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  • E
  • 07-06-2018

VG!

great insights easy to follow and listen to. useful comparisons to corporate world as it is navy based

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  • John
  • 04-07-2015

just need a ship now

What did you like most about It's Your Ship?

this book gives very good advice for people in a or trying to get into a position of command/authority. it dose it's best to try to get it in your head to trust in others and to make those who can't be trusted to a point where they can be. it also encourages you to take the initiative in solving problems.

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  • James Gardner
  • 16-02-2017

Best leadership book by far!

This has to be one of the best leadership books I've ever listened to or read. I've already introduced as many of these ideas as possible and seen great results already! I urge you to listen and take on the challenge of these amazing ideas. Stay humble but effective in whatever leadership role you have.