It’s Your Ship – Leadership on the Benfold

I’ve had It’s your Ship on my shelf for a while and finally got to reading it.

Captain D. Michael Abrashaff challenges the leadership styles he encounters in the Navy and believes there is a better way, and acts on it.

Captain Abrashaff takes the Benfold from a ship sailors couldn’t wait to leave to one that empowered them and challenged them, putting a desire in them to stay in the Navy longer.

Captain Abrashaff’s recipe for great leadership includes the necessity to lead by example, listen aggressively, communicate purpose and meaning, create a climate of trust, look for results and not salutes, take calculated risks, go beyond standard procedure, build up your people, generate unity, and improve your people’s quality of life.

Overall, these are several key ideas repeated elsewhere, but Abrashaff does a great job of writing with intent and to the point while also incorporating examples of the benefits he saw from implementing these ideas.

Many of these overlap with the five dimensions and guiding principles outlined in Market Based Management – Charles Koch’s management philosophy.

It’s a great read and a quick one. There’s no reason not to see and understand how Captain Abrashaff turned around the Benfold and made it a ship sailors wanted to be on.

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