D. Michael Abrashoff

CAPTAIN D. MICHAEL ABRASHOFF is a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD, and was a military assistant to the former secretary of defense, the Honorable Dr. William J. Perry. Abrashoff left the Navy in 2001 and became the founder and CEO of Grassroots Leadership, Inc., in Boston. You can visit his website at www.grassrootsleadership.com.
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The legendary tale of top-down change for anyone trying to navigate today's uncertain business seas.

When Captain Abrashoff took over as commander of USS Benfold, 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 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, 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 eventually started calling 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.
Former U.S. Navy Commander Michael Abrashoff attracted worldwide media attention for his success in turning around a struggling ship, the USS Benfold—the subject of his acclaimed bestseller, It’s Your Ship. Since then, he’s been a fixture on the business lecture circuit, spreading an empowering message that any organization can be turned around with compassionate but firm leadership.
Abrashoff never claimed to have all the answers. He also knew that there were plenty of other creative leaders in the navy, army, air force, marine corps, and even the coast guard who could teach businesspeople how to motivate, inspire, and get great results under pressure. So he asked around, found some fascinating people in every branch of the U.S. military and the business world, and interviewed them about leadership and teambuilding. The result is Get Your Ship Together—a book that will be just as valuable as It’s Your Ship.
For example, Abrashoff introduces us to a working-class enlisted man who rose rapidly in the navy for his creative leadership under fire; an army platoon leader who fought in Afghanistan; the first woman to fly an Apache helicopter in combat; a former commander of the air force’s elite Blue Angels; and many other unsung heroes. Abrashoff distills their stories into fresh lessons that can be applied in the business world, such as:Make a contract with your people and honor itDevelop your subordinates better so you can buy back a little quality of lifeConduct the battle on your terms, not those of your adversary
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