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It’s Your Ship

Published on April 8th, 2013

It's Your Ship mainI recently finished a book that I’ve thought about reading for years.  Not sure why it took so long, but it finally happened.  Honestly, I wish I would have read this book a long time ago.  It’s written by Captain D. Michael Abrashoff and shares his story of being the commander of the USS Benfold.  It’s a truly insightful book that gives wisdom every leader can use.  When Captain Abrashoff took over as commander, his ship was under-performing, lacked unity, and had low morale.  Within a short time though, the crew became confident and things changed as a result of leadership that emphasized, “it’s your ship.”  Here are my favorite quotes.

> “No ship or company can rely on just one person for a critical procedure.  That makes the whole ship hostage to a single person who may get hurt or sick, leaving you in big trouble.  My goal was to cross-train in every critical area.”

> “When leaders and managers behave as though they are above their people, when they announce decisions after little or no consultation, when they make it clear that their orders aren’t to be questioned, then conditions are ripe for disaster.”

> “One of the toughest things for organizations to accomplish is to get people to set aside personal difference and work for the good of everyone involved.  The task of the leader is to assemble the best team possible, train it, then figure out the best way to get the members to work together for the good of the organization.”


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