IT'S YOUR SHIP
The recent winter storm has afforded me an opportunity to stay inside to finish a book that I've been enjoying for a while now. It's Your Ship, by Captain Michael D. Abrashoff, promises to teach the reader "management techniques from the best damn ship in the Navy." As a guide to leadership style, the book doesn't disappoint.
Captain Abrashoff is a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. After serving as an officer on several ships, he was selected to be the military assistant to U.S. Secretary of Defense William Perry. He ultimately was chosen to be the commander of USS Benfold, which he transformed from an average ship into an award-winning model of efficiency. He did so by earning the trust and respect of his crew, and by managing them in a way that inspired each crew member and junior officer to give his or her very best for the good of the whole team.
It's Your Ship (copyright 2002), is an entertaining read, and it provides great insight for those who are charged with the responsibility of managing and motivating other people. Its lessons transcend the Navy experience, and would be useful to any manager in the business world. This highly acclaimed book was on the BusinessWeek, Wall Street Journal and New York Times bestseller lists.
For me, the book was especially important because it was given to me as a Father's Day gift by my son Brendan (now in his second year at the U.S. Naval Academy) and his siblings: Tristan, Caitlin and Collin. I thank them all again for a great and thoughtful gift, and I recommend it to you if you are at all interested in management and leadership techniques.