It’s Your Ship written by Captain D. Michael Abrashoff tells the first-hand experience of an American Navy Captain. The techniques are summed up as follows “lead by example; listen aggressively; communicate with purpose and meaning; create a climate of trust; look for results, not salutes; take calculated risks; go beyond standard procedure; build up your people; generate unity; and improve your people’s quality of life.” In each one of the techniques, a personal story is shared on how this technique was implemented during his tenure as the commander of the USS Benfold. During his tenure the ship became the go to ship for Tomahawk missiles and the ship that many looked to for innovation.
After reading the book, I am highly impressed with the discipline, respect, organization, history, and virtue of the United States military. One thing that I would have liked to know is how Abrashoff learned to become a leader. In my opinion, it is assumed throughout the book that he had these great ideas of leadership and they worked great. Three great things that I will take away from this book is to stick up for those under your command if they are right, to invest in people, and to allow open debate if an idea is better or more efficient; these three are vital for organizations today.
One glaring weakness of this book is that the positives are accentuated while the captain’s failures are not touched upon. I have learned from my mistakes and I would have liked to read about some failures of Abrashoff. With that said, I would encourage this book for aspiring leaders to glean techniques from this book.