Have you ever wondered what the elite coaches read each month?
My friend, Dr. Paul Schempp, at the Sport Instruction Research Laboratory at the University of Georgia, recently polled the top expert coaches in their sport and asked them to send in the most influential reads in their lives. This list is amazing and with each blog I will personally share with you a book from the shelf of the great coaches and teachers of all time.
IT’S YOUR SHIP: MANAGEMENT TECHNIQUES FROM THE BEST DAMN SHIP IN THE NAVY by Captain D. Michael Abrashoff.
2002 Warner Books, Inc., 1271 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10020
Other than the sobering fact that real lives are regularly at stake, running a navy ship is a lot like running a business: leaders of both must get the most out of their crews to operate at peak efficiency and complete the tasks at hand. As commander of the highly acclaimed USS Benfold, Captain D. Michael Abrashoff irrefutably demonstrated how progressive management can succeed at sea; in It’s Your Ship, he translates his methods into an approach that can also be applied by land-bound captains of commerce and industry. Describing “the ideas and techniques that I used to win my sailors’ trust and, eventually, their enthusiastic commitment to our joint goal of making our ship the best in the fleet,” Abrashoff cites embarrassing failures along with subsequent triumphs to illuminate the keys to his accomplished 20-month tenure aboard the guided missile destroyer. His suggestions: lead by example; listen aggressively; communicate 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. While hardly original on the surface, Abrashoff’s course should provide practical direction and inspiration for any leader hoping for similarly positive results in similarly rigid organizations. –Howard Rothman