It’s Your Ship – Management Techniques by Abrashoff

When Commander Mike Abrashoff took command of one of the worst performing ships in the US Navy, the USS Benfold, he turned it around with his ‘GrassRoots Leadership’ management techniques. During his 20-month command he operated on just 75% of the budget, produced best KPIs every seen in the Pacific fleet, reduced the pre-deployment cycle time to 19 days (52 days was the average) and produced a promotion rate 2.5x the Navy average.

What did he do differently?

Upon taking command he took his time to talk to every single crew member on his ship and always asked 3 simple yet magical questions:

1. “What do you like best about this ship?”

2. “What do you like least?”

3. “What would you change if you could?”


“The most important thing that a captain can do is to see the ship through the eyes of the crew,” says Abrashoff. He focused on morale and readiness, and always assumed he could make existing processes more efficient. “I didn’t put an emphasis on paperwork,” says Abrashoff. GrassRoots leadership are management techniques that inspires every individual to share the responsibility of achieving excellence.

Today, Mr. Abrashoff is an author and speaker and inspires a much wider audience than his initial 300 men. He wrote a great book about management techniques: It’s Your Ship. Watch one of his speeches on YouTube:

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