The book It’s Your Ship presents insights into the various management techniques that are used by the author in the management of the ship and can be applicable in any other organization. The story evolves around Michael Abrashoff, a captain with the USS Benfold ship in the Navy. Under his command, the ship attains a legendary status, both in the navy and outside. Therefore, he uses the book, It’s Your Ship, to covey the need to change the way of leadership style not only of the Navy but of any other organization. This write up will examine chapters nine to twelve of this book.
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In chapter 9 the author stressed on the need for leaders to be committed performing the things that may be considered simple. He specifically sought to utilize any small opportunity to interact with his crew with the view of lifting their morale. He was opposed to what happens in many organizations where employees are treated like kids through punishments (Abrashoff, 141). Other than paying attention to the small things, the author stressed on the need for one to trust people whom she or he leads. He led by assigning the third class of petty officers to the supervision positions. Another issue that he stressed on is the need for giving new employees an enjoyable welcome in any organization to make them feel part of the organization. He also noted the need for any junior officer to build up their bosses (155) by anticipating their needs helping them meet those needs without being informed.
Finally, in this chapter, he emphasized the need for a leader to expect the best from their subjects. To him, this can help the leaders to tap the full potential of their workers at the lower hierarchy levels. As a leader, he set his subjects free to express both their personal and professional views. He is committed to knowing the goals of all the employees and devising ways of helping them realize such goals which he majorly done through training, role modeling and counseling.
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In chapter 10, the author discusses the importance of having a united team. Though he admits that such an initiative has challenges, he makes it clear that it is possible for ship officers to put away all kinds of their differences for the common good of all on board. He, Abrashoff, is just newly appointed not because of having experience but because of his ability to ensure teamwork (Abrashoff, 169). Having inherited the leadership of the ship which is experiencing high levels of such vices as racial discrimination and sexual harassment, his first task was to eliminate these vices while inculcating the spirit of teamwork. To Abrashoff, such acts of negativity as gender and racial discriminations negatively affect the productivity of people in any kind of organization as their dignity is lowered.
He, therefore, replaced diversity training with unity training insisting that it is only focusing on what people like and their common goals and not their diversity that unity can prevail. He sought to understand the uniqueness of every ethnic group and utilize it towards realizing the common goal. Second, he put measures in place to ensure that every kind of gender and racial discrimination in the ship was uprooted. His leaders, while laying their powers aside, treated their subjects with dignity and respect, helping them to improve in areas in which they showed weaknesses while applauding their strengths. Abrashoff also shared the need to ensure that the navy officer corpse was changed to reflect the workforce since they were initially made of the whites. Additionally, Abrashoff dealt with all kinds of violations against the law firmly while emphasizing on the need for leaders to act as role models to the team. Finally, he made his male counterparts to embrace the need of treating the females with dignity.
In chapter 11, the author stressed on the need of any leadership including that of the corporate America to undertake measures aimed at improving its people’s quality of life. Cautioning against over relying on technology and putting people to work overtime, he advises that there is a need to give employees breaks for fun to encourage them to own their organization. He uses such activities as boat race to help his crews lighten during the moments he considered to be tough. He, therefore, changed the rule that denied working sailors the freedom to have time for fun and confesses that this change acted as the glue which united the team.
He identified another ingredient of this unity as serving the sailors with good food noting that meals offer people a chance to relax and socialize with each other. Additionally, he stressed on the need to continuously empower the crews through trainings in new technologies. He foresaw the training of his crews on how to utilize Tomahawk cruise missiles which was the most effective artillery in the country giving his team successful in the Persian Gulf War as they were always reaching their targets earlier than other ships.
Finally, in Chapter 12, the captain hands over the Benfold to the new captain. Even during the transition, he decides to continue esteeming his crews by insisting that his crews would not be put to do “needless preparations” in the name of hosting senior officials (199). He instead chooses to rejoice with his relief and crew saluting them for their work in the transformation of Benfold.
In conclusion, the initiatives taken by the commander made his leadership style admirable to other leaders. There is, thus, the need for organizations to know that the role of any management team has changed from that which was meant to give orders and start aiming at developing and empower people.
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