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Miami, FL, USA
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Former U.S. Navy Commander Mike Abrashoff to be keynote speaker for the National ... of the NDA Scholarships and the NDA Lifetime Achievement Award.
Updated 6 months ago
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Mike Abrashoff

Former Commander of USS Benfold and Author of "It's Your Ship"

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When Mike Abrashoff took command of USS Benfold, the ship's performance ranked rock-bottom. Worse yet, the crew didn't feel safe should they be called into action. Determined to improve performance, but without the power to hire, fire or promote personnel, Abrashoff focused on what he could change: the ship's culture. His innovative approach broke from the traditional command-and-control leadership style and sought to see the ship from the eyes of his crew. When crew members asked Abrashoff to solve a problem, his response became, "It's YOUR ship - what would you do?" The result was an empowered and engaged team that turned the ship into the Navy's top performer.

In many ways, Abrashoff's Benfold journey is a perfect metaphor for the problems - and opportunities - facing many organizations today. Publications from Fast Company to the Harvard Business Review have revered his story, and Abrashoff's first book, It's Your Ship: Management Techniques from the Best Damn Ship in the Navy, remains a best-seller with nearly 1 million copies in print.

An in-demand business speaker, Abrashoff challenges leaders to create new visions in their own thinking and instill a renewed responsibility for success. People relate to Abrashoff's dilemma: being held accountable for results in environments where rules and regulations pose significant obstacles. Dazzling listeners with keynotes illustrated by his own real-life experiences, Abrashoff arms audiences with the strategies, tactics and tools to unleash innovation and improve operational performance - in spite of the odds.


"Thanks for hitting it out of the park for us today. Many Harshaw Trane Associates came up to me this afternoon telling me we couldn't have made a better choice for a speaker with message that was both timely and appropriate.”
--Vice President, Harshaw Trane

“Captain Abrashoff energized our organization in a new and powerful way. I walked away with plenty of inspiration and new ideas -- and a handful of new leadership tools that can be applied immediately.”
--Area Sales Director, US Vision Care, Bausch + Lomb

“Mike did an amazing job and much appreciated. Thank you!”
--Vice President, Human Resources, Marketwired

“Mike was a great fit for our program and we are getting overwhelmingly positive ratings on our post-summit survey. Thank you!”
--Executive Director, Meetings & Events, Marshberry

Speech Topics

It's Your Ship - Achieving Breakthrough Performance

This inspiring talk is based on the vital leadership lessons Abrashoff learned as he led the remarkable turnaround of USS Benfold and her crew. The first lesson: before the ship's performance could improve, his own leadership style had to change. His credo: "What would YOU do? It's YOUR ship!", created a high performance culture and empowered his crew to take charge and use ingenuity and initiative to improve the way things were done. Abrashoff leaves audiences with the same tools and inspiration to lead differently and elevate organizational performance to new levels.


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