Mike Abrashoff: Leading With Humility Changes Culture

Former Commander of the USS Benfold, Mike Abrashoff recently reflected on the things he learned from Secretary of Defense William Perry. This is an excerpt:

“An arrogant leader makes it tougher for the troops to do their job. Nobody wants to do business with you or your team if you come across in an arrogant manner. Accidents happen to the arrogant. William Perry taught me about humility. Go about your job with steely resolve but don’t get caught up in your ego. Be more concerned with results and not salutes. Be more concerned about substance than form. I one time wrote out a memo to William Perry on a paper napkin because that was all I had on me at the time. He gave me the confidence to do that and it allowed us to have a nimble, responsive operation as world events evolved before our eyes.”

Last month Mike spoke at one of our favorite client’s franchise events and absolutely rocked it—alongside other high-powered speakers. He’ll NOT disappoint from the stage, he’s authentic and working with him is an absolute breeze.

Author of It’s Our Ship, Mike is at the center of one of the most remarkable modern day stories of organizational transformation. At the age of 36, the Navy selected Mike to become Commander of USS Benfold. At the time he was the most junior commanding officer in the Pacific Fleet—on a ship that was plagued by low morale, high turnover and abysmal performance evaluations. Few thought that the ship could improve—yet 12 months later the ship was ranked #1 in performance— using the same crew. People were amazed and the lesson was clear…

Leadership matters and culture is everything.

If Mike’s message of humble leadership, culture, engagement and team sounds like a fit for your franchisees, let me know. His fees start at $28,500 and he travels from Miami.

More soon…


P.S. Here’s another Mike quote which I love, “The most important thing that a captain can do is to see the ship through the eyes of the crew. The idea is to empower every individual to share the responsibility of achieving excellence.”  Absolutely!

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