1Leadership Style and Traits AbstractCaptain D Michael Abrashoff was one of the graduates from US Naval Academy and he wasalso an assistant of military as a former secretary of defense. Though in 2001 he left hisprofession of navy and turned to a founder of grassroots leadership. (Barr, Frumi, 2002)After leaving that, he wrote a book on his management styles that he followed up throughout inhis entire profession. This research paper is all about leadership styles and traits followed byCaptain Michael Abrashoff during his naval services and the principles he used in changing thedirection of ship and motivation of sailors.At the time when he took a charge over the ship, it was like a business that has all the relatedequipments and machineries but only the productivity is lacking so in order to get thatproductivity he took some initiatives and actions and get the achievements of which he proud oflike turning the troubled ship and team into efficiently working team and best damn ship.However, in the end he has got the slogan of “it’s your ship” and recognized as a role model forthe naval efficiency.As an author in his book he shares all his secrets towards the success andhow he becomes a benchmark for all.
2Leadership Style and TraitsIntroduction It’s your ship by captain D. Michael Abrashoff is a story that emphasizes on hisleadership skills completing the journey from the Navy’s underperforming war vessels to one ofthe best damn ship. The story is all about the captain and USS Benfold which was considered asthe advanced and updated ship having all the machines used in fighting while sailing in high seashores, but the morale of the crew deeply low and also the performance scores are much lowerthan the expectations of the Navy.From the day first captain tried to keep the competence level and morale level below/above ofhis new crew. He also enhanced and upgrades the lifestyle on vessel by improving trainingsystem. He retained the pride level which was disappeared sometime long before. In fact he cutdown or decreases down the cost of maintenance through replacement with products that weremore durable by mediocre equipment.Abrashoff doesn’t worried for his status as the Benfold’s new commander has, but he truly caresfor maintaining his trust dignity and respect in the eyes of others which has been lost by hispredecessor, for keeping his good record he does some efforts like sending the chiefs of ship toschool for proper training, in order to protect the vessel from rusty stains he order for steel thatare highly resists from the rust.Captain did an effort to maintain the fruitful communication between every crewmember throughmaintaining formal and informal interviews both. As he really want to put his efforts fruitful hestarted to read the existing interviews of the ones who had left or wanted to left the profession ofnavy. Finally he found the results and among them most reasons he find out seems unnecessary.Some of the reasons he got like members were not receiving desired respect, they were really not
3Leadership Style and Traitsbeing rewarded they feel like cannot give best to the organization. In a nut shell all the pointsreflects that they were highly demotivated. Getting all these results he stood up on working withchanging the perception of his crew members and start making them understand that theirexistence means a lot to the crew and that they are highly important for the organization. He alsorealized them that he would listen to them and will respect their ideas (Dinsmore,Ben 2011)Soon it has been realized by captain to improve his ship’s productivity and need to improve hisown leadership skills. As according to research it has been resulted that most of the peopleresigned their jobs due to their manager’s leadership. While following the best leader style notonly helps in achieving the organization’s goal but also the maximum productivity andconfidence of employees who are considering as the assets of a company.He had followed some principles and traits in order to lead and attain goals for those who seemimpossible to attain and to reach them.Building trust among members, enhance the quality of communication, gave meaning to thepurposes, lead by example, take risks those are calculative, create unity among people, gaveimportance in enhancing the lifestyle of his people, go beyond the means not the ends, followingup the procedures that are to be followed (Hunter, Peter)He believes on giving the rewards to the risk takers so that their level of motivation keep risingup even if the people fall down , he believes in giving promotions and allocation rewards tothem so that the organization always remain in a growing and moving in a upward directionpattern.
4Leadership Style and TraitsHe believes in doing the right thing that may never lead towards wrong path.Captain Abrashoff has provided some insights and methods that how to motivate people andmake them more competent. Also bring up the inborn talent which has been rusted due tomishandling and improper guidance.His smartly utilizing of leadership skills has become the reason for his achievement that hebecomes profound well known Captain.The principles and traits that he gone through were, lead through example, communicate thepurpose and meaning, build a environment of trust, take calculated risks, create confidenceamong people and build up, work or look for the outcomes instead of salutes, generate theconcept of collectivism and enhance the quality of people’s life PRINCIPLES AND TRAITSFollowing are the summarize points of traits and principles that Captain Abrashoff followed upduring his leadership. RETAINING EMPLOYEESIn today’sworld the most important thing from the organization’s point of view is to attract andretain their employees, and keep their motivation level high by keep rewarding them in order toget their passionate efforts full of enthusiasm and energy.Therefore, he follows the same.According to Abrashoff the essential to him is to be trusted, respected and effective for all.It has been assumed that paying low salary is the major reason for employees to leave any job,but here the results proved this assumption wrong. And the main reason for leaving the job is not
5Leadership Style and Traitsbeing treated them with respect and dignity. In today’s era leaders need to attract and retain theirbest employeesThe first principle according to him as being a successful skipper IS TO LOOK AT THESHIP FROM THE CREW’S EYES.Only this way one can find what really goes wrong or right.The second principle or assumption that he may implement those processes that may helpspeople enjoying carrying through.He also realized that alone he cannot make decisions for all even not only he himself but anyonealone cannot be capable of doing this, for that he decided to train his people to create judgmentsand to think for their own self. EMPOWERING PEOPLEEmpowering means to provide people a criteria or parameters on which they have been allowedto operate in free and relaxedenvironmentand enabling people to utilize their all of the skills andresources fully unleashed. And he rightly followed that by giving his people the guidelines. LEAD BY EXAMPLEHe followed the another characteristic of being a real leader by swallowing up his temper at thetime of getting situations worse off by asking questions with his own self like whether heprovided desired training to his employees? Or whether he clearly provided the guidelines orample time to articulate the visional goals or enough resources to achieve the desired tasks anddesired outcomes.
6Leadership Style and TraitsHe discovered some traits regarding to lead by examples Not to forget the effect of yours on people: it says leader should understand how they need to create his impact on people and how they need to keep the tone to set the spirit of people surrounds them. If a leader is showing his enthusiasm, his workforce will definitely feels the same or vice versa. Not to fail the test of Washington post: According to him he always carefully avoids ethical shortcuts. And make self judgments whether to run or stop for obvious reasons and its after effects. Make self test for what he will do would result in good terms that could made him proud or embarrass. He focuses on doing the things right for not worrying of getting involved in any ruffling out someone’s feather. Obey even when you disagree: rarely has it been found that the chain of sub ordinates often disagree with the policies, it’s important not to underestimate the superiors. This could only be possible if people in an organization truly understand that their superiors are supportive for their chain of command. If one is freelancing, people would not supportive if they disagree for the implemented policies.According to Abrashoff when he was given a task for which he does not agree he simply ask fora good alternative to reach the goals from his people. And for this he would be appreciated forhis honesty and being listened by the people, and finally got appreciation for the goodaccomplishment.
7Leadership Style and Traits LISTEN CAREFULLY :He says that he wants his people to look from the crews eyes and to believe that benfold is thebest ship among all in Navy. He made their people understand to believe in their own self andbelieves this strategy works best. COMMUNICATION MUST BE MEANINGFUL:Abrashoff believes, leading or managing the ship depends on communicating efficiently with hispeople so that they may work collectively with full of hard work. He believes in givingthe clearvision to his employees. He focuses on communicating information that actually contains meaningful reason. He made improvements through opening himself towards criticism, so that people feel free to open themselves also and start owning the organization with putting theirefforts sincerely and giving their devotion to the work Make people understand that they can do well so that better results must be achieved collectively.Creating a trustworthy environment:Abrashoff believes in giving his employees an environment of confidence andsit back and lettheir employees handle the situation. For him trust is a key strength for employees sustaining.More he says trust could only be earned by giving back.It has been said by him that if organization wins, it means that all wins who are working for theorganization.
8Leadership Style and TraitsThe one more thing according to Abrashoff that need to be understand that if there they find anybad situation and one can solve it then no need to keep your boss’s attention over it. But insituation which is uncontrollable, make it aware of the boss SHIELDING YOUR TEAM FROM ARROGANT BOSES:A good leader must protect his employees from the bad situation and from the ones, who areintolerable, as Abrashoff find this as a little bit crucial.Always be the best in handling any responsibility that has been given. WORK FOR ENDS NOT SALUTES: Provide crews an atmosphere in which they feel free to raise any questions, suggestions orsolutions. If this way is to be followed leaders are always be on top of their people if this strategyis not to be followed by the managers then the situation will not give productive outcomes andonce the leader got the impression he never get out of it. Abrashoff has been determined to put the ship like an institution ofcontinuouslearning. So that got a perfect and systematic analysis for what need to be done and what not. FOLLOW RISKS THAT ARE CALCULATEDRisk taking seems to be a step that need to taken very carefully by proper measuring it and for astrong and growing organization praising risk takers are productive, no matter if ones fail for theonce in a couple of time. Here Abrashoff says let him know anyone who grows successfullywithout commencing any mistake. “He believes if the rule never gives some sense, let it be break”
9Leadership Style and Traits LET S GET BEFORE THE STANDARDIZED PROCEDUREAbrashoff believes in thinking realistically and imaginatively and get prepare for what comesahead. And go forward to find out the new procedures to face or manage the old tasks and uniqueways for unique problems. Get prepare for meeting the challenging situations, that would rather make more confident for unforeseen scenarios Abrashoff practices working smarter rather than working harder Focuses on the first priorities that need to be considered. And also made his sailors focuses on the important priorities that need to be deal first BUILDING UP THE TEAM:Here Abrashoff says and rely on building ones self-esteem making others feel pleased abouttheir work and jobs. This directly improves the outcome and ones morale. Always tried to showconcerns in trusting them and believe in them that simply is the art of doing things well. Hebelieves in a principle of never tearing their bosses let down but helps them to grow lastly andstrongly. As he says “if you want to achieve anything bureaucratically get under the bosses head”it clearly means to let the boss feel that their problems have been solved by their employees. SMALL THINGS MOVE YOU TOWARDS ENORMOUS SUCCESS:As more people Abrashoff meet he provides him a more supportive and friendly environment totalk and sailors feel motivated and as he thanked them for their efforts, in return they put moreefforts for the future.Here he convinced for positive reinforcement that leads to an outstandingleadership. While it has been observed some of the various leaders are skipping this strategy.Leaders tend to discontinue in maintaining personal connectivity while they only follow this rule
10Leadership Style and Traitsbeing connected through electronic media. As the perception goes on that, being connectedelectronically is more effective than personally. However,it’s not true, even the perception istotally wrong. As being connected electronically is just like being lost over the world. And it’s abiggest mistake they occur. Trust in your people that may risen up their confidence and also challenges boost their inside competency New arrivals should be treated well: he focuses on giving the prestige to the new arrivals, so that their blood runs more fast till from the starts. Act like a rising tide so that may lift the boats: organizations success depends on working when collectively and leaders should always act upon, when jealousy factors generates among people. Itparalyzes the whole environment and subordinates relationships. Building up the boss. Abrashoff aims and believed to act as a player who must be a consummate team member. And got to anticipate the ones need before they themselves realized. Always expect something god from the crew: he teaches to behave people in a way that everyone must be talented and having a more something best that they are performing. In this way they would perform well and then stop treating them in a manner if the one is stupid. Building up the people: by one’s self grooming or training sessions it improves the overall group level intelligence and skills and in the long run good for the organization too. In some organizations it believes that grooming or building up the people is an investment of their assets.
11Leadership Style and Traits COUNSELLING EMPLOYEES:Counseling employees on yearly basis and giving them a continuous feedback is a key of beinggood leader. Achance of shedding the bad performers is only good when one has received thechance to get improved. BUILD UNITY AMONG TEAM MEMBERS:The good leader is one only who put his efforts in keeping their members unite, and make themrealized that working collectively is best for the organization in a long term. Here Abrashoff hasfind out that the staff who works collectively and believe in unity always give better results.Unity was the important purpose for his model of leadership. Abrashoff believes that everyone has some weaknesses no one is there who were not having any weakness. All are having some weaknesses and strengths, so he respect everyone’s dignity Training that focuses on unity teaches giving value to all instead of devaluing anyone. He wants his people to know about two things on his ship. The one is being punished for things doing wrong and secondly for they have a chance to retrieve it, in other words it simply deals by punishment with strictness but fairly.
12Leadership Style and Traits LIFE’S QUALITY NEED TO BE IMPROVED OF PEOPLE:Give people access to improve the quality of their life. Like Create an environment in which more friendly atmosphere is to be provided and bonuses were given. Better food to be provided as Abrashoff’s top priorities is to get a good meal, good training sessions and more promotions. He encourages his sailors when he shows off his ship, in this way employees consider their jobs not as a miserable territory. The reason behind good work is the better they play at USSBenfold(Tomlinson,Garry,2005)ABRASHOFF LEADERSHIP STYLESimply the leadership is an art of doing and handling complex things smartly, as a commonperson one cannot handle or manage everything clearly. Sometime the easier things wouldbecome a tougher for ones. As different leadership styles has been thought like autocratic,bureaucratic and laissez faire.Among them the most effective and productive leadership is known to be participative in whichleaders always encourage their team members and allow members to give their inputs in thesame way the Abrashoff did, so that contributions and participation level of team membersautomatically risen up with the passage of time.
13Leadership Style and TraitsIn this way group members or team members engage themselves in the work and produce morecreative results, which overall give positive results to the organization. Not only get this butleaders’ also get motivated if the outcomes bring positive results.This is the style that has been followed by the captain Michael Abrashoff in his profession underNavy.Captain Abrashoff focuses on building and putting up the self esteem of his people. He says hisjob is to turn new ones into gown ups so that they make gratified to Edward Benfold.He understand and perceives that most of the sailors are incapable of giving outputs is due tohaving some sort of insecurities in their child hood and as they got filled with some past insults.He believes that he may help his people by making the load of his people lighter sohe worked formaking them realized that he trusted them a lot.He perceives as make the bosses grow strong, so no one can ignore the point of praise. Just takeover the situation which the boss wants his employee to get in before the time he asked to do so.Solve out the boss problems as they are mine and made him believe that one is more responsibleand worried for him. In this way the things get easier and can make the good impression in theeyes of boss.As captain Abrashoff soon after getting hired in the ship and taking over all the charges his othercommanders had started to visit the ship and finding out how captain had take over the chargesand made other sailors to put on work.The next thing he did for getting his people’s trust and made the working environment morepolite he ordered some greeting cards and started to sending them to their sailors and
14Leadership Style and Traitsteammembers spouses and with that add some messages in order to inform that their men aredoing good and great job, in this way he maintained a kind and good relationship with his sailors.Soon after this in order to reach at the top of the edge he started to create a supportive climate.And started to write some letters to the parents of sailors in which he praise his sailors’performance. And soon he successfully creates a bond of trust among his team members andtheir family too.This proves that little and small things make big and never lasting successes.The other belief of Captain Abrashoff is that he says rewards are the most important thing tomake others realize of their lost self esteem. In organizations rewards are awarded to those whodid some extreme efforts, but he says that rewards should given to those also, who when leavetheir jobs as they wanted to tell those people that their efforts would praised everlasting evenafter when they will not be there.CONCLUSIONThis paper was began with the reflection of US naval captain D Michael abrashoff to a shipnamed as USS Benfold ,he had written a book of journey he completed with the Benfold.Captain had realized in order to get the best achievement for the USS benfold he could make hiscrew achieve the best. For that he had to make a climate on which everyone can performs bettermore of their competencies, and inspite all of this he did so and made everyone proud of all theydid. And simply make those principles as a best phenomenon for leading a ship.From his leading principles the message he gave is to think big and not to make new andinnovative things experimentally, because that can only create misperceptions, animosity and
15Leadership Style and Traitsjealousy. Think smartly, handle the situations by considering them from others eyes, whereasrealize things like your success depends on others success. This realization is really importantand takes one at the top of the edge he expects.In every kind of businesses and organizations, leadership roles and managerial skills play a veryimportant role. In today’s era managers should know and understandsthese skills in order to keepthis in their practices.Well this research paper is also a guideline to people that how to lead in a good manner.This story is for the leaders of any position, level, status, profession or of any job ororganization. The bottom line of this whole story is: It’s your ship so make it the best. (Tomlimson, Gary,2005)
16Leadership Style and TraitsBIBLIOGRAPHY Abrashoff, (2012).“It’s Your Ship” by Captain D. Michael Abrashoff. Retrieved April, 23rd2012 from,http://books.google.com.pk/books/about/It_s_Your_Ship.html?id=_X8cB5BjQPgC &redir_esc=y Ben, Dinsmore, (2011).“It’s Your Ship” by Captain D. Michael Abrashoff.Retrieved April, 23rd, 2012 from http://www.themaritimesite.com/its-your-ship-by-captain-d- michael-abrashoff/. Barr Rachel Fruimi, (2002). “It’s Your Ship” by Captain D. Michael Abrashoff, Retrieved April, 23rd, 2012 from, http://pdfsbox.com/read?=http://www.frumi.com/images/uploads/itsyourship.pdf Cherry, Kendra (2011). “It’s Your Ship” by Captain D. Michael Abrashoff, Retrieved April, 23rd2012 from, http://psychology.about.com/od/leadership/a/leadstyles.htmabout.com guide Hunter A Peter, “It’s Your Ship” by Captain D. Michael Abrashoff, Retrieved April, 23rd2012 from, http://www.breakingthemould.co.uk/?q=Captain%20D%20Michael%20Abrashoff Tomlinson, Gary (2005). “It’s Your Ship” by Captain D. Michael Abrashoff, Retrieved April, 23rd, 2012 from http://pdfsbox.com/read?=http://www.gary- tomlinson.com/media/Synopsis_-_Its_Your_Ship.pdf
17Leadership Style and Traits The Daily Blog.(2006), “it’s Your Ship” by Captain D. Michael Abrashoff, Retrieved April, 23rd, 2012 fromhttp://blog.800ceoread.com/2006/03/24/its-your-ship-by-captain- d-michael-abrashoff/