Mike Abrashoff took command of the worst-performing navy ship and crew in the Pacific Fleet and—within just one year—made it the best in the fleet. The challenges that faced him on the underperforming ship were staggering: low morale, high crew turnover, and dismal performance evaluations. What drove Micheal’s success was the realization that he needed to take a strong lead if things were going to improve. In his riveting talks, Micheal details what he did to turn his ship around, and how business leaders can take his lessons to achieve results and success with their own “crews.” Micheal has recently been delivering a new presentation, No Limits: Unleashing Breakthrough Performance, to great acclaim. Below is a description of the talk, followed by a selection of client testimonials:
Sometimes in our professional lives we believe we are in a battle to beat an adversary or a competitor when in actuality, we are in competition with ourselves but just haven’t figured it out yet. When battling the competition, you want to come out on top, if only by one more sale or maybe a few percentage points. Sometimes, someone at a higher level gives you a goal based on some median expectation set for others.
When Michael Abrashoff took command of a well below-average ship in the U.S. Navy, his goal was to get to average. He initially set average goals and expectations for himself and his crew until one day it struck him: his ship could be better than average. Mike’s eureka moment was realizing they weren’t in competition with anyone but themselves to be their best. They had to stop putting limits on what they believed was possible. That realization changed Mike Abrashoff’s approach to leadership and led the same crew to accomplish one of the most remarkable turnarounds that was chronicled in the Harvard Business Review, Fast Company magazine and his New York Times’ and Wall Street Journal bestselling book, It’s Your Ship.
Many of Mike’s former crew members have gone on to accomplish great things in their careers. They write to tell him their stories. One of Mike’s sailors just ran for city council of one of the largest cities in the U.S. and he wrote Mike to say, “you gave us the inspiration and confidence to know that there are no limits.” This presentation will challenge you to think differently on how to set expectations while realizing the only limits that you have are self-imposed.
“I wouldn’t be surprised if some of the companies attending ask you to speak to some of their internal meetings as well. Many said your message was a great one for everyone, not just a specific segment of the group, and they also appreciated how approachable you were.”
–Director of Administration, Electric Utility Fleet Managers Conference
“I thought you nailed it and helped 1) land the message of “Own It”, 2) help them focus on their Leadership, and 3) Help them think about managing through change. I am so glad that you were our speaker and I think it helped us at this critical point in time.”
–EVP, Retail, Office Depot
“Mike was super! He was a great storyteller, funny, and tied the message to our business throughout. It was so relevant to exactly what our org needs right now–leadership at the GM level — and I have received nothing but rave reviews. In fact, several of our vendor suppliers and audience members from other companies have asked me for info about Mike to possibly speak for their organizations. It was awesome!”
— SVP Marketing/Creative Director, Houlihans