Leadership Style and Traits Research Paper

Excerpt from Research Paper :

Leadership Style and Traits

Leadership Styles and Traits

Captain D. Michael Abrashoff was one of the graduates from U.S. Naval Academy and he was also an assistant of military as a former secretary of defense. Though in 2001 he left his profession 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 in his entire profession. This research paper is all about leadership styles and traits followed by Captain Michael Abrashoff during his naval services and the principles he used in changing the direction 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 related equipments and machineries but only the productivity is lacking so in order to get that productivity he took some initiatives and actions and get the achievements of which he proud of like 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 for the naval efficiency. As an author in his book he shares all his secrets towards the success and how he becomes a benchmark for all.


It's your ship by captain D. Michael Abrashoff is a story that emphasizes on his leadership skills completing the journey from the Navy's underperforming war vessels to one of the best damn ship. The story is all about the captain and USS Benfold which was considered as the advanced and updated ship having all the machines used in fighting while sailing in high sea shores, but the morale of the crew deeply low and also the performance scores were much lower than the expectations of the Navy.

From the first day, the captain tried to keep the competence level and morale level well above his new crew. He also enhanced and upgraded the lifestyle on vessel by improving the training system. He retained the pride level which disappeared sometime long before. In fact, he cut down or lowered the cost of maintenance through replacement with products that were more durable by mediocre equipment.

Abrashoff did not worry for his status as the Benfold's new commander had, but he truly cared for maintaining his trust, dignity and respect in the eyes of others which had been lost by his predecessor. For keeping his good record, he put much effort like sending the chiefs of ship to the school for proper training. In order to protect the vessel from rusty stains, he ordered for steel that is made of highly resists from the rust.

Captain did an effort to maintain the fruitful communication between every crew member through maintaining both formal and informal interviews. As he really wanted his efforts to be effective; he looked at the old existing interviews of the ones who had left or wanted to leave the profession of navy. Finally, he found the results and among them most reasons he found could have been avoided. Some of the reasons included: members not receiving the desired respect, they felt they were not being rewarded and were not given the best from the organization. In a nut shell all the points reflects that they were highly demotivated. Getting all these results he stood up on working with changing the perception of his crew members and start making them understand that their existence means a lot to the crew and that they are highly important for the organization. He also made it clear to his members that their ideas will be listened and respected (Dinsmore, 2011)

Soon it had been realized by the captain to improve his ship's productivity improvement was needed on his own leadership style. According to research, it was prominent that majority of the people resigned their jobs due to their manager's bad leadership. While following the best leader style not only helps in achieving the organization's goal but also maximizes the productivity and confidence of employees who are considered as the assets of a company.

He had followed some principles and traits in order to lead and attain goals for those who seem impossible to attain and to reach them.

These principles include: building trust among members, enhance the quality of communication, giving meaning to the purposes, lead by example, take risks that are calculative, create unity among people, gave importance in enhancing the lifestyle of his people, go beyond the means not the ends, following up the procedures that are to be followed (Hunter, 2012)

He believed in rewarding risk takers so that their level of motivation rises up. He believed in giving promotions and allocation rewards to them so that the organization always remains in a growing position and moving in an upward direction pattern.

He believed in doing the right thing that may never lead towards the wrong path.

Captain Abrashoff has provided some insights and methods explaining how to motivate people and make them more competent. Also bring up the inborn talent which has been rusted due to mishandling and improper guidance.

His smartly utilizing of leadership skills has become the reason for his achievement that he became the profound well-known Captain.

Additional principles and traits that he has gone through are creating confidence among people, work or look for the outcomes instead of salutes, generate the concept of collectivism and enhance the quality of people's life


Following are the points summarizing the traits and principles that Captain Abrashoff followed upon during his leadership.


In today's world the most important thing from the organization's point-of-view is to attract and retain their employees and keeping their motivation level high by continuously rewarding them in order to get their passionate efforts full of enthusiasm and energy. Similarly the captain did the same. According to Abrashoff the essential element is trust and respected between the employees.

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. Instead, the main reason for leaving the job is employees not being treated with respect and dignity. In today's era, leaders need to attract and retain their best employees.

The first principle according to him as being a successful skipper IS TO LOOK AT THE SHIP FROM THE CREW'S EYES.

Only this way one can find what really goes wrong or right.

Furthermore, he also realized that alone he cannot make decisions for all even not only he himself but anyone alone cannot be capable of doing this. For this reason, he decided to train his people to create judgments and to think for their own self.


Empowering means to provide people a criteria or parameters on which they have been allowed to operate in free and relaxed environment and enabling people to utilize their skills and resources fully unleashed. And he rightly followed this by giving his people the guidelines.


He followed the another characteristic of being a real leader by swallowing up his temper at the time of getting situations worse off by asking questions with his own self like whether he provided desired training to his employees? Or whether he clearly provided the guidelines or ample time to articulate the visional goals or enough resources to achieve the desired tasks and desired outcomes.

He discovered some traits regarding to lead by examples. These traits include:

Not to forget the effect of yours on people: it says leaders should understand how they need to create their own impact on people and how they need to keep the tone to set the spirit of people surrounding them. If a leader is showing his enthusiasm, his workforce will definitely feel 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 make him proud or embarrassed. 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 be 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 asked for a good alternative to reach the goals from his people. And for this he would be appreciated for his honesty and being listened by the people and finally got appreciation…

Sources Used in Document:


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

Barr R.F. (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, K. (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

Dinsmore, B. (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/.

Cite This Research Paper:

"Leadership Style And Traits" (2012, April 28) Retrieved December 19, 2018, from

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