Spectacular Success For “The Best Damn Ship In The Navy”

Spectacular success
The unforeseen success other people intentionally create for you
because you intentionally create success for them

This is post #4 of 5 USS Benfold posts to help you understand
how one type of success sparks other types of success.

Under the command of a junior officer, USS Benfold created a number of successes for companion ships in the Persian Gulf during the 1997 crisis with Iraq. Because Captain D. Michael Abrashoff and Benfold’s crew intentionally created success for other officers and ships’ crews, Benfold became the “go-to ship in the Persian Gulf” during the 1997 crisis with Iraq.

Benfold also became the model for the Navy’s assessment process. Any ship that could achieve “the same performance levels” as Benfold could skip the six month training process. According to a reviewer of Captain Abrashoff’s book at Amazon, the Navy was looking for a way to do that, but Benfold is still the ship that achieved it.

After retiring from the Navy, Michael Abrashoff wrote three books about his Benfold experiences and his crew and became a highly regarded and popular speaker. His first book, It’s Your Ship: Management Techniques form the Best Damn Ship in the Navy, was so popular that Abrashoff wrote a tenth anniversary edition with updated content and a new chapter.

Michael Abrashoff and his Benfold crew intentionally created
unforeseen success for other ships, officers and crews,
who then intentionally created
unforeseen success for Michael Abrashoff and his Benfold crew.

Full Bias Disclosure

I bought both copies of this book. I study and write about examples of spectacular success around the world, and the USS Benfold is far and away my favorite spectacular success.

The 5th USS Benfold post will give examples of how other people spotlighted Benfold’s success.

It’s Your Ship: Management Techniques from the Best Damn Ship in the Navy
Captain D. Michael Abrashoff
Time Warner Books Group, New York: 2002 and 2012
Quotes on 138, 149


Paula M. Kramer
© 2015 to the present
All rights reserved.

Posts on this blog alternate with posts at the link below. Posts for both blogs are published on Wednesdays as they are ready to be published. Time between posts could be weeks or months.


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A web host transfer made some posts disappear. Luckily, I copied each post and emailed it to myself. Since I alternated success and failure posts, I will have to remove posts and republish them in success and failure order. I will do this as I have time. Apologies.