Mike Abrashoff

Former Commander, USS Benfold and Author, It’s Your Ship

At the age of 36, Mike Abrashoff was selected to become Commander of USS Benfold. At the time he was the most junior Commanding Officer in the Pacific Fleet. The challenges aboard this underachieving Destroyer were staggering, with extremely low morale and the highest turnover rate in the Navy.

His solution was a system of beliefs that he called The Leadership Roadmap: A process of re-imagining leadership and replacing command and control with commitment and cohesion. By engaging the hearts, minds, and loyalties of his sailors, he achieved a level of operational success never before achieved. Through conviction and humility, Mike engaged his young crew through empowerment. He believed “The most important thing that a captain can do is to see the ship through the eyes of the crew.”

After leaving the Navy Mike co-founded GLS Worldwide and has worked with over 1,000 organizations, from non-profits to Fortune Ten Companies, instilling leadership initiatives at every level. By teaching the value of empowering every individual to share the responsibility of achieving excellence, he has affected phenomenal change in some of the most unexpected places. “It’s your ship,” Mike was known to say on Benfold, has become a mainstream term spoken throughout Corporate America.