Manager 3.0: A Millennial's Guide to Rewriting the Rules of Management

By Brad Karsh; Courtney Templin | Go to book overview

8
OWN IT:
TAKING — AND GIVING —
RESPONSIBILITY

“The ancient Romans had a tradition: whenever one of their engi-
neers constructed an arch, as the capstone was hoisted into place, the
engineer assumed accountability for his work in the most profound
way possible: he stood under the arch.”

—C. Michael Armstrong, former Chairman of AT&T

Ownership. Outside of the term “business casual,” ownership might be one of the most nebulous terms in business for millennials. It all became apparent to me after hearing Captain Mike Abrashoff speak at Leo Burnett, where he shared his turnaround story of how he took a ship—the USS Benfold—from being one of the worst ships in the Navy to winning the Spokane trophy for combat readiness. One of the first things that Abrashoff did was instill a slogan on board the USS Benfold, “It’s your ship.” He put the future, the results, and power in the hands of each and every sailor—“It’s YOUR Ship.” Abrashoff said, “Show me an organization in which employees take ownership, and I will show you one that beats competitors.” Abrashoff shifted the focus from the typical “chain of command” to a focus on purpose. He made it about performance not obedience, and I remember how he told stories of “aggressively listening” to his crew members, trying out their ideas, and rewarding them for taking risks. Abrashoff took ownership of the success of his ship, but he also instilled responsibility and ownership within each and every crew member. In this chapter, you will learn about these two sides of ownership and how to empower your people just like the captain.1

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