Leaders looking to improve their credit union’s performance may only need to look as far as the people currently employed and the environment where they work.
Mike Abrashoff, the former commander of the USS Benfold and author of “It’s Your Ship,” will be the keynote speaker on the final day of the CUNA Lending Council Conference. The conference runs Nov. 8-11 in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
When Abrashoff was assigned to the USS Benfold, it was one of the worst performing ships in the Navy’s Pacific fleet. However, through his leadership and focus on the 310 crew members, it transformed into the top-performing vessel in the Pacific.
“I decided for the first time in my career to stop obsessing over things I can’t influence and just focus on the one thing I do have the ability to influence,” Abrashoff says. “And that’s connecting with my crew and getting them to realize we’re all in this together. If the ship sinks, we’re all going down regardless of what our rank is.”
During his keynote speech, Abrashoff will give examples of leaders who have achieved results by focusing on “people” issues, such as collaboration, commitment, cohesion, accountability, engagement, innovation, and diversity in the workplace.
He will speak about how to create a culture where everyone—employees, managers, and leadership—takes ownership and responsibility for their organization.
While he was in charge of the ship and could give orders, Abrashoff says he realized he could not order excellence. In order to obtain excellence, he needed to lead his crew and get crew members to take ownership of the ship and its results.
Abrashoff says the change took place in part due to his decision to treat people with respect and dignity, and to invest in education and training.