Meet our Keynote Speaker, Mike Abrashoff!

Date: Tuesday, April 17, 2018
Location: Orange Theater / Booth 1555
Time: 8 - 9 a.m.

Commander Mike Abrashoff will be the featured keynote speaker at CORROSION 2018 in Phoenix, AZ.  Abrashoff, a former commander in the U.S. Navy, is a world-renowned expert on management techniques, leadership, and the importance of workplace culture.

At the age of 36, the Navy selected Mike Abrashoff to become Commander of USS Benfold — at the time, the most junior commanding officer in the Pacific Fleet. The immediate challenges that faced him on this underperforming Naval war ship were staggering: exceptionally low morale, high turnover and unacceptably low performance evaluations. Few thought that this ship could improve. In many ways, the USS Benfold was actually an extreme example of the same problems facing many organizations today.

The solution was to establish a system of management techniques that Abrashoff calls The Leadership Roadmap. At the core of his leadership approach on Benfold was a process of replacing command and control with commitment and cohesion, and by engaging the hearts, minds, and loyalties of workers — with conviction and humility. “The most important thing that a captain can do is to see the ship through the eyes of the crew.” According to Abrashoff, The Leadership Roadmap is a practice that empowers every individual to share the responsibility of achieving excellence. “It’s your ship,” he was known to say. His former sailors to this day still remind him of it. By every measure, these principles were able to achieve breakthrough results. Personnel turnover decreased to an unprecedented 1 percent. The rate of military promotions tripled, and the crew slashed operating expenses by 25 percent. Regarded as the finest ship in the Pacific Fleet, Benfold won the prestigious Spokane Trophy for having the highest degree of combat readiness. Most important — this transformation took place with the same crew. What had changed was the ship’s culture as a result of Abrashoff’s leadership style.

Abrashoff recounted the leadership lessons from the turnaround of USS Benfold in It’s Your Ship, a New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller, with over 800,000 copies sold to date. This extraordinary interest in Abrashoff’s leadership journey and Benfold’s organizational lessons led to two follow-up books — Get Your Ship Together and It’s Our Ship. Those books took readers deeper into ways these principles have been put into action by business leaders in their own organizations.

Prior to commanding USS Benfold, Abrashoff served as the Military Assistant to Secretary of Defense William J. Perry. He also helped draft the air defense plan for naval forces in the Persian Gulf in 1990, coinciding with Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait; and served as the Executive Officer of the Cruiser Shiloh, where he deployed to the Persian Gulf in support of United Nations sanctions against Iraq.

Leadership Forum

Location: Orange Theater / Booth 1555
Time: 10:15 - 11:15 a.m.
Presented by: NACE International

How can you be a stronger leader in your role and organization, whether you manage others or you’re an entry level professional? Leaders are not just those with titles, but individuals who willingly step up to help their peers, coworkers, team members, and their organization as a whole achieve results. At NACE’s interactive Leadership Forum, learn from those who have successfully embarked on challenging professional journeys and experienced results. Gain valuable insight and leadership skills that will enhance your personal and professional lives.

This forum will feature Commander Mike Abrashoff, Keynote speaker and author of “It’s Your Ship”, Richard Hays, Senior Corrosion Engineer, Excet, Inc., Terry May the founder/CEO of MESA who is a 2-time Malcolm Baldridge award recipient, and Bill Hedges, Acting Chief Engineer, BP Facilities & Assets. The forum will commence in the exhibit hall, shortly after the keynote presentation. These leaders will share candid stories and provide you with tools and skills to empower you in your role and take the next steps in your career. Come prepared to ask questions and receive real world feedback.