“No one asked me what I think before.”
This was the response from a young sailor aboard the USS Benfold to Captain Mike Abrashoff. The captain was on a tour of the ship and asked the sailor what he’d do to solve a problem.
Abrashoff used this technique of subtle empowerment to create a team of world-class performers. The book “It’s Your Ship” details his journey in turning around one of the poorest performing ships into the top ship in the entire US Navy. It’s now a classic in leadership books.
When Tim Ferriss told his staff they no longer had to come to him for decisions where solutions were $100 or less, he wrote “their IQ doubled overnight.” He’d go on to increase that dollar threshold significantly as his team’s performance soared with the change.
Abrashoff couldn’t hire, fire, or promote and yet built an exceptional team.
Ferriss could no longer make every decision himself, so he trusted the team and “IQ doubled.”
Where can you give trust?