When he took command of the ship, he found that performance suffered from:
- Infighting among the 5 deparments on the ship
- Training was cut, due to budget reasons
- People would complain about things not under their control
- Tradition: Things were done as they had always been done
He spoke about how to instill a sense of urgency. Each month, a different division would "be in the spotlight."
Abrashoff would routinely walk around the ship and talk with sailors. He would ask:
- What do you like most?
- What do you like the least?
- What can we improve, within budget?
- Change the bolts on the ship from iron to stainless steel. Instead of painting the ship every 2 months, the ship could be painted every 10 months. This best-practice was then implemented throughout the US Navy.
- Thursday evenings, the crew would gather on the flight deck and listen to jazz and watch the sun set. This improved morale and was relatively cheap to implement.