Captain Fraser learned most every leadership trait he needed to know as a ship captain and as a senior business executive in the first sixty seconds of his induction into the United States Naval Academy. Those sixty seconds taught the leadership traits that were evident in Admiral David Farragut's infamous order: "Damn the Torpedoes!
Full Speed Ahead!" when his attack at Mobile Bay was in danger of failing. Those sixty seconds also taught the leadership basics that were evident in Admiral Chester Nimitz when he ordered the Pacific Fleet to meet the Japanese at the Battle of Midway. Those sixty seconds can also teach business leaders how to lead. Damn the Torpedoes! is a book about how those same sixty seconds taught Captain Fraser how to have more successful military and business careers.
When then Midshipman Fraser answered a question about his laundry number by saying: "I don't know," he learned during the ensuing push-ups that there are only four answers to a question or order: "No excuse, sir," "I'll find out, sir," "yes or no, sir," and "aye-aye, sir." Those four answers teach the four basic traits of leadership: accountability, thinking ahead, ethics, and motivation. Damn the Torpedoes!, through personal and historical stories, shows how those four traits embedded in a sea captain can be used by business and organizational leaders to make their own careers and companies more successful.
Examples from the author's dual career experiences, the Battle of Mobile Bay, the Battle of Midway, the Battle of Cape St.
George, Desert Shield/Storm, Enron, Tylenol, CNN, Intuit, and Airbnb all show how the four leadership traits are key both afloat and ashore. The book is a unique look at business leadership from a very different perspective than those taken by other books on leadership.
It is a book about leadership lessons learned by ship captains over the centuries that can be applied to business. Damn the Torpedoes! is also unique in that the author has had two careers: one as Navy ship captain and the second as president of one of the divisions of Turner Broadcasting.
He is qualified to speak authoritatively from experience on those leadership traits of sea captains that can be successfully used by organizational leaders ashore.