Management expert, acclaimed American author, and founder of The Ken Blanchard Companies, Ken Blanchard has written and co-authored more than 30 books including the international bestseller The One Minute Manager. Like me, he is a NJ native. He was born in Orange, New Jersey and raised in New Rochelle, NY, Blanchard studied government and philosophy from Cornell University, before going on to acquire a doctoral degree in education administration and leadership from the same institution.
Along with his wife, Blanchard was named Cornell Entrepreneur of the Year in 1991 for their work with The Ken Blanchard Companies – a global leader in leadership and team effectiveness. His best selling book, The One Minute Manager, co-authored by Spencer Johnson, has sold more than 17 million copies in 27 languages.
Here are some of his most interesting insights on leadership and management:
1. Take a minute: look at your goals, look at your performance, see if your behavior matches your goals.
2. Goals begin behaviors, consequences maintain them.
3. Knowing where you’re going is the first step to get there.
4. The key to successful leadership is influence, not authority.
5. There’s a difference between interest and commitment. When you’re interested in something, you do it only when it’s convenient. When you’re committed to something, you accept no excuses; only results.
6. Everyone knows that not all change is good or even necessary. But in a world that is constantly changing, it is to our advantage to learn how to adapt and enjoy something better.
7. We can’t always control what happens in our lives — things will go well, things will go poorly — but what we can control is our response to those events.
8. The people who work with you as their manager will look to you as one of their sources of wisdom.
9. People who feel good about themselves, produce good results.
10. A problem only exists if there is a difference between what is actually happening and what you desire to be happening.
11. Making the development of people an equal partner with performance is a decision you make.
12. Empowerment requires a major shift in attitude. The most crucial place that this shift must occur is in the heart of every leader.
13. A clear purpose will unite you as you move forward, values will guide your behavior, and goals will focus your energy.
14. As a collaborative leader, you support people in their work—you remove roadblocks and help them win.
15. Some of the greatest advances happen when people are bold enough to speak their truth and listen to others speak theirs.
16. Once leaders embrace the role of coach, they realize the weight of leadership is now balanced between themselves and their direct reports.
17. Anytime you use your influence to affect the thoughts and actions of others, you are engaging in leadership.
18. Catching people doing things right provides satisfaction and motivates good performance. But remember, give praise immediately, make it specific, and finally, encourage people to keep up the good work.
19. The more attention you pay to a behavior, the more it will be repeated. Accentuating the positive and redirecting the negative are the best tools for increasing productivity.
20. Feedback is important to people. We all want to know how well we’re doing. That’s why it is essential for an effective performance review system to provide ongoing feedback.
The Kenneth Blanchard Companies has won multiple awards since its inception, including Gold in the 2013 Marcom Awards, Bronze in the 2013 Stevie Awards, and the 2014 Warren Bennis Award for Excellence in Leadership.