Issue No. 215 of Your Weekly Staff Meeting features 75 power-packed “smart leadership” insights from Ken Blanchard—the perfect idea-starter for those “Five Minutes for Management” segments at your staff meeting. And this reminder: check out my Management Buckets website with dozens of resources and downloadable worksheets for your staff meetings.
A Noisy Way of Doing Nothing
In the Results Bucket chapter of my book, I ask readers to nominate people for the management version of Mount Rushmore. The no-brainer list begins with Peter Drucker, followed by Ken Blanchard. In the Book Bucket chapter, I add, “While you must be well read, you can’t possibly read everything. That’s why I have zeroed in on Peter Drucker’s work. His books build on one another and won’t trigger management theory whiplash. You might also want to create a Ken Blanchard bucket.”
So whenever I run across a Blanchard book I haven’t read yet—I engage with confidence because I know his writing meshes with a comprehensive approach to leadership and management, beginning with his still-tried-and-true bestseller, The One Minute Manager.
Leadership Smarts is such a book. It’s short and small. Fast reading. Simple, yet profound. Understandable, yet thought-provoking. When you’re walking down the hallway to your weekly staff meeting and the motivation bucket is empty, bring the Blanchard bucket along and you’ll inspire the troops yet one more time.
Blanchard delivers a one-liner (in big type) on the left hand page and his color commentary (in 100 words or less) on the right hand side. I counted 75 “leadership smarts” from the mind of the chief spiritual officer of the Ken Blanchard Companies. Here’s some brain food:
“The key to developing people is to catch them doing something right.” He encourages leaders to invest an hour a week “wandering around their operation catching people doing things right.”
“Things not worth doing are not worth doing well.” He adds, “An effective leader must step back, look at the big picture, and make sure the important things are not pushed out of the way by the urgent needs of the moment.”
“Success is not forever and failure isn’t fatal.” Blanchard mentions NFL coach Don Shula who had a twenty-four hour rule. “He allowed himself, his coaches, and his players a maximum of twenty-four hours after a football game to celebrate a victory or bemoan a defeat.” After that—it’s time to move on.
“What motivates people is what motivates people.” This blends perfectly with the four social styles in my People bucket. Blanchard writes, “How do you know what motivation works with what employees? Ask! Try asking something like, ‘If you perform well, what reward or recognition could you receive that would make you want to continue to perform at a high level?’”
“People with humility don’t think less of themselves, they just think of themselves less.” Blanchard affirms vulnerable leaders who don’t hog the spotlight.
In a recent Wall Street Journal article pleading for the use of plain English, Former U.S. SEC Chairman Arthur Levitt noted that Mark Twain once observed that he would never "write 'metropolis' for seven cents when I can write 'city' and get paid the same."
Ditto Blanchard. His insights are succinct, fresh and timeless. He’s re-invented the management lexicon. (Oops! Sorry, Twain!)
This is fresh:
“Trying is just a noisy way of not doing something.” Blanchard adds, “Many people are interested rather than committed. They talk about trying to do something, rather than actually doing it. They make lots of noise, but fail to follow-up.”
Just open this book to almost any page—and inspire your people:
--“Vision is a lot more than putting a plaque on the wall. A real vision is lived, not framed.”
--“A river without banks is a large puddle.” (Blanchard on boundaries.)
--“All empowerment exists in the present moment.”
--“The cure of too much to do is solitude and silence.”
I’ve served up 10 teasers. This little dynamo of a book has 65 more. To order from Amazon, click on the graphic below for Leadership Smarts: Inspiration and Wisdom from the Heart of a Leader, by Ken Blanchard. (And special thanks to Jim Canning for sending me this gem.)
Your Weekly Staff Meeting Questions:
1) Blanchard writes, “Consistency isn’t behaving the same way all the time.” What might he mean by this?
2) Timeless? He writes, “This is the first time in the history of business that you can be great at what you’re doing today and be out of business tomorrow.” Let’s make a list of 10 to 20 specific ideas on why that might happen to us here.
3) One more! “The only job security you have today is your commitment to continuous personal improvement.” What is your commitment?
A Salute to Percolating Coffee - Insights from Mastering the Management Buckets: 20 Critical Competencies for Leading Your Business or Nonprofit
One of the big ideas in the Operations Bucket, Chapter 17, in Mastering the Management Buckets is that results in this bucket are often less visible than in the other 19 buckets, so you must be more proactive in celebrating operational successes. (See the Hoopla! Bucket for ideas.)
On your next walk-around (per Blanchard’s idea above), make a point to affirm and celebrate the faithful behind-the-scenes heroes who keep the wheels from falling off. Thank those who keep: inventory on hand, payroll on time, bagels fresh, coffee perking, phones answered, compliance issues updated, and prayer lists prayed over. What would we do without these bless-your-socks-off operations team members?
Visit the Operations Buckets webpage for more resources, including the "Prime Responsibility Chart." Download this Word document and begin now to eliminate all fuzzy roles—and identify a point person for every major task.
NEW! JUST ADDED:
June 15-16, 2011 (Wed. & Thurs.) - Mastering the Management Buckets Workshop Experience, Seattle (hosted and sponsored by Seattle’s Union Gospel Mission)