- Posted by Action Catalyst
- On August 30, 2017
- 0 Comments
- author, Business, Christianity, ego, Jesus, Ken Blanchard, leadership, Podcast, servant leadership, success
Bestselling author, speaker, and business consultant Ken Blanchard explains the ideas behind his book, “Lead Like Jesus”, including why the disciples were pretty lousy hires, how leadership is what happens when you’re NOT there, being a pioneer of servant leadership, managing the present to create the future, how self-doubt is still an ego problem, and why feedback is the breakfast of champions.
Ken Blanchard is a prominent, sought-after author, speaker, and business consultant. He is respected for his lifetime of groundbreaking research and thought leadership that has influenced the day-to-day management and leadership of people and companies throughout the world.
With a passion to turn every leader into a servant leader, Ken shares his insightful and powerful message with audiences around the world through speeches, consulting services, and bestselling books. When Ken speaks, he speaks from the heart with warmth and humor. No matter how large the audience, he is able to communicate with each person as if the two of them were alone and talking one on one. He is a sophisticated storyteller with a knack for making the seemingly complex easy to understand.
Ken’s impact as an author is far-reaching. His iconic 1982 classic, The One Minute Manager, coauthored with Spencer Johnson, has sold more than 13 million copies and remains on bestseller lists today. In the past three decades he has authored or coauthored 60 books whose combined sales total more than 21 million copies. His groundbreaking works—including Raving Fans, The Secret, and Leading at a Higher Level, to name just a few—have been translated into more than 42 languages. In 2005 Ken was inducted into Amazon’s Hall of Fame as one of the top 25 bestselling authors of all time.
Dr. Ken Blanchard is the cofounder and Chief Spiritual Officer of The Ken Blanchard Companies, an international management training and consulting firm that he and his wife, Margie Blanchard, began in 1979 in San Diego, California. In addition to being a renowned speaker, author and consultant, Ken is a trustee emeritus of the Board of Trustees at his alma mater, Cornell University, and he also teaches students in the Master of Science in Executive Leadership Program at the University of San Diego.
Learn more at KenBlanchard.com.
The Action Catalyst is presented by the Southwestern Family of Companies. With each episode, the podcast features some of the nation’s top thought leaders and experts, sharing meaningful tips and advice. Learn more at TheActionCatalyst.com, subscribe below or wherever you listen to podcasts, and be sure to leave a rating and review!
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(Transcribed using A.I. / May include errors):
Ken Blanchard is our guest, and if somehow you’ve never heard of him, he is one of the most influential leadership experts in the world. Ken, we’re honored to have you welcome to the show my friend.
Nice to be with you. It’s a real special time.
So you say that Jesus is the greatest leadership role model of all time. So beyond thinking of him as the Lord and Savior, and there’s a spiritual figure and you say that we should think of him as our leadership role model.
Well, I first started thinking about that I hadn’t really thought about it, because I wasn’t a big faith based guy at the time. But I was asked to be on the Hour of Power with Robert Schuller in its heyday in 1983. And was about the One Minute Manager he wanted to talk to me say can you know the greatest one but it mattered your law climate said Who was that? He said the Jesus I said, really? He said, Yeah. So are anybody doing anything good. He praised him. He’ll him. People stepped out of line. Jesus wasn’t afraid to give him a woman to reprimand he threw the moneylenders out of the temple. And I went, Whoa, that’s really interesting. And so as I got down in my spiritual journey, I first thing I did was read the gospels in the book of Acts, because I wanted to see what the man did. And I just laughed because everything I had taught about leadership Jesus did with these 12 incompetent heart guys he hired I mean, you wouldn’t hate to get a decent preacher, the whole group, you know, and the important thing I’ve said for a long time about leadership isn’t what happens when you’re there is what happens when you’re not there. You know, but it was funny I was when John Ortberg, one time in Atlanta, we were doing a lead like Jesus program, and he’s one of my favorite authors and pastor of this church is up in Northern California in Menlo Park. And I said, John, why would you travel all the way across the country to tell people Jesus to create his leadership role model of all time, and John’s got a great sense of humor, he turned to his crowd, he said, let’s hit the boats 2100 years or so ago, you’re a gambler. Now, he said, I know some of you don’t like gambling, but where would you bet your money on lasting the Roman Empire? The Roman army, or a little Jewish carpenter? And he said, Isn’t that interesting that 20 120 200 years later, we’re still naming kids, they sue Peter, Paul and Mary. But we name our dogs, New Orleans, Caesar. So Jesus was amazing leadership role model.
That’s interesting. Jesus has been dead for 2000 years. And today, he’s got to point one or two, something be a billion followers. But one of the questions I wanted to ask you, Is this his style of leadership? Is that really relevant today? Like isn’t? Isn’t it sort of soft?
No, but I think people do think that because he was a servant leader, you know, they think that’s often, but the reality is that people don’t understand servant leadership, there’s two parts of it. And Jesus understood that the first part is, the first part is the leadership, part of servant leadership, which is vision, direction of values and goals, you know, that’s got to come from the hierarchy. It doesn’t mean you know, involve people, but people look to you for direction. So Jesus was really clear with his disciples that come with me, I’ll make you fishers of men, there the picture of the future is go and make disciples of all nations, you know, and, and then the values he said, you know, what are your key values will love God with all your heart and all your mind, Love thy neighbor as thyself, you know, and so he was really clear with them at all. And then once the people understand and are really tuned into the vision and direction, and values and all, then the second part that kicks in is the serving part of serving leadership. And now that’s when you turn the pyramid upside down, and you’re now work for them. And Jesus symbolically did that, you know, he had kind of a slow group, it took him a while to understand exactly why he was here. But when he knew he was going to be leaving, what did he do with the Last Supper, he got up, got a basin and a towel, filled it with water, and he washed their feet just symbolically sort of saying, you know, I work for you, you know, what can I do? And a lot of people say, Oh, my God, I don’t want to do that. I’ll lose my position. No, what did Jesus say right after he washed their feet, he said, You call me Teacher and Lord, rightly so. So I’m not giving that up. But essentially said, just as I have done for you do for others, because even I have come to serve not to be served. And I think that’s where the real action is in organizations, is if you turn that pyramid upside down, once people understand where you’re going in the goals and values and all, then you’re working for them so they can accomplish the goals and live according to the vision, and all, and you’re trying to empower people all the way down to the people who deal with your customers. You know, it’s it’s so obvious, you know, in sales, you know, if it’s all about you, and your goal accomplishment, people are going to read right through that at all. But if your main concern, which I think is sure you have a vision about what you want to accomplish, when you have a good product, hopefully, and all that kind of thing. But the real great salesman, focus on developing a relationship with the person that they’re working with, so that they know how what they’re selling really can help those people be better at what they do and all and so it’s, it’s, you know, it’s that whole thing about relationship selling, and the results will come. If you develop great relationships, it’s really amazing. When we look at our company, people will often we’ll work with them in a company, and then they’ll get transferred or decide to leave. And they always take our people with them. Why because they have a relationship with them. And then they say, gee, you know, I’m moving over here wants you to come on in and, and tell us, you know, how you can help us. So that’s, that’s where the action is. And that’s really kind of turning that pyramid upside down. A lot of people misinterpret D, Jesus, he didn’t come to start a religion, he came to build a relationship. And I think people would remember that, you know, and I think the minute you put that into a religion and get into a hierarchy and bureaucracy, then you get into judgment and evaluation, and Jesus said, You’ll be noticed by disciples by how you love each other, not judge each other. And so I think that’s what relationship selling is, is to realizing this person in front of you is an important human being, and how can you help them be the best that they can possibly be?
You said that a part of what leadership is, is managing the present, but also preparing for the future or something to that effect. What is that principle? Where did you learn it from?
Yes, I wrote a book a number of years ago, but the philosophy was, is that as a leader, you have to manage the present and create the future. And where you get a lot of problems in organizations, I think is when you take people with present time responsibilities, and send them away to plan your future, because very often, they’ll kill the future because they’re either overwhelmed with the present or have vested interest in it. And so when I came up with that concept, my wife was the president of our company, she has a PhD in communication, and she’s much better at that kind of thing. But she said, that’s what I want to do, I want to head up the office of the future. And she stepped down as president and turned it over to her brother, and had two or three people full time jobs, studying what was happening in our industry. So that when 911 came, you know, and all that kind of thing. We were prepared because we knew about the internet, we knew about training online, and then a lot of people didn’t know about that. So it’s it’s an interesting concept, I think.
Okay, so here’s what I wanted to really kind of get to Okay, so you hear all right, lead, like Jesus, and whether you’re a believer or not, you go okay, well, it’s hard. It’s hard to argue with the guys results, right? As little as a leader and the impact that he’s he’s made. So then what is the biggest roadblock to us actually going out and doing this?
The biggest addiction in the world is the human ego. In a they always call that edging God out. You could say everything good outside, but when you’re focused on yourself, and there’s two ways that ego shows up, one is false pride. When you have a more than philosophy, you think you’re brighter than smarter than you kind of push people away because they just don’t know as much and, and people with that mindset, running organizations, they want everybody sucking up the hierarchy and realizing all the brains are in their office. But the other ego problem is a fear or self doubt. You know, when you have less than, you know, philosophy now you thought, Oh, God, I don’t know, if I can do this, you know, and that said, That person is really smart, you know, and all that and your battery will go problem. That was it. Yeah. Because people didn’t think that but when you’re into your moaning and groaning and self doubt, what are you focusing on yourself or others, you’re focusing on on yourself, and we have a 12 step egos anonymous program, I had them stand up one at a time, talking about a time when their ego got in the way in the last 48 hours. And I said if you can’t think of one, you lie about other things, too, because, you know, periodically we either somebody says something you think got you gotta be kidding me. We got this false pride thing, or somebody will just tell me Oh, God, I could never do that, you know. So, the anecdote for false pride is humility, which I think is a really key aspect of what we’re talking about. And I think of a blog great salespeople know, Jim Collins, and Good to Great The greatest leaders have two things in common, I think the greatest salespeople, which is resolved, which is determination to accomplish a goal and all. And the second is humility. And he usually thought that was a weakness. And he said, the researchers, you know, you know, that can’t be the number two, and they kept on saying it is people with humility, don’t don’t think less of themselves, they just think about themselves less. And so that’s a really important concept that you don’t think less of yourself. You just think about yourself less the anecdote for self doubt and fears to distrust that God didn’t make any junk. You know, you don’t conditional love it, my mother used to say, there’s a pearl of goodness in everyone, gig for some people, but it’s there. You know, and so we just need to trust that we might not have all the skills we think we would like to have. But we were beautiful in our own way. We have a lot of leaders now. Or when they have their meeting with their people once a week, they start off with an egos Anonymous meeting, and it it really has brought the group together unbelievably, and people admire your skills, but they love your vulnerability. And I think a lot of people are afraid to admit that they don’t know something. You know what I think, Boy, salesperson, if somebody says, Has your question, the other than trying to fake you know all the answer you say? That’s a really good question. Let me see if I can find the answer. And I’ll get back to you. And who other than thinking less of you, they’re gonna think more of you.
Yeah. Again, this is so so good. And I knew that this time is gonna go by fast. Where would you direct people? Ken, what are you focused on?
Well I think that they could go to leadlikejesus.com. And our book is called Lead like Jesus revisited. It’s a more up to date version of that, that book if they wanted. And then in terms of our own company, Kenblanchard.com is great.
Well, the last thing here, what are some of these warning signs? You know, like, if somebody is out there listening, and they go, You know what, I’m not so sure that I haven’t leading like Jesus, what are some of the warning signs that if these things start to show up in your life, you probably need to really dig in and get real about, you know, understanding this?
Well I think the biggest thing is to watch the people around you. And when you show up to everybody stop talking. And when you try to get feedback from them, they they kind of go silent or they butter you up or what have you, I I think that the the real sign that you’re a servant leader, is that feedback is the breakfast of champions, you know, and that people are willing to be straight with you about things and also praise you as well. When things are going well, but the big thing is, do they feel like they can bring their brains to work couldn’t make decisions, or do they always have to run to daddy to find the answers.
Well, thank you for an amazing lifetime of work, you make a real difference in the world and you’ve meant a lot to a lot of people and you know, I’m one of them.
I appreciate that and I feel very blessed. You know, I just the Lord has been good to me and opened a lot of doors that have helped and so I’m, I feel really, really blessed.