From The One Minute Manager® to Raving Fans, Ken Blanchard’s books have helped millions of people unleash their power and the potential of everyone around them. For 40 years, The Ken Blanchard Companies® has helped thousands of organizations become more people oriented, customer centered, performance driven, and socially responsible.
Now, in this fully updated third edition of Leading at a Higher Level, Blanchard and his colleagues bring together all they’ve learned about world-class leadership, including brand new chapters on building a high-trust workplace, collaborating for high performance, driving success through mentoring, and leading at the organizational level. You’ll discover how to create targets and visions based on the “quadruple bottom line” and make sure people know who you are, where you’re going, and the values that will guide your journey.
Leading at a Higher Level presents the definitive discussion about using SLII®–the most widely used leadership model in the world–to lead yourself, individuals, teams, and entire organizations. More important, you’ll learn how to dig deep within, discover the personal “leadership point of view” all great leaders possess, and apply it throughout your entire life. This book will guide you, inspire you, provoke you, and be your touchstone. Discover how to…
- Go beyond the short term and zero in on the right target and vision
- Eliminate the gap between your company’s stated values and actual behavior
- Deliver legendary, maniacal customer service and earn raving fans
- Truly empower your people and unleash their incredible potential
- Create a coaching culture that boosts performance at every level
- Ground your leadership in humility and focus on the greater good
Leading at a Higher Level is for everyone who wants to become a better leader in any company, any organization, any area of life.
“Leading at a Higher Level makes clear that respect and integrity aren’t pleasant-sounding options; they are essential criteria for an organization’s survival. As inspiring as it is instructive, this book belongs in every leader’s core curriculum.”
–WARREN BENNIS, bestselling author of Leaders and On Becoming a Leader
“If you want to have a great company, you don’t have a choice but to lead at a higher level. When you do that, you excite your people, they take care of your customers, and your cash register goes ca-ching.”
–HORST SCHULZE, Vice President and CEO, The West Paces Hotel Group, LLC; Founding and former President & COO, The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, LLC
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About the Author
This book contains indispensable contributions from The Ken Blanchard Companies’ founding associates and consulting partners, including Marjorie Blanchard, Madeleine Homan Blanchard, Scott Blanchard, Don Carew, Eunice Parisi-Carew, Randy Conley, Kathy Cuff, Garry Demarest, Claire Díaz-Ortiz, Chris Edmonds, Fred Finch, Susan Fowler, Bob Glaser, Lael Good, Vicki Halsey, Laurie Hawkins, Judd Hoekstra, Fay Kandarian, Linda Miller, Alan Randolph, Jane Ripley, Jesse Stoner, Drea Zigarmi, and Pat Zigarmi.
Read an Excerpt
IntroductionIntroductionLeading at a Higher Level
This past year, my wife, Margie, and I went on a safari in South Africa with some family and friends. Margie and I have been on a number of safaris over the past 20 years. This time I saw some things I'd seen before but never quite as vividly. What I observed is how vicious, competitive, and territorial the jungle is. If you've ever heard a lion roar, it brings chills up your back. When our long-time guide, Gary Clarke from Topeka, Kansas, imitates the roar, he shouts, "It's mine, mine, mine, mine!" That's because when the lion roars, what he's really saying is, "This is my territory. Don't mess with me." In fact, lions will kill their sons if they challenge their control over the father's territory.
The reason I saw this more vividly than ever before is that I had decided on this trip that I was going to find out as much as I possibly could about Nelson Mandela. We had been at a dinner party where people around the table were asked to share what personof anyone in the worldthey would love to have dinner with. It was a quick decision for me. I said, "Nelson Mandela. I would love to have dinner with a man who was in prison for 28 years and treated cruelly, yet came out of that experience full of love, compassion, and reconciliation." On the trip, I began to read Mandela's book Long Walk to Freedom.
When I compared what I saw in the jungle with how Mandela had reacted to his treatment, I realized that in many ways we as human beings are just intelligent animals. And being intelligent animals, we canchoose between being self-serving and serving. The animals in the jungle can't make that choice. A rhino can't get up in the morning and say, "I'm going to make friends with the lion today." It's just not in their temperament. And yet, just as Mandela did, we can make choices to live and lead at a higher level. But when you look at the leaders around the worldwhether they're running countries, businesses, churches, educational institutions, or what have youtoo many people are choosing to be self-serving rather than serving. Why is that? Because they don't have a different leadership role model.
When I contemplated this dilemma, my thinking took me back to my days in graduate school, when I studied Paulo Freire, a revolutionary from Brazil. He wrote a fascinating book called The Pedagogy of the Oppressed. Freire argued that the problem with oppression is that once the oppressed throw off the oppressor, the only leadership role models they have are the very people who oppressed them. Thus, the oppressed become the new oppressors. The ramifications of this are dishearteningnot only for countries, but for every enterprise imaginable. This phenomenon creates a new breed of self-serving leaders overseeing a system where all the money, power, and recognition move up the hier-archy and away from the people the organization was established to serve.
I think the only answer to this recurring cycle is a different leadership role model. That's what this book is all abouthelping individuals and organizations lead at a higher level.Leading at a Higher Level
What is leadership? For years we defined leadership as an influence process. We believed that anytime you tried to influence the thoughts and actions of others toward goal accomplishment in either your personal or professional life, you were engaging in leadership. In recent years, we have changed our definition of leadership to the capacity to influence others by unleashing their power and potential to impact the greater good. We made this change for an important reason.
When the definition of leadership focuses on goal accomplishment, you can think that leadership is only about results. Yet when we talk about leading at a higher level, just focusing on goal accomplishment is not enough. The key phrase in our new definition is "the greater good"what is best for all involved. We think leadership is a high calling. Leadership should not be done purely for personal gain or goal accomplishment; it should have a much higher purpose than that.
What is a higher purpose? It is not something as internally focused and self-centered as making money. As Matt Hayes and Jeff Stevens contend in The Heart of Business, when it becomes obvious that profit, which is a legitimate goal, is the driving reason for being in business, everyonestockholders, top managers, employees, customers, suppliers, and the communityquickly becomes self-serving, with a focus on their own agenda and personal enrichment. Employee loyalty and passion often go out the window as the point of work becomes simply to get as much as you can for as little effort as possible.1
What is the answer to this dilemma? A higher purposea key element of what we will refer to throughout this book as a compelling vision. In Hayes and Stevens' terms, it is outwardly focused, must require sacrificein other words, it takes precedence over any short-term goal such as profitand is intrinsically honorable.
Leaders can be successful in the short run if they emphasize only goal accomplishment. What tends to fall by the wayside is the condition of the human organization. Leaders don't always take morale and job satisfaction into considerationonly results count. They forget what the point is. They don't have a higher purpose. In business, with that kind of leadership, it is a short leap to thinking that the only reason to be in business is to make money. There is an either/or added to people and results. Leaders falsely believe that they can't focus on both at the same time.
When you are leading at a higher level, you have a both/and philosophy. The development of peopleboth customers and employeesis of equal importance to performance. As a result, the focus in leading at a higher level is on long-term results and human satisfaction. Leading at a higher level, therefore, is a pro-cess. We define it as the process of achieving worthwhile results while acting with respect, care, and fairness for the well-being of all involved. When that occurs, self-serving leadership is not possible. Why?
Self-serving leaders think that leadership is all about them and not about the best interests of those they serve. They forget about acting with respect, care, and fairness for all involved. Everything is about their own self-interest. It's only when you realize that it's not about you that you begin to lead at a higher level.Why Are We Writing This Book?
We are writing this book for several reasons. First, our dream is that someday everyone will know someone who is leading at a higher level. Self-serving leaders will be a thing of the past, and leadership throughout the world will be composed of people who, as Robert Greenleaf said, "Serve first and lead second."2 We are writing this book to help make our dream a reality.
Second, the vision of The Ken Blanchard Companies is focused on leading at a higher level. This kind of leadership begins with a vision. Jesse Stoner and I wrote a book called Full Steam Ahead! about the power of visioning. To us, a compelling vision tells you who you are (your purpose), where you're going (your preferred picture of the future), and what will drive your journey (your values).
The purpose of The Ken Blanchard Companies is to help individuals and organizations lead at a higher level. Our mission statement reflects our new definition of leadership:
Unleash the power and potential of people and organizations for the greater good.
Our picture of the future is
- Everyone is trained to lead at a higher level.
- Every organization is led by people leading at a higher level.
- People are motivated to lead at a higher level by observing people who lead at a higher level.
Our operating values are
- EthicalDoing the right thing
- RelationshipsDeveloping mutual trust and respect
- SuccessOperating a profitable and well-run organization
- LearningAlways growing, inquiring, and developing
These values are ordered by rank. In other words, we won't do anything to improve the profitability of the company that is unethical or that doesn't honor the relationships we have with our customers, our people, our suppliers, and our community. We realize that making money is not the higher purpose of our business.
You might say that this all sounds like Pollyannaoverly optimistic. That may be, but these are the standards we have set for ourselves. And these are the same high standards we want to help you and the people in your organization reach through this book. Helping individuals and organizations lead at a higher level is our passion, for both your organization and our own.
Finally, in many ways this book spells out our leadership point of view. Extensive research shows that effective leaders have a clear leadership point of view and are willing to share with others these beliefs about leading and motivating people. We hope reading this book will impact your leadership point of view.How This Book Is Organized
Over the years, I have found that in organizations where leading at a higher level is the rule rather than the exception, people do four things well:
- They set their sights on the right target and vision.
- They treat their customers right.
- They treat their people right.
- They have the right kind of leadership.
This book is organized into four sections. Section I focuses on the right target and vision and integrates our work on the triple bottom line, the characteristics of a high performing organization, and creating a compelling vision.
Section II highlights treating the customer right and integrates our work on legendary service, raving fans, and customer mania. Today, everybody should realize that their customers are the reason their organization exists.
Section III focuses on treating your people right. This is where the rubber meets the road. If you don't empower your people and treat them right, they won't take care of your customers, and in the long run, you won't get your desired results. This is the longest section of the book, because your treatment of people is leadership in action. This is what The Ken Blanchard Companies has been focusing on for more than 25 years. In this section, we start with empowerment and then examine four leadership domains: self leadership, one-on-one leadership, team leadership, and organizational leadership.
Effective leadership of people starts with looking at yourselfwho you are, what you stand for, and how you take initiative when you don't have position power. Without this kind of perspective, it's hard to be effective at one-on-one leadership, where building a partnership based on trust is key. Once you know how to work with individuals, you can begin to build a team and a sense of community. Leading a team is much more complicated than one-on-one leadership and is a precursor to engaging in organizational leadership, which is the most complex leadership domain.
Section IV zeros in on the right kind of leadership. Here we're not talking about leadership style; we're talking about character and intentionality. My travels over the years through organizations of all shapes and sizes have convinced me of two things: Effective leadership starts on the inside, and the right kind of leadership is servant leadership. This is a leadership not based on false pride or fear, but one that's grounded in humility and focused on the greater good. With the right kind of leadership, leading at a higher level can become a reality.
This section also includes our thoughts on determining your leadership point of view. This turns the focus to you. Here we assist you in pulling together many of the concepts you have learned and help you integrate and apply that knowledge to your own leadership situation.
Writing this book has been a labor of love. It pulls together our best thinking from more than 25 years of working together. It truly is Blanchard on Leadership. It includes not only Margie's and my thinking, but also all the wonderful contributions of our founding associatesDon Carew, Eunice Parisi-Carew, Fred Finch, Laurie Hawkins, Drea Zigarmi, and Pat Zigarmiand other fabulous consulting partners who have really made Blanchard "the home of the authors," including Alan Randolph, Jesse Stoner, Fay Kandarian, Susan Fowler, Judd Hoekstra, and our son, Scott Blanchard.
We think everyone can lead at a higher level, whether at work, at home, or in the community. We hope that, regardless of your position, the size or type of your organization, or the kind of customers or people you serve, you will learn some important information in this book that will help you lead at a higher level and create a high performing organization that not only accomplishes your desired results but is a welcome harbor for the people you touch. May good come out of your reading of this book.
San Diego, California
© Copyright Pearson Education. All rights reserved.
Table of ContentsIntroduction xxii
Leading at a Higher Level xxiii
Why Did We Write This Book? xxiv
How This Book Is Organized xxvi
SECTION I: SET YOUR SIGHTS ON THE RIGHT TARGET AND VISION 1
Chapter 1 Is Your Organization High Performing? 3
Don Carew, Fay Kandarian, Eunice Parisi-Carew, Jesse Stoner, and Ken Blanchard
The Right Target: The Quadruple Bottom Line 4
A High Performing Organization Scores Every Time 9
The HPO SCORES® Model 10
Leadership Is the Engine 12
The HPO SCORES® Quiz: How Does Your Organization Score? 13
HPO SCORES® Quiz 13
Chapter 2 The Power of Vision 17
Jesse Stoner, Ken Blanchard, and Drea Zigarmi
The Importance of Vision 17
Effective Versus Ineffective Vision Statements 18
Creating a Vision That Really Works 19
A Compelling Vision Creates a Culture of Greatness 24
Vision Is the Place to Start 24
Vision Can Exist Anywhere in an Organization 26
Make Your Vision a Reality 27
Vision and Leadership 29
SECTION II: TREAT YOUR PEOPLE RIGHT 33
Chapter 3 Empowerment Is the Key 35
Alan Randolph and Ken Blanchard
What Is Empowerment? 36
The Power of Empowerment 37
How History Blocks Change to Empowerment 37
Tapping People’s Power and Potential: A Real-World Example 39
Learning the Language of Empowerment 40
The Three Keys to Empowerment 41
Chapter 4 SLII®: The Integrating Concept 53
The Founding Associates
The Three Skills of an SLII® Leader 54
Goal Setting: The First Skill 54
Diagnosis: The Second Skill 54
Matching: The Third Skill 55
Enthusiastic Beginners Need a Directing Style 58
Disillusioned Learners Need a Coaching Style 59
Capable But Cautious Performers Need a Supporting Style 60
Self-Reliant Achievers Need a Delegating Style 60
Development Level Varies from Goal to Goal and Task to Task 61
Meeting People Where They Are 62
The Importance of Partnering with People 66
Effective Leadership Is a Transformational Journey 67
Chapter 5 Self Leadership: The Power Behind Empowerment 69
Susan Fowler, Ken Blanchard, and Laurence Hawkins
Creating an Empowered Workforce 70
Creating Self Leaders Through Individual Learning 71
The Three Skills of a Self Leader 72
Chapter 6 One-on-One Leadership 81
Fred Finch and Ken Blanchard
Establishing an Effective Performance Management System 81
One-on-One Leadership and the Performance Management System 85
Partnering as an Informal Performance Management System 100
One-on-Ones: An Insurance Policy for Making One-on-One Leadership Work 101
Chapter 7 Essential Skills for One-on-One Leadership 103
Ken Blanchard and Fred Finch
One Minute Goal Setting 103
Areas of Accountability 104
Performance Standards 105
One Minute Praisings 110
One Minute Re-Directs 113
The Fourth Secret of the One Minute Manager 116
Chapter 8 Building Trust 119
Ken Blanchard, Cynthia Olmstead, and Randy Conley
The High Cost of Low Trust 119
The Benefits of Trust 120
The Four Elements of Trust 120
Creating a High Trust Environment 121
The Transparency Challenge 124
Repairing Broken Trust 126
The Ripple Effect 128
Chapter 9 Coaching: A Key Competency for Leadership Development 131
Madeleine Homan Blanchard and Linda Miller
Definition of Coaching 131
Five Applications of Coaching 132
Application One: Performance Coaching 133
Application Two: Development Coaching 135
Application Three: Career Coaching 137
Application Four: Coaching to Support Learning 140
Application Five: Creating an Internal Coaching Culture 142
Chapter 10 Mentoring: The Key to Life Planning 145
Ken Blanchard and Claire Díaz-Ortiz
Obstacles to Beginning a Mentoring Relationship 146
Choosing a Mentoring Partner 147
Essence Versus Form 147
The MENTOR Model: Elements of a Successful Mentoring Partnership 148
Creating a Mentoring Program in Your Organization 151
Tailoring Mentoring to Career Stages 152
Chapter 11 Team Leadership 155
Don Carew, Eunice Parisi-Carew, Lael Good, and Ken Blanchard
Why Teams? 156
Obstacles to High Performance 158
An Effective Team Leadership Approach 159
Providing Leadership Behaviors That Match the Team’s Needs 168
Strategies for Higher Team Performance 173
The Power of Teams 176
Chapter 12 Collaboration: Fuel for High Performance 179
Jane Ripley, Eunice Parisi-Carew, and Ken Blanchard
Collaboration Is Not Coordination, Cooperation, or Teamwork 179
Creating a Collaborative Framework 181
Collaboration Versus Competition 183
What It Takes to Be Collaborative 184
Collaboration: Fuel for High Performance 189
Chapter 13 Organizational Leadership 191
Ken Blanchard, Jesse Stoner, Don Carew, Eunice Parisi-Carew, and Fay Kandarian
Real Life Examples of HPO SCORES® 191
Determining the Appropriate Leadership Style for Your Organization 198
Diagnosing Your Organization’s Development Level 198
Results and Relationships: The Determinants of a High Performing Organization 198
Matching Leadership Style to Your Organization’s Development Stage 201
Applying the Appropriate Leadership Style at Each Development Level 203
The Importance of Diagnosis and Matching 206
A History-Making Organizational Turnaround 207
Chapter 14 Organizational Change: Why People Resist It 209
Pat Zigarmi, Judd Hoekstra, and Ken Blanchard
The Importance of Leading Change 209
Why Is Organizational Change So Complicated? 210
When Is Change Necessary? 211
Why Change Gets Derailed or Fails 212
Focus on Leading the Journey 214
Surfacing and Addressing People’s Concerns 215
Different People Are at Different Stages of Concern 223
The Importance of Involving Those Who Are Being Asked to Change 223
Chapter 15 Leading People Through Change 225
Pat Zigarmi and Judd Hoekstra
Five Change Leadership Strategies 225
The Importance of Reinforcing the Change 247
Chapter 16 Managing a Successful Cultural Transformation 249
Garry Demarest, Chris Edmonds, and Bob Glaser
Gung Ho!: A Starting Point 250
Managing a Successful Cultural Transformation 255
Critical Success Factors for Cultural Transformation 261
SECTION III: TREAT YOUR CUSTOMERS RIGHT 263
Chapter 17 Serving Customers at a Higher Level 265
Ken Blanchard, Kathy Cuff, Vicki Halsey, and Jesse Stoner
Getting Legendary SCORES from Your Customers 265
Creating Legendary Service 267
Serving Customers at a Higher Level 272
Permitting People to Soar 281
Wallowing in a Duck Pond 282
Giving Your People Wings 282
SECTION IV: HAVE THE RIGHT KIND OF LEADERSHIP 285
Chapter 18 Servant Leadership 287
Ken Blanchard, Scott Blanchard, and Drea Zigarmi
What Is Servant Leadership? 287
Applying Servant Leadership 290
Great Leaders Encourage People to Bring Their Brains to Work 293
What Kind of Leadership Impacts Performance the Most? 294
Being a Servant Leader Is a Question of the Heart 298
Driven Versus Called Leaders 299
The Plight of the Ego 300
Ego Antidotes 302
What Servant Leaders Do 304
Servant Leadership: A Mandate or a Choice 307
Chapter 19 Determining Your Leadership Point of View 313
Margie Blanchard, Pat Zigarmi, and Ken Blanchard
Elements of a Leadership Point of View 314
Developing Your Own Leadership Point of View 323
Become a Higher Level Leader 332
About the Authors 349
Services Available 371
What People are Saying About This
“Leading at a Higher Level translates decades of research and 25 years of global experience into simple, practical, and powerful strategies to equip leaders at every level to build organizations that produce bottom-line results. At Nissan, we have made these principles a core part of our leadership philosophy, better equipping our managers to bring out the great energies and talents of our employees.”
—Jim Irvine, Vice President of Human Resources, Nissan North America
“At Southwest Airlines, we have always strived to lead at a higher level. We truly believe that profit is the applause you get for taking care of your internal and external customers. We have always insisted upon a happy, carefree, team-spirited—yes, even fun—working environment, which we think results in motivated employees who will do the right thing for their internal and external customers. Reading this book will make a positive difference in your organization.”
—Colleen C. Barrett, President, Southwest Airlines
“If you want to have a great company, you don’t have a choice but to lead at a higher level. When you do that, you excite your people, they take care of your customers, and your cash register goes ca-ching.”
—Horst Schulze, President and CEO, The West Paces Hotel Group, LLC; Founding and former President & COO, The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, LLC
“Leading at a Higher Level is a must today if leaders are to rebuild trust and credibility, as we are doing at Tyco. This book will teach you how.”
—Eric Pillmore, Senior Vice President of Corporate Governance, Tyco International