Leading at a Higher Level: Blanchard on Leadership and Creating High Performing Organizations

Leading at a Higher Level: Blanchard on Leadership and Creating High Performing Organizations

by Ken Blanchard

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40 Years of Breakthrough Leadership Insights in One Extraordinary Book!

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

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780134857589
Publisher: Pearson Education
Publication date: 11/08/2018
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 416
Sales rank: 449,780
File size: 4 MB

About the Author

Ken Blanchard has had an extraordinary impact on the day-to-day management of millions of people and companies. He is the coauthor of the iconic New York Times bestseller The One Minute Manager ®–revised and released as The New One Minute Manager ®–as well as 65 other books whose sales total over 22 million copies in 47 languages. Blanchard’s other business bestsellers include Raving Fans, High Five!, and The Secret: What Great Leaders Know and Do. Blanchard is Chief Spiritual Officer of The Ken Blanchard Companies, a global leader in creating the world’s best managers, training more than 150,000 people each year.

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

Ken Blanchard

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 person—of anyone in the world—they 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 world—whether they're running countries, businesses, churches, educational institutions, or what have you—too 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 disheartening—not 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 about—helping 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, everyone—stockholders, top managers, employees, customers, suppliers, and the community—quickly 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 purpose—a 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 sacrifice—in other words, it takes precedence over any short-term goal such as profit—and 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 consideration—only 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 people—both customers and employees—is 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

  • Ethical—Doing the right thing
  • Relationships—Developing mutual trust and respect
  • Success—Operating a profitable and well-run organization
  • Learning—Always 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 Pollyanna—overly 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 yourself—who 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 associates—Don Carew, Eunice Parisi-Carew, Fred Finch, Laurie Hawkins, Drea Zigarmi, and Pat Zigarmi—and 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.

Ken Blanchard
San Diego, California
Fall 2006

© Copyright Pearson Education. All rights reserved.

Table of Contents

Introduction     xxii
Leading at a Higher Level     xxiii
Why Did We Write This Book?     xxiv
How This Book Is Organized    xxvi

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

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

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

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
Endnotes     333
Acknowledgments     347
About the Authors     349
Services Available     371
Index     375

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

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