Column: Best-selling author Ken Blanchard has a new book for the leader in all of us

He’s been in the leadership field for over 40 years, so it’s no surprise that management guru and bestselling author Ken Blanchard has picked up some impressive credentials along the way.

He is the co-founder of the Ken Blanchard Businessthe Escondido-based international management training and consulting firm that he and his wife, bestselling author Margie Blanchard, started in 1979. He is a Trustee Emeritus of the Board of Trustees of Cornell University. He teaches students in the Master of Science in Executive Leadership Program at the University of San Diego.

And in 2005, the co-writer of 1982’s “The One-Minute Manager” (which Blanchard co-wrote with Spencer Johnson) was inducted into Amazon’s Hall of Fame as one of the 25 best-selling authors of all time.

Of all the titles held by Blanchard, however, there is one that fits him like a tailored suit. Probably because there’s nothing buttoned up about it.

“In our company, I am the spiritual director, which means chief cheerleader,” said Blanchard, who turned 83 earlier this month. “We want to keep motivating people with encouragement.”

With its simple management techniques for setting goals and other business basics, as well as motivational nuggets such as “People who feel good about themselves, produce good results”, “The One Minute Manager” made better employer-employee relations a matter of treating workers as human beings.

It was a startling notion at the time, but like Blanchard himself, it’s just as classic as ever. In Blanchard’s latest book, which he wrote with confidence expert Randy Conley, he always emphasizes the positive and still acts as Team Humanity’s chief cheerleader.

The book is “The Simple Truths of Leadership: 52 Ways to Be a Servant Leader and Build Trust.” Published in February, “Simple Truths of Leadership” lays out 52 simple principles for caring for and nurturing a successful organization. Principles such as “great organizations have a compelling vision”. And, “Never assume you know what motivates a person.” And, “Leadership begins with trust.”

As Blanchard and Johnson did with “The One Minute Manager,” the new book breaks down the complicated process of building positive working relationships into small bits of common-sense wisdom. The advice is so simple, in fact, that the authors considered giving the book this catchy title: “DUH! Why is thoughtful leadership not common practice? »

According to Blanchard, the answer to this question is also pretty much no-duh.

“The biggest (stumbling block) is the human ego. Leaders think all the brains are in their office. It’s really interesting,” said Blanchard, who will join co-author Conley on June 1 to an in-person discussion and book signing at Warwick’s Bookshop in La Jolla.

“There are two ways the ego gets in the way. The first is that you have fake pride and act like you’re smarter than everyone else. The other is self-doubt. With a great leader, when things are going well, they look out the window and give everyone credit. When things aren’t going well, they look in the mirror and take responsibility.

As evidenced by the titles of some of the more than 65 books he has co-authored – “Whale Done!: The Power of Positive Relationships”; “Great Leaders Grow: Become a Leader for Life”; “The Generosity Factor: Discover the Joy of Giving Your Time, Talent, and Treasure” – Blanchard is not one of those ego-driven leaders.

“I lovingly and teasingly call it ‘Captain Optimism.’ He’s a possibility thinker. He always sees the opportunity in situations that arise. That’s one of the main keys to his success,” said co-author Conley, who has written several books with Blanchard and is also Vice President of Global Services for the Ken Blanchard Companies.

“Another is that he’s very genuine and genuine. The guy you see on stage giving a keynote is no different from the guy I’m going to have a Zoom meeting with tomorrow. He loves people He likes to help people, he likes to serve people and he likes to learn from people.This open approach to life and to others has really been a huge asset for him.

And one of the strengths of Simple Truths of Leadership is that you don’t have to be a business leader to reap the benefits.

With sections devoted to essentials such as building trust, creating a nurturing environment, and restoring broken trust, Blanchard and Conley’s latest book is more than a book about training better leaders. It’s a book about building our best selves.

“We have a pretty liberal definition of a leader. We are all leaders in many different contexts of our lives, whether as parents, coaches, community leaders. Almost everyone is a leader in one form or another, and these simple truths can help you in all aspects of your life,” Conley said.

“I’ve worked with Ken for almost 26 years now, and our job is to help people lead better lives. Not just at work, but also outside of work.

Ken Blanchard and Randy Conley will discuss and sign “Simple Truths of Leadership” on June 1 at 7:30 p.m. at the Warwick Bookstore in La Jolla. The event is free, but admission is subject to available space. Reserved seating is available when the book is pre-ordered from Warwick’s. Go to for information.

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