Incentive - January 2008 - (Page 34)

INTERVIEW By Anne Marie D. Lee A Kinder, Gentler Manager Ken Blanchard advances leadership to a higher level hirty-eight years after publishing his first book, Management and Organizational Behavior, and a year since the release of his latest book, Leading at a Higher Level, business management expert Ken Blanchard and his feel-good approach to leadership are more popular than ever. His 1981 bestseller The OneMinute Manager has sold over 12 million copies worldwide and continues to prove itself a popular and enduring classic, selling 300,000 copies a year today. Taking what you might call a holistic approach to management, Blanchard’s writings focus on the human impact of business leadership on employees, arguing a direct connection between values-driven management and high productivity, profit, loyalty and customer satisfaction. In doing so, he promotes an employee-friendly work environment that focuses on employee empowerment and engagement, positive recognition, motivation and dedicated customer service. A true pragmatist, Blanchard has always looked to leaders in organizations for feedback on his scholarly ideas and their reallife application. It is this open communication over the years that has shaped T Blanchard’s views on management. “It’s really interesting,” says Blanchard. “You talk to people and people talk to me, and they’re really excited about work. And then you talk to [the same] people three months later and they’re in the toilet, you know, down in the dumps. Ninety-five percent of the time it’s that they got a new supervisor who jerks them around, doesn’t listen to them, makes them feel unimportant and all. The holistic thing that you’re talking about is the relationship between mind and spirit and energy and all that kind of thing. In The One-Minute Manager, one of the first plaques—sayings—we had in there, was, ‘People who feel good about themselves produce good results.’” A personal anecdote illustrating this point—Blanchard has many and is an engaging storyteller—describes an experience he had while shopping at a clothing store. Recalls Blanchard, “I went into a department store—and it wasn’t Nordstrom where I normally shop—and remembered I had to call my wife, Margie, for something, and I was in the men’s department, so I asked the guy, ‘Can I use the phone?’ The guy said, ‘No.’ I said, ‘You gotta be kidding me; you can always use the phone in Nordstrom.’ He said, ‘Look, buddy, they won’t let me use the phone here; why am I going to let you use it?’ So you can’t mistreat people and expect them to be committed to excellence or loyal to the organization.” Treating employees with respect and earning their trust, says Blanchard, is like money in the bank. “You know if you deposit money [that] in hard times, you have a chance to draw some out. And in the same way with human relations, if you deposit some in your relationship with people, in hard times, when you really need them to roll their sleeves up and dig in, they do. Why? Because they have deposits in the bank.” In his definition, profit should not be the main goal of business but should be thought of as the “applause one gets for taking care of customers and creating a motivating environment for their people.” Problems arise, he says, when the bottom line becomes the one and only priority for companies. Explains Blanchard, “What often happens is [companies] get what they think are hard-nosed, bottom-line managers and [think] they’re the ones you ought to promote because they don’t take any guff and all that kind of thing. In the short run, they may be right, but in the long run, they may end up losing their good people and demotivating people; it just doesn’t work very 34 | Incentive | January 2008 |

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Incentive - January 2008

Incentive - January 2008
Editor’s Note: Out of SITE
In The News
Cover Story: Include a Meeting, Improve Morale
Case Study: DHL Delivers Recognition
Incentive Primer: How To Use Promo Products
How Bob Nardelli Rallied Chrysler’s Dealers
Incentive Interview: Ken Blanchard Says Be Nice
TV’s Extreme Makeover Motivates Giving
Pre-Employment Motivation
The Daycare Dilemma
Happy Employees Shouldn’t Mix with Sick Employees
Incentive Research: Consumer Promotions Report
In Her Shoes: Winning Approval Of Flextime
Travel News
Field Report: Barcelona
Field Report: Bermuda
Golf: Follow The Pros
potentials Here and Now
Watches As Jewelry
Awards: Online Gift Cards
Tech Gadgets for 2008
Last Word: Stanley Bing Bashes Bully Bosses

Incentive - January 2008