The book, written with Randy Conley, shares 52 simple truths about leadership that can help leaders everywhere implement commonsense practices, said the 83-year-old leadership expert.
“There is no book like this out there,” said Blanchard, a longtime Rancho Bernardo resident.
The book’s format is designed so the reader can focus on one practice per week, he said. On each set of pages, the first focuses on a short concept on the way to be a “servant leader,” which he wrote, while the adjacent page is a way to build trust, written by Conley.
For example, truth 24 says “People who produce good results feel good about themselves.” A couple ways to implement this “common sense common practice” are to “make sure your people’s goals are clear, observable and measurable” and “as their leader, work together with your people to track progress.”
Blanchard said he became interested in leadership as a seventh-grader when running for class president. His early lessons came from his father, Ted Blanchard, who was on track to be a vice president on Wall Street but gave that career up in 1940 to rejoin the Navy. Ted Blanchard, a 1924 US Naval Academy graduate, retired as a rear admiral several decades later.
“He was my mentor in leadership,” Ken Blanchard said. “My dad got me into it.”
Blanchard said he was a professor at the University of Massachusetts when he and his family moved to Rancho Bernardo in 1976 during his one year of sabbatical.
“I came out to write a book,” he said.
But by the end of that year they did not want to leave. That led to him and his wife, Margie, founding The Ken Blanchard Companies in Escondido. It has become a leading international training and consulting firm.
His books over the years have included the bestseller “The New One Minute Manager.” Blanchard’s 65-plus books have combined sales of more than 21 million copies in 42 languages. In 2005 he was inducted into Amazon’s Hall of Fame as one of the top 25 bestselling authors of all time, according to his bio.
Conley, his co-author on this book, has been with The Ken Blanchard Companies since 1996 and is its vice president of client services. He is also a founding member of the Alliance of Trustworthy Business Experts. Inc.com has also named him a Top 100 Leadership Speaker. His blog, Leading with Trust, has more than 4 million viewers, according to his bio.
One of the biggest mistakes some leaders make is letting their ego get in their way, according to Blanchard.
“It is the biggest addiction in leadership,” he said.
Another is thinking leadership is about them. That is why the focus of this book is on how to be a servant leader, Blanchard said.