Brand Building Through Servant Leadership with Ken Blanchard

ken blanchard on brand

“A lot of Wall Street people think that profit is the reason for business. I say profit is the applause you get for creating a motivating environment for your people so they’ll take good care of your customers.” This week, for the 200th episode of the On Brand podcast, I had the honor of interviewing another business legend. Ken Blanchard is the coauthor of 65 books from The One Minute Manager to his latest The Simple Truths of Service. We talked about his life and work this week on the show.

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About Ken Blanchard

Ken Blanchard is one of the most influential leadership experts in the world and coauthor of more than 65 books, including the groundbreaking best seller The One Minute Manager. His books have combined sales of more than 22 million copies in 42 languages. In addition to being a renowned speaker and consultant, Ken is cofounder and chief spiritual officer of The Ken Blanchard Companies, an international training and consulting firm started by Ken and his wife, Margie, in 1979. For more information about The Simple Truths of Service, please visit

Episode Highlights

How does Ken describe his body of work? “I’m a parable writer.” For those that don’t know, Ken Blanchard’s books are unique in that they discard typical business nonfiction structure and replace it with parables to reinforce key leadership and service concepts. Ken shared the story behind this during the first few minutes of the podcast.

“I’m a big fan of servant leadership.” Ken shared his views on what’s important about leadership. “A lot of people think that you’re starting a religion but it’s a mindset. Are you there to serve or be served?”

What’s one lesson Ken would keep if he had to throw it all away? “The second secret of The One Minute Manager — about finding someone doing something right.” Most of the time today, managers do the exact opposite. In fact, Ken constantly hears from people whose number-one success metric is whether or not they got yelled at.

What about virtual teams? Ken notes that with the focus on online and virtual teams, all of this is still possible but “you have to work harder.” You have to make sure you get folks together online through Skype and other tools.

What brand has made Ken smile recently? Ken shared a story about the service at Hyatt Regency La Jolla, where a committed server took a long walk out of her way to get him a glass of milk to go with his cheesecake.

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As We Wrap …

Did you hear something you liked on this episode or another? Do you have a question you’d like our guests to answer? Let me know on Twitter using the hashtag #OnBrandPodcast and you may just hear your thoughts here on the show.

On Brand is sponsored by my book Brand NowDiscover the seven dynamics to help your brand stand out in our crowded, distracted world. Order now and get special digital extras. Learn more.

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Until next week, I’ll see you on the Internet!