Tim Chaplin

09 March 2015

Leading at a higher level

This is my review of:

Ken Blanchard on Leadership and Creating High Performing Organizations


Ken Blanchard has an exhaustive amount of Published books. Based on good reviews from Amazon, I decided to pick this one up. From the back cover, it appeared to encapsulate a joining point of his other books.

Main Points

The book focuses on types of leadership, and how high performing oganizations work with these types of leadership.

The types of leadership discussed include:

  • Self Leadership
  • One on one Leadership
  • Team Leadership
  • Organization Leadership

The main point was how people are the engine behind business. Empowering people in the right way to 'use their brains', helping them setting clear goals, and leading them in a way that fosters growth, are the keys to 'Leading at a higher level'

I think it is summed up in this quote from the book:

Leadership is not something you do to people, but something you do with people

Was it great?

No. There were some good points in the book, however the author continually referenced himself.

It felt as though I was reading an infomertial for Ken Blanchard.


Below are some of the points I thought were worth jotting down:

Situational Leadership

The below types of leadership should be used based on the experience and situation of the people being led:

  • Direction
  • Coaching
  • Supporting
  • Delegation

He uses the analagoy of teaching your child how to ride a bike. Each stage needs different support.

Assumed Constraints

Constraints that we empose on ourselves. The author uses an analogy of a baby elephant, who belongs to the circus being tied to a chain. When the elephant grows up it won't break the chains, eventhough it could easily, because of assumed constraints.

Sources of power

  • Position
  • Task
  • Personal
  • Relationship
  • Knowledge

Smart Goals

  • S - Specific and Measurable
  • M - Motivating
  • A - Attainable
  • R - Relevant
  • T - trackable and time bound

Author asks the following question we coming up with goals: "Can you imagine training for the Olympics with no one telling you how fast you ran or how high you jumped?"


  1. Reprimand as soon as possible
  2. Be specific
  3. Share your feelings
  4. Reaffirm - they are doing a good job

Change Management

Sequential list of concerns people go through when dealing with change:

  1. Information Concerns - use a directing style leadership
  2. Personal Concerns - Coaching style of leadership
  3. Implementation Concerns - Use a coaching style of leadership
  4. Impact Concerns - Use a supporting style of leadership
  5. Collaboration Concerns - Use a supporting style of leadership
  6. Refinement Concerns - Use a delegating style of leadership

Referenced Books

Here is a selection of referenced books. I have put these on my future reading list: * Long walk to freedom - Nelson Mandela * The Pedagogy of the Oppresse * Thinking fast and slow - Daniel Kahneman


The best way to predict your future is to create it - Peter Drucker

If you don't take care of your customers, somebody else will

Leadership is not something you do to people, but something you do with people

If you keep your people well informed and let them use their brains, you'll be amazed at how they can help manage costs

Funny Bits

The sheer number of references the author makes to his previous work is hilarious. It gets to a point that you stop reading the book and all you can think about is the name: Ken Blanchard...Ken Blanchard...Ken Blanchard