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One Hour with The One Minute Entrepreneur – Ken Blanchard Comes to Dayton

Ken Blanchard is one of the most prominent thinkers in modern business. He has written best selling books like Gung Ho, the One Minute Manager, Raving Fans, Whale Done, Know Can Do, Servant Leader and numerous other titles. (He was also a professor at Ohio University.) He is a firm believer in empowering employees, the power of positive thinking, practicing common sense customer service, and the concept of servant leadership.

Yesterday, in Dayton, Ohio he was the featured speaker at an event put on by the Dayton Business Journal and University of Dayton Center for Leadership & Executive Development. The event attracted what I would guess to be about 500 people, most of whom seemed to enjoy the presentation. I left with several great thoughts jotted down in my Moleskine notebook – some of which I would now like to share with you.

Blanchard’s 4 P’s –
Different from the familiar 4 p’s of marketing (product, price, place, promotion) Blanchard outlined for P’s necessary for running a successful business.

1. Passion – If you don’t love what you do, you will never be the best at it. Find your passion and do what you love.

2. Profit – Passion without profit is a hobby, not a business. Making money is important. In order to do this it is important that the people within an organization have a clear financial picture of the firm. If people know the challenges, and are tasked with creating solutions, time and time again they will succeed. A great quote was that Blanchard believes that “none of us is as smart as all of us.” A great take on the Wisdom of Crowds concept.

3. People – Blanchard suggested that leaders should adopt the motto of “you can do it, we can help.” This led into a lengthy and meaningful discussion on Servant Leadership. He stated that a popular misconception of Servant Leadership is the idea of the inmates running the asylum. In true Servant Leadership this is just not the case. There are 2 distinct parts to Servant Leadership. The Leadership part of Servant Leadership involves setting the direction and vision for an organization. Once this is established, Blanchard recommends flipping the organization pyramid upside down – with leaders constantly working to empower people to succeed in realizing the vision – the Servant part. He also stressed that organizations should encourage people to use their brains instead of relying solely on rules, regulations, and policies for decision making.

4. Priority – “At the end of the game it all goes back in the box.” It is important to keep life in perspective. Things like family, friends, and fulfillment should not be sacrificed for work sake. Blanchard recommended a great technique for helping to prioritize life. When facing decisions about what tasks to do, attach one of the following two labels – Important Forever / Temporary Stuff. Important Forever trumps Temporary Stuff every time.

I thought Dr. Blanchard was fantastic, and I even got a copy of his most recent book The One Minute Entrepreneur. I will let you know what I think of it once I finish it. Not only that, but I ran into an old high school friend from Kenton Ridge that I had not seen for at least 10 years. (Great to see you Rick) Thanks to the DBJ and the CLED for putting this event together, and to Dr. Blanchard for spending some time in Dayton.