Remarks from a Leadership Thought Leader
While in Charlotte, North Carolina recently, Phyllis Hendry (president/CEO of Lead Like Jesus) and I had the incredible blessing of hearing Ken Blanchard, Lead Like Jesus co-founder, speak twice on the same day. We also attended a small private lunch for Ken where he spoke again.
Listening to Ken speak three times in one day gave us a real window into one of the great thought leaders of our day. While he said many meaningful things, what impacted me most were his thoughts about organizational leadership.
Basically, Ken said that it’s not complicated: beliefs inform behavior, which drives results. Pretty straightforward!
He broke it down a little more by saying that beliefs are comprised of three elements:
Vision—a compelling picture of our future
Mission—our why; why do what we do and what difference it will make
Values—what guides us and what gives evidence to that which is our highest importance
Behaviors flow from our beliefs. Specifically, our values inform our decision-making process, which in turn is demonstrated by our behavior (what we do). Ken shared the five core values of Disney, taken from their 1955 handbook:
No cynicism allowed
Fanatical attention to consistency and detail
Continuous progress via creativity, dreams, and imagination
Fanatical control and preservation of Disney’s “magic” image
“To bring happiness to millions” and to celebrate, nurture, and promulgate “wholesome American values”
Walt Disney’s mission: “We are in the happiness business. We will know we are successful when people leave with the same smile they arrived with.” If you have ever been to a Disney theme park, you have experienced the congruence of these statements.
Ken pointed out to the audience how important it is to remember the phrase “We will know we are successful when…” It’s a great guide for behavior.
For me, coming from an entrepreneurial and strategic planning background, it all culminates with results. There is a famous Japanese proverb that I’m recording here as I first learned it:
“Vision without action is daydreaming. Action without vision is chaos. Vision with action can change the world.”
Ken said that his company, the Ken Blanchard Companies, did some research on the value and importance of operational and strategic planning. To those who are involved in implementation, a solid operational plan represents 85 percent of the importance of having a plan. This isn’t meant to minimize the importance of strategic planning, but it raises the importance of an operational plan to go with it.
I challenge you to consider clarifying with your stakeholders your beliefs, behaviors, and results for maximum impact.
Written by Tommy Moore
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