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Leading at a Higher Level: Blanchard on Leadership and Creating High Performing Organizations 1st Edition

12 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0132347723
ISBN-10: 0132347725
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Editorial Reviews Review Exclusive
Leading at a Higher Level is Ken Blanchard's definitive statement on leadership excellence, collecting over 25 years of experience and time-tested management techniques. Check out's exclusive audio and video to begin your organization's journey on the path to customer loyalty, employee satisfaction, and sustained success.

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From Publishers Weekly

Blanchard (The One Minute Manager) and associates from his self-named management consulting and training firm present a greatest hits collection of tips, advice and techniques from 25 years of work on unleashing "the power and potential of people and organizations for the greater good." After initial sections on setting targets and creating a vision for one's company, plus delivering the best possible experience to the customer, the book delves into the manager-employee relationship. Blanchard and his co-authors recap their "Situational Leadership" technique, which calls for a flexible leadership style to match the setting and players involved. They also review the three elements of their "One Minute Manager" idea: setting goals, delivering praise and offering "reprimands or redirection" adds up to a small percentage of a manager's responsibility but will lead to desired results. The collection's closing chapters advise managers on how to identify their core values and set examples for staff. The scope of the book and its level of detail make for a dense read in its entirety, but a detailed table of contents will allow managers easy browsing.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: FT Press; 1 edition (November 5, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0132347725
  • ISBN-13: 978-0132347723
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1.2 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #350,207 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Craig L. Howe on February 19, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Management expert Ken Blanchard has spent more than 25 years helping individuals and organizations become and stay great. Known for his co-authorship of The One Minute Manager, for the first time Blanchard combines his collective wisdom to show managers and leaders zero in on the right target and vision.

Blanchard argues that in high performing organizations everyone's energy is focused on three issues:

1. Being the provider of choice. To keep your customers, you must go beyond satisfying them, you have to turn them into raving fans.

2. Being the employer of choice. Workers seek opportunities where they feel their contributions are valued and rewarded.

3. Being the investment of choice. Money flows to organizations that provide viability, visibility and performance over time.

To achieve these goals, Blanchard argues, your organization must become a HPO - a high performing organization. The author employs the acronym SCORES to illustrate the six elements found in every HPO:

1. Shared Information and Communication.

2. Compelling Vision.

3. Ongoing Learning.

4. Relentless Focus on Customer Results.

5. Energizing Systems and Structures.

6. Shared Power and High Involvement.

In an HPO, Blanchard writes, every thing starts and ends with the customer. Each organization member is passionate about developing sophisticated knowledge of customers and sharing the information throughout the organization. This is accomplished three ways:

1. Decide. If you want raving fans, you do not announce it. You plan for it.

2. Discover. After you decide, it's critical to ask your customers' for suggestions to improve their experience with your organization.
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Format: Hardcover
I've been reading Dr. Ken Blanchard since The One Minute Manager came out. Perhaps you have been, too. While I haven't read all of his collaborations, I've usually read the books where the title seemed relevant to my interests.

More than once, I've wondered how I should fit all the pieces of his views on leadership into one finished jigsaw puzzle. Clearly, the views are humanistic, idealistic and inspiring. But how do we combine them all? My confusion was eliminated by reading Leading at a Higher Level which does an excellent job of integrating three decades worth of writing into one coherent set of ideas and directions for implementation.

If you tried to boil down this book into one idea, it's that of having the right target . . . what Dr. Blanchard and his partners and associates call the triple bottom line -- being the provider of choice for customers, the employer of choice for employees, and the investment of choice for investors. I'm not inclined to quibble, but in the rest of the book it's clear that other stakeholders are supposed to be considered (people who use the offerings, partners, the community, suppliers, and those affected by the company). I wonder if the triple bottom line doesn't need to be expanded to have more bottom lines.

Here's how the book is organized:

I. Set Your Sights on the Right Target and Vision

1. Measuring leadership performance -- the HPO SCORES model which is:

a. Shared information and open communications
b. Compelling vision
c. Ongoing learning
d. Relentless focus on customer results
e. Energizing systems and structures (ways of getting things done that fit with the vision)
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Tom Carpenter VINE VOICE on October 11, 2006
Not only does this book bring together years of research, but it also aggregates the minds of multiple leaders in the Blanchard organization. If you haven't read the other books coming out of the Ken Blanchard Companies, you'll definitely want to read this book. If you have read the others, this will be a great refresher and it provides a different format. As you know, many of the Blanchard books are in story format (aka parables) and now those story-based lessons are gathered into a more standard non-fiction book.

The book is broken into three sections: set your sights on the right target and vision, treat your customers right, and treat your people right. The greatest focus is on the latter: treat your people right. The argument is that if you treat your people right, they'll treat your customers right and work toward your target and vision. Makes sense for really large and even smaller organizations.

I'm still looking for that right book for the 1-5 person company. This is definitely a great book, but you have to transate and apply it to your scenario if there is noone between you and the customers.

Enjoy your reading time.

Tom Carpneter - Senior Constultant - SYSEDCO

Helping IT Professionals Succeed
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Sahra Badou on August 10, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Ken Blanchard, co-author of The One Minute Manager, and his colleagues at The Ken Blanchard Companies have spent more than 25 years helping good leaders and organizations become great and stay great. In this book, they describe how leaders can empower people and unleash their incredible potential. This book must be required reading for everyone who wants to become a better leader.

A better definition of leadership, according to the author, is the capacity to influence others by unleashing the power and potential of people and organizations for the greater good. Leadership should not be done purely for personal gain or goal accomplishment: It should have a much higher purpose than that. Leadership can be defined as the process of achieving worthwhile results while acting with respect, care and fairness for the well-being of all involved. When that occurs, self-serving leadership is not possible. It's only when you realize that it's not about you that you begin to lead at a higher level.

Being a successful leader is not only about leading your organization, but your customers as well. According to the author, to keep your customers, you can't be content just to satisfy them; you have to create raving fans. Raving fans are customers who are so excited about the way you treat them that they want to tell everyone about you. A good example of how this works is Domo Gas, a full-service gasoline chain in Western Canada, cofounded by Sheldon Bowles. Back in the 1970s, when everybody was going to self-service gasoline stations, Bowles knew that if people had a choice, they would never go to a gas station. But people have to get gas, and they want to get in and out as quickly as possible.
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