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Helping People Win at Work: A Business Philosophy Called Don't Mark My Paper, Help Me Get an A Hardcover – May 8, 2009
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From the Back Cover
Ken Blanchard's Leading at a Higher Level techniques are inspiring thousands of leaders to build high-performing organizations that make life better for everyone. Now, Blanchard and WD-40 Company leader Garry Ridge reveal how WD-40 has used Blanchard's techniques of Partnering for Performance with every employee--achieving levels of engagement and commitment that have fortified the bottom line. Ridge introduces WD-40 Company's year-round performance review system, explaining its goals, features, and the cultural changes it requires. Next, he shares his leadership point of view: what he expects of people, what they can expect of him, and where his beliefs about leadership and motivation come from. Finally, Ken Blanchard explains why WD-40 Company's Partnering for Performance system works so well--and how to leverage its high-value techniques in your organization. Partnering to help virtually everyone succeedStop building failure into your mentoring of employees Agreeing on what to evaluate and how to evaluate itSMART goal setting: specific, motivational, attainable, relevant, and trackable Coaching via Situational Leadership(R) IIHelp people move through all four stages of mastery Building a tribe, not just a teamCreate a culture that shares knowledge and encourages nonstop learning "I'm thrilled that the first book in our "Leading at a Higher Level" series is with Garry Ridge, president of WD-40 Company. For years I've been concerned about how people's performance is evaluated. People are often forced into a normal distribution curve, or even worse, rank ordered. Not only does this not build trust, it also does not hold managers responsible for coaching people and helping them win. The manager's responsibility is focused on sorting people out. When I was a college professor, I always gave my students the final exam at the beginning of the course and spent the rest of the semester helping them answer the questions so that they could get an A. Life is all about getting As, not some stupid normal distribution curve. Garry Ridge got this, and wow! What a difference it has made in WD-40
Company's performance."--Ken Blanchard "When I first heard Ken talk about giving his final exam at the beginning of the course and then teaching students the answers so they could get an A, it blew me away. Why don't we do that in business? So that's exactly what I did at WD-40 Company when we set up our 'Don't Mark My Paper, Help Me Get an A' performance management system. Has it made a difference? You'd better believe it. Ever since we began the system, our company's annual sales have more than tripled, from $100 million to more than $339 million. And we've accomplished this feat while making the company a great place to work."--Garry Ridge
About the Author
Ken Blanchard has had an extraordinary impact on the day-to-day management of millions of people and companies. He is the author of several bestselling books, including the blockbuster international bestseller The One Minute Manager® and the giant business bestsellers Leadership and the One Minute Manager, Raving Fans, and Gung Ho! His books have combined sales of more than 18 million copies in more than twenty-five languages. In 2005 Ken was inducted into Amazon’s Hall of Fame as one of the top twenty-five best-selling authors of all time. The College of Business at Grand Canyon University bears his name.
Ken is the chief spiritual officer of The Ken Blanchard Companies, an international management training and consulting firm. He is also coauthor of Lead Like Jesus and cofounder of Lead Like Jesus, a nonprofit organization dedicated to inspiring and equipping people to lead like Jesus.
Garry Ridge is president and chief executive officer of WD-40 Company, headquartered in San Diego, California. WD-40 Company is the maker of the ever-popular WD-40, as well as other household cleaning products. Garry has been with WD-40 since 1987 in various management positions, including executive vice president and chief operating officer and vice president of international. He has worked directly with WD-40 in 50 countries.
A native of Australia, Garry has served as national vice president of the Australian Marketing Institute and the Australian Automotive Aftermarket Association. He received his M.S. degree in executive leadership from the University of San Diego in June 2001. Garry is an adjunct professor at the University of San Diego. He teaches leadership development, talent management, and succession planning in the Master of Science in Executive Leadership program.
In March 2003 Garry was awarded Director of the Year for Enhancement of Economic Value by the Corporate Directors forum. In April 2004 he received the Arthur E. Hughes Career Achievement Award from the University of San Diego. In 2006 Garry was awarded the Ernst & Young Master Entrepreneur Award.
Top customer reviews
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The section written by Ken Blanchard was mostly commentary on Mr. Ridge's philosophy and a lot of plugging his own books. I feel like my time would have been better spent discussing Mr. Ridge's philosophy with my colleagues than reading the final section of the book.
Fair warning: there are a lot of buzzwords--tribe, Situational Leadership, etc. They do get overwhelming at times. It's important to remember to take any leadership book as advice, not gospel, so if those buzzwords don't fit (like calling your team a 'tribe'), you can still employ the aspects of Mr. Ridge's philosophy that will be beneficial to you and your team.
However, the philosophy works well with management, and explains a lot of why most management is so horrible to begin with. Every job I've been to, end-of-year reviews are exactly that -- management doesn't care about what you're doing unless something goes wrong, or when they have to review you. What goes on the rest of the year as far as employee development? Nothing, for most companies. It's really a required mental shift between reactive and proactive management. This book does a good job at explaining why companies have high turnover, undedicated employees, and unproductive stats.
However, this book could have been condensed considerably, and keeps reiterating the same thing over and over again. Still worth reading. Plan to be frustrated, when you're reading, when you see examples of poor management culture that you can't help but be familiar with!
The sub-title of the book is based on a program Garry instituted in his company: Don't mark my paper, help me get an A. And the idea is quite simple: Let's tell our employees/kids/students what we're looking for right up front, and then help them earn an A. Instead of performance reviews or tests being uncertain in their outcome, let's make sure everyone knows what's coming and how they can "pass" the test. This removes the uncertainty and the anxiety, and increases morale and productivity.
Simple! Common sense! And very rare.
It goes back to Ken Blanchard's great statement, "Let's catch people doing something right." Most bosses/parents/teachers try to catch people doing something wrong. But this approach only reinforces the negative, and makes everyone shy away from the one in authority.
I highly recommend this easy-to-read (and even easier-to-apply) book to employers, teachers, and parents. It is well worth your time to apply these principles.