When inspiring leaders, Ken Blanchard has a magic touch

The name Ken Blanchard is a familiar one for those involved in the various aspects of leadership, including leadership education. Best known for his best-selling book The One Minute Manager, Blanchard has authored or co-authored more than 55 books, and his company has influenced hundreds of Fortune 500 companies and many others since 1979. His books have sold more than 20 million copies. In addition, The Ken Blanchard Companies teach leadership throughout America and abroad.



WHAT IS ESPECIALLY interesting is Blanchard’s close tie to the CSRA. Twelve years ago, he met Augustan Phyllis Hendry. Blanchard was impressed by Phyllis’ spiritual foundation, warmth and intellect, as well as her passion for helping people grow as leaders. He hired her in 2002 to serve as the inaugural president and CEO of a new enterprise, Lead Like Jesus.

Phyllis opened the global headquarters here and still lives in Augusta, but travels extensively to spread the message of the organization. Lead Like Jesus has grown into an international organization with more than 700 well-trained and experienced facilitators.

As a nonprofit with a strong spiritual component, Lead Like Jesus offers one- and two-day workshops at a very reasonable rate to nonprofits, churches, universities and businesses, large and small.

Its mission is very straightforward: to glorify God by inspiring and equipping people to lead like Jesus – to demonstrate God’s love for people while helping them change the way they live, love and lead. The website tells the story. It is well worth a few minutes of your time at www.LeadLikeJesus.com.

Recently, with the assistance of Phyllis, Ken Blanchard established a close friendship with Jeff Foley. From 2007 to 2010, Brig. Gen. Foley commanded the Signal Center at Fort Gordon. After retirement from the military, Foley held senior executive positions at Augusta State University and Georgia Regents University.


WHEN KEN LEARNED that Jeff wanted to become a full-time teacher of leadership, character and ethics, Ken signed him up. Jeff also was invited by Phyllis to join the Lead Like Jesus National Advisory Board. For the past couple of years, Jeff has been on the speaking and teaching circuit with Bridgestone, Shaw Industries, Nucor Steel, chambers of commerce, Leadership Augusta, Advanced Services Pest Control, and the Hull College of Business, to name a few.

During the past year, Jeff has been hard at work on a leadership book. He has been working with me on a major revision and update of the book Rules and Tools for Leaders. The third edition of this book was published in 2002, and although sales continued to be robust, it was out of date. The third edition did not include many of the newest concepts, ideas and techniques that leaders need in the age of the electronic workspace.


WHEN THE DRAFT of the book was completed, Jeff sent it to Ken Blanchard for his comments. Dr. Blanchard took the time to carefully review the manuscript and offered some excellent advice on the content and organization. Ken liked the book but he felt the organization of the chapters could be improved. Jeff and I took his advice to heart. It is a much better book thanks to the advice and wisdom of Ken Blanchard.

Ken also volunteered to write an endorsement of the book that would appear on the cover. Indeed, it was an honor to have a strong endorsement from someone of Ken Blanchard’s stature.

Rules and Tools for Leaders: From Developing Your Own Skills to Running Organizations of Any Size, Practical Advice for Leaders at All Levels was published Aug. 6. Bulk orders already have come in from a number of sources including three university business schools, the Naval Aviation Museum’s Foundation, the Defense Acquisition University and the Blue Ridge Conference on Leadership.

The Blue Ridge Conference is perhaps the best and least expensive three-day leadership conference in the Southeast. This year’s will be Oct. 9-11 in Black Mountain, N.C. It is not too late to sign up – simply call (334) 750-7409 or check the website www.blueridgeleadership.com.

Jeff Foley and I will be conducting a book-signing from 4 to 5:30 p.m. Aug. 23 at the Augusta Museum of History, 560 Reynolds St. Since we both wish to get the book into the hands of as many people as possible, the book will be sold at a deep discount. Jeff and I will sign and personalize each book. Anyone purchasing two or more books will get a bonus, the 60-minute DVD of Augusta’s greatest hero – Twice a Hero: the Jimmie Dyess Story.


(The writer – a retired U.S. Air Force major general – serves on the boards of the Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation, the Augusta Warrior Project and the Augusta Museum of History. His email address is genpsmith@aol.com. His website is genpsmith.com.)



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