Blanchard outlines leadership at Willson Lectures

March 28, 2012

PLAINVIEW – World renowned author and management guru Ken Blanchard entertained the crowd Tuesday evening as the guest speaker for Wayland Baptist University’s annual Willson Lectures.

The lecture series, established by the James M. and Mavis Willson family of Floydada, features topics related to applied Christianity and Christian home and family life. Blanchard, known for his books The One Minute Manager and Lead Like Jesus has authored or co-authored more than 30 books on management and leadership. The co-founder and chief spiritual officer of the Ken Blanchard Companies, Blanchard is devoting his life to inspiring and equipping people to lead like Jesus.

Blanchard gave his testimony Tuesday night, sharing how he had been raised a Presbyterian and converted to Methodism because Methodists had a better basketball team. During his time in college, Blanchard drifted away from Christianity. When he and his wife, Margie, returned to the church, the hypocrisy was more than they could stand. They left religion behind. It wasn’t until the success of The One Minute Manager that Blanchard began feeling the call back to Christ.

“It was so successful that I was having trouble taking credit for it,” Blanchard said.

Blanchard recalled a conversation he had with Robert Schuller on his Hour of Power broadcast at which time Schuller pointed out that Jesus was the original one-minute manager. Blanchard said God then began placing people who encouraged him to surrender to Christ in his life. His journey reached its pinnacle one evening as he and his wife were driving home, wondering how to deal with a manager in his company who had different ideas on how to run the company.

Being the consummate people-pleaser Blanchard wasn’t looking forward to talking with the manager. It was at that point that he recalled a conversation he had had with someone who pointed out that trusting God was like hiring three consultants (Father, Son, Holy Spirit) for the price of one.

“That was language I could understand,” he said.

Once he turned to God for help, Blanchard said the situation resolved itself. He went to speak to the manager who simply quit before any real conversation could begin.

Blanchard picked up his Bible and began studying the leadership style of Jesus, realizing Jesus’ style was everything that he had written about in his many books.

“I found that this guy is the greatest leadership role model of all time,” Blanchard said.

What he also found in his research was that religious schools and churches were not teaching about Jesus being a great leader. They focused on other aspects of His ministry, but not on the example He set for leading a group of followers.

Through his personal study, Blanchard developed a belief that the next great movement in leadership is going to be through “demonstration, not proclamation.” This lead him to develop what he feels are the four key components of leading like Jesus: heart, head, hand and habits.

The heart, Blanchard said, deals with your personal character.

 “Are you here to serve or be served?” Blanchard asked.

The head asks the question, what does servant leadership mean? Blanchard said a strong leader must have a vision, direction and values and be able to communicate that to his followers. A leader must also be able to implement those values.

The hands deal with behavior and performance. To lead like Jesus, one must coach his followers to be successful in their jobs.

“Jesus wants people to win,” Blanchard said. “How do you take this philosophy into an organization?”

In dealing with habits, Blanchard based his writing on five habits of Jesus that he sees throughout scripture: times of solitude, prayer, reading scripture, being accountable to a small group, and trusting in the unconditional love of God.

Blanchard concluded his time at Wayland on Wednesday, speaking to students during chapel, joining ministers and ministerial students for lunch and participating in an informal question and answer forum Wednesday afternoon. For more information on Blanchard and Lead Like Jesus log on to