Monday, October 03, 2005

Managing By Values

Thanks to Doug Clark for loaning me this book. (I guess I really oughta return it now). This book was written by Ken Blanchard and Michael O'Connor. I feel bad for O'Connor because I can never remember his name when I tell people about this book. I always end up saying something like "It's by Ken Blanchard and some other guy...poor guy!"

The book, like several other of Blanchard's book is told in a story format. He uses an interview format to help teach unfolding principals and also to set up a scenario that most people would find believable. Similar to his One Minute Manager and Who Moved My Cheese, we follow the story of a character who is frustrated by the progress his company is making and how he thinks he has little respect among his team. But after a fortuitous intersection with someone who gives a speech about the "Fortunate 500" companies, his curiosity piqued.

The book reveals some interesting insights related to organizational dynamics from a leadership/managerial standpoint (an area in which I spend very little time), and shows where a lot of companies can falter because not everyone shares an agreed upon set of values.

The bottom line is, the values become the "boss" of everyone. Every decision made can be held up against the values agreed upon by everyone in the company, and even the process for conflict resolution can be achieved through the values filter. Anyone who leads people should read this book. Especially if you are in the "higher up" portion of your company from a hierarchical standpoint. A summary of the book and the principles therein can be found in an article written by Ken Blanchard himself.

One more observation. It is so interesting to me how all these guys who study leadership and people "management" keep coming back to biblical principles. If you read John Maxwell or Jim Collins, or Ken Blanchard, they all come back to the same kinds of things over and over: esteem others as better than yourself, treat people fairly, the best leaders aren't in it for themselves, etc, etc.