Ken Blanchard biography, quotes and books

Ken Blanchard - Toolshero

Ken Blanchard (1939) is a well-known American researcher, consultant and writer of several management books, including 30 best-sellers. One of the best known theories he helped to create, together with Paul Hersey, is the Situational Leadership Model, a management model in which effective leadership is related to situations. Ken Blanchard also developed the ABCD Trust Model, a development tool for giving and receiving trust. This article covers his biography, quotes and publications.

Who is Ken Blanchard? His biography

Ken Blanchard obtained his Bachelor’s Degree (BA) in political science and philosophy from Cornell University in 1961. 

Ken Blanchard obtained his Master’s Degree (MA) in the field of sociology from Colgate University in 1963. Finally, he received his doctorate (Ph.D.) in the field of education management and leadership from Cornell University.

Free Toolshero ebook

Ken Blanchard is still employed by the Cornell University in the capacity of Visiting Professor Emeritus. After he had worked in the academic world for some time, he decided to start up a management consultancy with his wife in 1979.

Blanchard combined his consultancy work with research work into leadership, customer loyalty, coaching, employee engagement, project development, organizational development, amongst others.

In addition to successful management and training assignments this also led to a number of best-selling books. His book The one minute manager (1982) for instance, has sold over 10 million copies. Other best-selling books by Ken Blanchard et al are: Raving Fans (1993), Gung Ho! (1998) and Big Bucks (2000).

Two famous theories which he (co)developed are the Situational Leadership Model and the ABCD Trust Model.

He has received many nominations and awards for his work in the fields of management, leadership and speaking.

Blanchard is still active in his organization as Chief Spiritual Officer. The organization operates world-wide under the name of Ken Blanchard Companies and supplies services in the fields of training and advice to large multinational enterprises and organizations.

Famous quotes

  1. “For a manager to be perceived as a positive manager, they need a four to one positive to negative contact ratio.”
  2. “The key to successful leadership today is influence, not authority.”
  3. “Too many leaders act as if the sheep… their people… are there for the benefit of the shepherd, not that the shepherd has responsibility for the sheep.”
  4. “The productivity of a work group seems to depend on how the group members see their own goals in relation to the goals of the organization.”
  5. “Don’t quack like a duck, soar like an eagle.”
  6. “Feedback is the breakfast of champions.”
  7. “People who produce good results feel good about themselves.”
  8. “I absolutely believe in the power of tithing and giving back. My own experience about all the blessings I’ve had in my life is that the more I give away, the more that comes back. That is the way life works, and that is the way energy works.”
  9. “I never use notes, they interfere with me.”
  10. “In the past a leader was a boss. Today’s leaders must be partners with their people… they no longer can lead solely based on positional power.”
  11. “There’s a difference between interest and commitment. When you’re interested in doing something, you do it only when it’s convenient. When you’re committed to something, you accept no excuses – only results.”
  12. “Servant-leader ship is all about making the goals clear and then rolling your sleeves up and doing whatever it takes to help people win. In that situation, they don’t work for you, you work for them.”
  13. “None of us is as smart as all of us.”

Books, publications and articles by Ken Blanchard et al.

  • 2015. Refire! Don’t Retire: Make the Rest of Your Life the Best of Your Life. Berrett-Koehler Publishers.
  • 2015. The New One Minute Manager. William Morrow.
  • 2015. Collaboration Begins with You: Be a Silo Buster. Berrett-Koehler Publishers.
  • 2014. Legendary service: The Key is to Care. McGraw-Hill Education.
  • 2014. The Secret: What Great Leaders Know and Do. Berrett-Koehler Publishers.
  • 2012. Great Leaders Grow: Becoming a Leader for Life. Berrett-Koehler Publishers.
  • 2011. Full Steam Ahead! Unleash the Power of Vision in Your Work and Your Life. 2nd Edition.
  • 2011. Lead with LUV: A Different Way to Create Real Success.
  • 2009. Averting the collision between rising health care costs and corporate survival. Journal: Leader To Leader, vol. 2009, no. 53, pp. 24-30.
  • 2009, 1982. The one minute manager. William Morrow.
  • 2009. Who Killed Change? Solving the Mystery of Leading People Through Change.
  • 2009. Leading at a Higher Level, Revised and Expanded Edition: Blanchard on Leadership and Creating High Performing Organizations. Pearson Prentice Hall.
  • 2008. Lead Like Jesus: Lessons from the Greatest Leadership Role Model of All Time. Thomas Nelson
  • 2008. The One Minute Entrepreneur. Doubleday, United States.
  • 2008. Nursing leadership nursing leadership can be taught. Journal: Nurse Leader, vol. 6, no. 1, pp. 28-29.
  • 2007, 1977. Management of Organizational Behavior: Utilizing Human Resources. Prentice Hall.
  • 2007. The higher plane of leadership. Journal: Leader To Leader, vol. 2007, no. 46, pp. 25-30.
  • 2007. The Heart of a Leader: Insights on the Art of Influence. David C. Cook.
  • 2007. Know Can Do! Put Your Know-How into Action.
  • 2004. Customer Mania!
  • 2004. The vision thing: Without it you’ll never be a world-class organization. Journal: Leader To Leader, vol. 2004, no. 31, pp. 21-28.
  • 2004. Leadership Smarts. David C. Cook.
  • 2003. The Servant Leader. Thomas Nelson.
  • 2002. Whale Done!: The Power of Positive Relationships. Free Press.
  • 2001. Takes More Than a Minute, 2nd Edition.
  • 2000. Big Bucks! Harpercollins Publishers.
  • 1998. Gung Ho! Turn On the People in Any Organization. William Morrow.
  • 1997. Seven steps to becoming a fortunate 500 company. Journal: Leader To Leader, vol. 1997, no. 4, pp. 40-46
  • 1993. Raving Fans. William Morrow.

How to cite this article:
Van Vliet, V. (2012). Ken Blanchard. Retrieved [insert date] from Toolshero:

Original publication date: 03/03/2014 | Last update: 07/04/2024

Add a link to this page on your website:
<a href=””>Toolshero: Ken Blanchard</a>

Did you find this article interesting?

Your rating is more than welcome or share this article via Social media!

Average rating 4 / 5. Vote count: 4

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.

We are sorry that this post was not useful for you!

Let us improve this post!

Tell us how we can improve this post?

Vincent van Vliet
Article by:

Vincent van Vliet

Vincent van Vliet is co-founder and responsible for the content and release management. Together with the team Vincent sets the strategy and manages the content planning, go-to-market, customer experience and corporate development aspects of the company.


One response to “Ken Blanchard biography, quotes and books”

  1. James Mcnamaraau says:

    Excellent post you share with us! Keep it up!

Leave a Reply