Tag Archives: Ken Blanchard

Trump’s Art of the Deal May Not be a Big Deal

Many years ago, I read Donald Trump‘s The Art of the Deal (New York:  Random House, 1987)

The book is often-cited as one of the best-selling business books ever written.  Others use the  Art of the Deal Covercontent of the book to register complaints about his Presidency, claiming that what Trump wrote is inconsistent with what he now says and does.

But, the larger question is, “does The Art of the Deal even qualify as a business book?”  And, exactly how big of a best-seller is it?  As of this writing, the book is in the top 100 of three Amazon.com best-seller sub-categories.

I found some information about these questions; click here to read these questions.

“It’s difficult to weigh Trump’s opus against other “business books” for two reasons.

“One, best-seller lists are almost always periodical. Amazon tallies sales by the hour, while the New York Times’ lists are by week or by month. Greg Cowles, who writes for the New York Times “Inside the List” column, says the paper doesn’t track all-time sales.
“Second, the genre called “business books” is nebulous and can range from memoirs and essays to financial tips and management strategies. Trump’s book can certainly be shelved in the business section, as it’s both a memoir by a business executive and offers business advice. But experts say it can hardly count as influential in the subcategories or important in the broader genre.
“Trump is full of B.S.,” said Jeffrey Pfeffer, a professor of business management at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business. “The best selling/most important business books would have to be In Search of Excellence by (Thomas) Peters and (Robert) Waterman that started the genre, Built to Last by Jim Collins, The One Minute Manager by Ken Blanchard and The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey.”

The New One Minute Manager Cracks the List

In 1981, Ken Blanchard and Spencer Johnson published The One Minute Manager.  It is one of the best-selling and most translated business books of all time.  Since then, Blanchard has published many variations on the subject.  All of these begin with a fable, followed by specific applications, concepts, and teaching points that are relevant to the story.

newoneminutemanagercoverSo, it was interesting to see that last week, another version of this book cracked the Wall Street Journal best-selling business book list (September 17-18, 2016).  The New One Minute Manager (William Morrow, 2015) came in at # 10 on the list.

Like its predecessors, the book begins with a fable.  However, it acknowledges changes in the work environment that were not present or profound in 1981.  These include the role of technology, limited resources, globalization, instant communication, and structured markets.

kenblanchardspencerjohnsonBlanchard, (pictured to the right) who typically publishes a new book each year, is also the founder of the best-selling leadership program in the marketplace, entitled SL-II.  Johnson (pictured to the left) is an M.D., and has authored more books on aspects of management than medicine.  His most famous is Who Moved My Cheese, about organizational change, which Randy Mayeux presented at the First Friday Book Synopsis in Dallas a number of years ago.

I am personally tired of the “fable followed by learning” content of business books.  They served their purpose, and we should move on.  But, obviously I am in a minority.  Readers still have an appetite for them, as evidenced by the status of this book one year after its publication.

Apologia: Can You Speak in Defense of Yourself?

SorryAboutThatCoverAt the August 1 First Friday Business Book Synopsis in Dallas, I will present the hot best-seller by Edwin L. Battistella entitled Sorry About That (Oxford University Press, 2014), followed by a bonus program designed to help us do that better,.

Who is Edwin Battistella?

Edwin Battistella teaches linguistics and writing at Southern Oregon University in Ashland, where he has served as a Dean and as Interim Provost.  Sorry About That is his fourth book, all of which have been published by Oxford University Press.  He also wrote Do You Make These Mistakes in English? (2009), Bad Language (2005), and The Logic of Markedness (1996).  EdwinBattistella

Why is this book worth our time?

We all need to learn how to apologize better.  As you read this, how many times today did you say or hear, “sorry,” “sorry about that,” “I’m sorry,” “so sorry,” or other variants on the theme?  And, were you or the other really sorry?  If you were, did you sound as if you were?  Have we said those words so many times that we have forgotten how to say them when we genuinely mean it?

We need to SOUND as sincere as our meaning.  First, however, we need to know how to give a genuine and sincere apology.  I have no interest in helping anyone sound genuinely sorry who is not actually so.  I like to help people who are genuinely sorry sound genuinely so.

In this book, Battistella analyzes the apologies given by of politicians, entertainers, business executives, and others, in order to show how the language we use creates sincere or insincere apologies.  Early reviews suggest that this book is effective in connecting actual apologies with the larger social, ethical, and linguistic principles which underlie them.  For a complete review of the book written by Barton Swaim, published in the Wall Street Journal on June 17, 2014, click here.

Particularly impactful to me is the idea that when we avoid naming the cause behind our apology, we sound insincere and inauthentic.  This is just one of several items in the book that may be news to you.

This book reminds me of two other good works about apologia.  One is from Ken Blanchard’s One Minute Manager series, entitled The One Minute Apology:  A Powerful Way to Make Things Better, co-authored with Margaret McBride (William Morrow, 2003).  Another was a more academic piece by B.L. Ware and Wil Linkugel that you can read by clicking here that develops four strategies for defending yourself.

This is quite a book.  We can all benefit from it.

I look forward to talking about with you in August.


Passion – Energy and Purpose, in Business and in All of LIfe

When you start looking for something, it just seems to show up everywhere. And lately, I keep thinking about passion. I was watching just a snippet of one of my favorite movies, Field of Dreams, and saw the scene where this exchange occurred. Ray had dragged an unwilling Terence Mann to a baseball game, where they both saw and heard a message. But before Mann owns up to it, Ray drops him off at his apartment, and Mann says to him:  “I wish I had your passion.  Misdirected though it might be, it is still a passion.  I used to feel that way about things, but….”  {Terence Mann (James Earl Jones) to Ray Kinsella (Kevin Costner), Field of Dreams}.

In a work context, as in all of life, passion spills over and effects everything and everyone that it touches. This came from Bob Morris:  “The 4-E (and 1 P) Leadership Framework” according to Jack Welch: “Passion! By that I mean a heartfelt, deep, and authentic excitement about work. People with passion care — really care in their bones — about colleagues, employees, and friends winning. They love to learn and grow, and they get a huge kick when people around them do the same. The funny thing about people with passion, though, is they usually aren’t excited just about work. They tend to be passionate about everything!…they just have juice for life in their veins.”  (this is an excerpt from a book by Jeffrey Krames — see Bob’s “Q29 from Bob’s blog).

To be fully passionate, you have to be passionate about some thing – some one driving something than literally inspires you and envelops you. That is what the research says, and that is what our experience reveals. We know that people with a passion are people with passion. The driving force that drives such a person gives energy to keep going, to work the long hours, to overcome every setback and every attack and every enemy and every deficiency. Passion keeps a person going on and on…

And – it is never too late. As Ken Robinson, in his book The Element:  How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything, put it, we may have to “take the time to step out of our routines, rethink our paths, and revisit the passions we left behind (or never pursued at all). We have the capacity to discover the Element at practically any age.”

And why is that passion so critical? Robinson again: “The Element is the meeting point between natural aptitude and personal passion… (People who find their Element) are doing the thing they love, and in doing it they feel like their most authentic selves. They find that time passes differently and that they are more alive, more centered , and more vibrant… They connect with something fundamental to their sense of identity, purpose, and well-being.”

If passion is the key to authenticity, to energy, to purpose, to fulfillment, to fecundity (the word used by Henri Nouwen in his book Lifesigns), then I would say finding your passion, and living out your passion, could be pretty important – in business and in life.