Ken Blanchard: Leading in Uncertain Times

Join Ken Blanchard, co-founder of The Ken Blanchard Companies, right here on LeaderChat beginning at 10:05 a.m. Pacific Time for a 50-minute Q&A session.  Ken will be popping in right after he finishes a webinar being hosted by our friends at WebEx on Leading in Uncertain Times.  Over 1,500 people are expected to participate in the webinar and there is a good chance that a large number of them will be gathering here to ask questions.


If you have a question that you would like to ask Ken, just enter this thread or click on the COMMENTS hyperlink near the title of this post.  Type in your question in the space provided and hit SUBMIT COMMENT.  Ken will answer as many questions as possible until he has to leave at 11:00 a.m. Pacific.


And if you can’t stay, be sure to stop by later and see all the questions that were asked.  Or better yet, hit the RSS FEED button on the right-hand column and receive updates on a daily basis!

40 thoughts on “Ken Blanchard: Leading in Uncertain Times

  1. Hi everyone! I’m just starting the webinar now, but I’ll be back at 10am to answer your questions on Leading in Uncertain Times. See you then!

  2. Hi Ken! I just took my department back from a horrible manager that belittled my team. Based on team feedback, I’m doing a good job of getting us back on track and rebuilding the culture, but inside, I’m still struggling with the emotional aftermath of her verbal and mental abusiveness toward me and the team. Can you recommend any resources to help us forget the past?

  3. The best resource is anyone who can help you get over it. You can’t help people in the present if you have one foot in the past. I’m praying for you!

  4. As a leader, I feel that I am trying to do everything I can during this time (economic downturn) – communicating, motivating, and listening with my team. However, I do still see a lack of motivation for the team. What else can I do to move the team from thinking of “me” to “we”?

  5. A comment I made in the program might help. “When in doubt, confront.” Tell them what you told me in this question, and then ask them how you can motivate them. I bet they know the answer more than you do.

    • The first step might be to share with them good results. Look up: WD-40, Chic-fil-a, Southwest, Synovus. They are just a few that are lead by Servant Leadership. Performance helps convince people who don’t think Servant Leadership is anything but the only way to lead.

  6. Ken – It was awesome to hear your boldness regarding our God during the webinar. May He continue to heal you up from hip surgery so you can get back on the golf course.

  7. Ken,
    Thank you for sharing your faith in God as part of your presentation.
    I liked your comments and suggestions regarding Servant Leadership.

  8. Hi Ken, thanks for the webinar!
    With all the lay-offs and uncertainty the mood overall in the society is quite grim. What can business leaders do to ease this situation and to avoid a downward spiral both economically and mentally? Thanks!

  9. One thought is to listen to the tape of this session over and over. You have to be bearers of hope. That doesn’t mean you turn your back on reality, but you have to find positive things to mix with the reality of today.

  10. What is the best approach when teaching Servant Leadership to young adults between the ages of 17 – 25 years old?

  11. Young people get it quicker than us old folks. We have a program called Student Self Leadership that we’ve been running with young people all over. It would really excite you to see their faces and their joy as they learn what makes common sense to them. A major part of self leadership is servant leadership. You must first feel good about yourself before you can help anyone else.

  12. Hi Ken
    I love your passionate approach.
    Please share your thoughts about:
    How does one create a positive culture in the organisation?


  13. You have to Gung-Ho! your people. Sheldon Bowles and I wrote a book by that title, but we’ve developed a wonderful training program around it. First is that you have to help people see the big picture, and what they are doing is important. Once they get the vision, assume with training that they have the brains to implement. Let them be in charge of achieving the goal! You might ask “what’s my job?” Cheer them on and catch them doing something right. Try those secrets, and I bet it makes a difference. The book is good too!

  14. Ken – in the initial stage of servant leadership, looking at yourself, from your experience what is the most difficult aspect of that process for people.

  15. Honesty! Being truthful with yourself. If I asked you on a 1-100 scale how good you are, I doubt you’d say 100. So what holds you back from being 100? That is probably where you shoudl focus your energy. But you’ll never get there if you are not honest- you’re not perfect. God bless.

  16. Thanks for the webinar…I got some great ideas, especially the one about patience + persistence.

    There were some questions about maintaining trust, but I’ve seen in some organizations I work with, a relative absence of trust, which is really hurting them in these times. Do you have ideas on how to start to establish trust in tough times, when it really hasn’t existed in the way it now needs to? (I mean beyond the obvious of “just start!!”)

  17. Remember I said “trust and respect go together.” Even if you’ve never asked your people for help in the past, ask them now. While they might wonder initially what you are up to, if you keep asking, you will be amazed because they think you now respect them. They will start to trust you.

  18. Monica – I have been through what you are going through now. As Ken said in the webinar. Patience and Persistance is what I have found to address the issue. Be patient with people’s hearts and minds, but be persistant in understanding and listening to them. I have never met anyone who was not swayed by a combination of patience and persistance that is directed in a serving kind of way

  19. Send us your resume Edgar! Even though we are not hiring, I think we could use more thinking like yours! Your comment to Monica is right on.

  20. Hi Ken,

    Thank you for spending time with us today. The information that you provided was very relevant.

    Can you give us any insight on how to keep leader development on the minds of top executives during tough economic times?

    Any creative approaches for keeping managers positive as they deal with reduced budgets and staffing constraints?

  21. Maybe sending them a tape of this webinar may help! Besides that, the data in the past shows that companies who do massive downsizing don’t perform any better in the future.

    At the same time, companies who use tough times to train their people- because they might have more time on their hands- seem to pay off in future performance. If you want specific examples, email my son Scott at, he’s spent a lot of time on this subject, and since he is his mother’s son he is smart!

  22. In 1968, Ken was one of my professors at OU. What I have seen in the last 41 years is that what is old becomes new again. But fear continues to be a concern with all levels of managers and owners. Trusting those above you or below you become a very serious
    problem due to different agendas. It is very important to understand the mission statement of the business and to be able to comprehend your roll in that mission. Even in times like today, it may be critical to restate your mission and to see where the buy in is, from rank and file to the King of the hill.

  23. Call 800-728-6000 and ask for Jen Zing. The reason I’m doing that is that I can’t remember her email! But you can try jen or jennifer.zing@kenblanchard, or just call! Also, you might want to read Self Leadership and the One Minute Manager. A book I wrote with Susan Fowler and Laurie Hawkins. You can buy it from us (our marketing people will kill me!) or at

  24. Thanks for that Ken…

    As to Edgar’s question, I’ll add a comment I just read this morning in a book on Emotional Intelligence, and that is “Lean into the discomfort”, that is, the discomfort of increasing your self-awareness. This means not ignoring what needs change, and not avoiding feelings, but moving toward them, into them and through them. I found that interesting…

  25. Remember David, leadership is not something you do to people, its something you do with them. So if you go through tough times WITH your people, commitment and loyalty will follow you wherever you go.

  26. Although leadership is a topic that must be thought and discussed at all levels of the socio-economical and cultural spectrums, it is my experience that there is a very distinct lack of quality, “Blanchard level” leadership training when it comes to teaching in a mono-cultural setting (Spanish in my case).

    Do you know of any resources or speakers/authors who teach some of your same principles in Spanish?

    I’m encouraged by some of the Spanish translated material I found in the Lead Like Jesus site, but short of translating your material, I’m not aware of much being out there.

  27. Ken,
    I appreciate your servant-leadership style. We are in very uncertain times, and one of the leaders in our organization has made a very strong effort to ensure that those of us who have been through tough times (as a leader), share what helped get them through tough times in the past. I am taking that to heart. Most of my direct team are 25 or less, and have not been through an economic downturn while being employed. Those of us who have “been there, done that”, know that there will be a rebound.

    I really enjoyed what you said about “Find someone doing something right”….and reward it.
    Thank you.

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