Blanchard Shares ‘Great Leaders Grow’ Focus With Phoenix Chamber Crowd

June 21, 2012 / by / 0 Comment

By Michael Ferraresi
GCU News Bureau

Dr. Ken Blanchard used his natural leadership skills, wit and humor Wednesday to deliver messages about personal growth to an audience of more than 300 members of the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce.

He urged attendees to build themselves from the inside-out to achieve peace and success in their professions, rather than going through the motions at work. Without growth, Blanchard said, an individual’s ability to lead is limited in the long term.

Dr. Ken Blanchard

Blanchard, the keynote speaker for the 2012 chamber luncheon at the Pointe Hilton Squaw Peak Resort, reminded the audience: “Your self-worth is not a function of your performance and the opinion of others.”

“I’m convinced that effective leadership starts in your heart,” said Blanchard, the best-selling author and leadership expert who many at GCU consider the godfather to the University’s Ken Blanchard College of Business.

Some of the principles shared at the luncheon were taken from Blanchard’s latest book, “Great Leaders Grow: Becoming a Leader for Life,” which he co-authored with Chick-fil-A executive Mark Miller.

Blanchard – the founder and current chief spiritual officer for his Ken Blanchard Companies management training and consulting firm — has authored or co-authored more than 40 books, including “The One Minute Manager.” Blanchard and Miller co-authored the best-selling business leadership book “The Secret.”

The principles in “Great Leaders Grow” are in place at companies such as Chick-fil-A, the Georgia-based national restaurant chain that boasts less than 1 percent turnover rate of store managers because of its dedication to growing employees’ careers.

Blanchard said dedication to the mentor-apprentice relationship and connecting with co-workers on a personal level before a purely corporate level is critical to making a business profitable. Mentors can be the younger employee in that dynamic, he said, especially in today’s era of digital technology.

But first things first, Blanchard reminded the crowd, focusing on growing sustainable relationships and maintaining a strong, healthy culture in the office.  

“(Profit’s) not the goal,” he told the audience. “It’s the byproduct. We want to change people’s thinking about that.”

At Wednesday’s luncheon, Dr. Kevin Barksdale, dean of the Ken Blanchard College of Business, told the audience of businesspeople that GCU would prove to be the “greatest business story of this decade.”

Barksdale, who announced this summer that he is leaving the dean’s post for family reasons after two years with GCU, said the College of Business has grown to include nearly 1,200 students. GCU offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral business programs, including the popular executive MBA program.

Like Blanchard’s companies, GCU has endeavored to lead with love and compassion, encouraging students to welcome growth.

Contact Michael Ferraresi at 639.7030 or

About the Author
Leave a Comment