SPEAKER: This is a production of Cornell University.
CHARLES JERMY: Good evening, and welcome to the third of the Summer Series. My name's Bud Jermy, and I'm from the School of Continuing Education and Summer Sessions. I want to thank Kathryn Boor, the Dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, for allowing us to use this wonderful auditorium.
The other free events in the six-week series sponsored by our school include Tuesday evening performances in Klarman Hall Auditorium and Friday night concerts outdoors on the Arts Quad. Emergency exits are here and here. We hope we don't have to use them. Ken said I had to give him a one-minute introduction, but since he's not going to give a one-minute lecture, he's going to get a longer one than that.
Kenneth H. Blanchard is universally acknowledged as one of the most insightful and compassionate individuals in business today. Few have affected the day-to-day management of people and companies more than he has. Ken shares his insightful and powerful messages with audiences around the world through his keynote addresses, consulting services, and best-selling books. He is known and respected particularly for his work in the field of leadership and, most especially, the area of servant leadership.
Ken speaks from his heart, with warmth and humor. No matter how large the audience, he quickly establishes a rapport with his listeners, and they leave feeling as though he had been talking with each of them one on one. We'll see how he does tonight. He is an effective storyteller with a knack for making the complex easy to understand.
Ken is the co-founder and chief spiritual officer of the Ken Blanchard Companies, an international management training and consulting firm that he and his wife Margie began in 1979 in San Diego, California. For many years he taught a class with Margie at Cornell, and it was over a weekend in the Hotel School, and it was the only class my son and I took at the same time. He for credit, and me for audit.
Now he is a member of the faculty of the Master of Science in Executive Leadership Program at the University of San Diego School of Business Administration. Ken received a Bachelor of Arts degree and the PhD degree from Cornell and a Master's degree from Colgate University. He is a trustee emeritus of Cornell's board of trustees.
In 1982, Ken wrote "The One Minute Manager" with Spencer Johnson. That book has sold more than 13 million copies, and it has never gone out of print. His groundbreaking works, including "Raving Fans," "The Secret," "Leading at a Higher Level," to name just a few of the 60 books he has coauthored, have been translated into more than 42 languages. Ken was inducted into Amazon Books' hall of fame of 25 best-selling authors.
Ken has received many awards and honors for his contributions in the fields of management, leadership, and public speaking. The National Speakers Association awarded him its highest honor, the Council of Peers Award of Excellence. He was inducted into the HRD Hall of Fame by Training Magazine, and he received the Golden Gavel Award from Toastmasters International. Ken also received the Thought Leadership Award for continued support of work-related learning and performance by ISA, The Association of Learning Providers.
Ken Blanchard, Refire! Make The Rest Of Your Life The Best Of Your Life.
KEN BLANCHARD: Well, I didn't think he was going to find that. My mother wrote that, I think, originally. But if you get old enough, you get to hang around, they start throwing awards at you. It's not a big deal particularly.
But it's wonderful to be here. We spend the whole summer on Skaneateles Lake. Our whole family are Cornellians. Our son was fifth-generation Cornell. Margie and I met here. And--
My sister went to Cornell and married a Cornellian. Margie's two sisters went to Cornell and married Cornellians. Her mother and father were the class of '37 and '38. Her grandmother and grandfather were '07.
Can you imagine her grandmother going to school in '07? Great grandfather, 1885 or something like that. So we're trying to get a grandkid sixth generation. They've got to let him in.
But Margie's mom and dad bought 300 feet of lake frontage on Skaneateles Lake for $300 in 1946. Can you imagine what that costs today? It's just ridiculous.
So we kind of stop the world and come here. We've been doing it for well over 40 years. And I do writing and all, but we really kind of stop the world and come here. And we always love to come over here to Ithaca and spend some time. So it's very special, so I hope this will be a fun evening for you.
Why don't you all stand up? I've got a couple things I'd like you to do. When I finish one, I'll put my hand up. And when you see my hand up, put your hand up and then keep your mouth shut.
What I want you first to do is wander around the best you can where you are for about 30 seconds and greet as many people as you possibly can but greet them in a special way. Greet them as if they're unimportant and you're looking for somebody much more important to talk to. So if you could greet each other as if you're unimportant.
All right. Now for 30 seconds I'd like you to greet people but this time greet them as if they're a long-lost friend and you are really glad to see them.
OK. You can sit down. Well, you're probably wondering why I did that-- except I'm from California, and we're going to bring in some hot tubs here in a minute-- but that's the most powerful exercise I've ever seen to show you how important energy is in terms of making it a life that really works.
Now, where was there more energy in the room, the first activity or the second? Second, significant. And what did I do to change the energy in the room? All I changed was what you were thinking about. From negative-- these are unimportant people, these are long-lost friends. The whole energy of the room changed.
Now, the thing that I found fascinating is-- how many of you know that the computer and your mind have a lot in common? Have you ever thought of that? Both the computer and your mind don't know the difference between the truth and what you tell it.
You put information in a computer, it doesn't say, where did you get those facts and all? The computer does whatever it can with the information you give it. What have we said for years, even though the computer has changed a lot? Garbage and what?
That's the same way with your mind. If you woke up this morning and looked in the mirror and said, you are fabulous. Your mind isn't going to say, who are you kidding? I know you a lot better than this, and all that kind of thing. And so a lot of the work around mental stuff and performance and all is to change your mind and your thinking about things.
And what's so interesting is when you think differently, what happens? You start to behave differently. Did I tell you how to behave with unimportant people? No. What did you do? Very little eye contact, very little touching.
And then I said, these are long-lost friends. What happened? Your faces lit up. You started to laugh. People are hugging each other and all. Your behavior completely changed with a different belief.
And so that's what I'd love to do tonight in terms of looking at your life. And I gave you a handout, and just put it aside because I don't like to mess with handouts. But I wanted to give it to you so you could take it home with you if this is powerful for you, because there's some questions and things in there.
And where I got into this whole Refire instant is when I was 65 years old-- oh, unfortunately, about 12 years ago-- I was on the phone with Zig Ziglar. Some of you probably remember Ziggy, the great motivation guy. And he had just invited Margie and I to the 59th anniversary of his 21st birthday.
And so I said, Ziggy, are you going to retire? He says, no mention of it in the Bible. Except for Jesus, Mary, and David, nobody under 80 made an impact. He said, I'm refiring, not retiring. And I thought, wow, that's a really powerful concept.
And so I was-- a few years ago, I was on a plane going to New York from San Diego and Mort Shaevitz was behind me in first class. And before we started, we started to exchange-- I knew Mort. He was the head of the Psychology Department at U.C. San Diego. Wonderful guy.
And he said, Ken, what are you doing? I said I'm refiring. And his eyes lit up.
He said, tell me about that because, he said, I'm doing research on aging. And all the data I have found is that the happiest people are people who retire to something, not from something. And he said that sounds like refiring. And so we decided to write this book together.
And so we were thinking about, if people are going to refire-- and we initially thought it was going to be just for older people. I'm telling you, everybody's giving it to their kids at all different kind of ages because a lot of people get stuck in life. They're in a job that they don't particular like-- well, what are my alternatives-- [SOUND EFFECTS]. And so what we have found is it really applies all over.
And we're going to take a look at four things. And the source of these four things came from two interesting different realms. One-- has anybody here ever go through the Hoffman Process? Doesn't look like any people here in the post-personal growth. If you want to really look at your life, look up the Hoffman Process. There's a book about it.
But they argue-- it's interesting-- that we come into this world from unconditional love, but when we get here, we have amnesia, and so we start looking for unconditional love, and we look at it in the wrong places. We looked at it from our parents. And the reason they say that's stupid to look to your parents is because, hell, they never got unconditional love when they were young, how are they going to give it to you? But the interesting thing about their training is that they say that this four different-- they call it the Quadrinity Concept-- is that we have four different aspects of us.
One is we have an emotional child that wants to do what we want to do when we want to do it, OK? And then we have an intellect who is very rational, and the intellect is always arguing with your emotional child about-- how could you be so stupid? I mean, what are you thinking of doing? Idiot, you know, and all, and they're arguing with each other. And so the third part of the Quadrinity is your body, and that gets killed because of this argument between your emotional child and your intellect.
And they said the only way you can really make your life work is if your spiritual side is in charge-- and they're not talking about religion, they're talking about a spiritual side-- so that you will do what you want to do if it makes sense. And so I got really kind of interested.
We went to the Huffman Process. Fascinating. It's a very intense five-day program, and then they don't let you go home. They keep you for two days in different places, where you can't talk to anybody except the people that order your meals from so that you can really process what you learn, because so often people go to workshops, and then they go back home, and everybody's waiting for them, and they-- [SOUND EFFECT] -- you know, and all. And they never even think through what they learned. So that was interesting, those four things.
And then I got interested in looking at Jesus-- not from a religious standpoint. I have a ministry called Lead Like Jesus. We're-- all around the world-- everybody around the world loves Jesus. They just don't like Christians, because we got too many pharisees in Christianity. We're judging everybody, and Jesus said, hey, you'll be known as my disciples by how you love each other.
But the fascinating thing I got when I started to look at his behavior is he lost his parents when he was 12 years old at the temple. And they finally found him and all, and then he went back home. And it said that he grew in wisdom, which is intellect. He grew in wisdom. He grew in stature, which is physically. He grew in relationship to God, which is spiritually. And he grew in relationship to man, which is emotionally, relationship-wise.
And so we got kind of interested in those four areas. And so that's what I want to share with you and have you think as I go through these areas, how well are you doing on a 1 to 10 scale on refiring? And let's first start with intellectually.
And intellectually is really a powerful thing because what it really means is you've got to keep your mind active. You got to keep learning. I mean, a lot of the data around Alzheimer's and other things is the people who keep their mind active and they're doing things and all, I mean, they have a much better chance of overcoming or not getting those because they're really alive.
I had breakfast yesterday with Don Greenberg. I don't know if any of you know Don, but he's a amazing professor. He was really one of the pioneers in the whole area of computer graphics. And he's 82 years old, and he's teaching four courses in three different colleges.
And he's now into this whole reality stuff-- what is, [INAUDIBLE] they call that? Yeah. And he's got a whole lab now, and he's teaching courses. And I mean, it's unbelievable.
I'm sitting there, and he said, Ken, I can't spend too much time at breakfast because I'm finishing this paper that I got to submit. 83 years old, see. So I mean, and he's also still playing in national tournaments in tennis, beating everybody his age. He just a few years ago stopped playing in national tournaments in basketball, and all that kind of thing. And so he's just a model to me of what we're taught.
But the intellectual thing is, what are you doing to keep your mind going? And so, for example, one of the things my wife does every single day-- I don't know how many of you have heard of TED Talks. I mean, this guy started this thing, and if you haven't gone to a TED conference, go to it, I mean, because all the speeches, you can't talk more than 12 minutes.
But they bring the most interesting people there who are doing creative things in the world-- I think it's not 12 minutes. I think they might give you a little bit longer than that. But it's never more than 20 minutes. And you can go online and get TED Talks.
And Margie listens to a TED talk every single day because it only takes for 20 minutes to do it. And she'll-- you just can go down and say, oh, that would be a really interesting topic, maybe I ought to listen to that. And so it's fascinating. So, I mean, that's one way.
You know, what are you reading to stimulate your mind? I mean, novels are kind of fun and all that, but what are you doing to kind of push yourself intellectually in terms of thinking and all? I mean, crossword puzzles, and stuff like that, that really-- so what are you constantly doing to keep your mind active?
And so I'm just having a lot of fun writing books. And so it's interesting my writing books almost goes over to the next one, the emotional relationship. But my mother said to me, Ken, why don't you write a book by yourself?
And I've written over 60 books, and I've only written two by myself-- one about golf. So many people tried to help my golf game I didn't know who to write it with. And then I wrote a book about my spiritual journey, and I didn't think I could coauthor that. But it's just fascinating to learn from people.
I mean, wrote a book with Don Shula, the Miami Dolphins football coach. What an incredible human being. Wrote a book with Norman Vincent Peale, who wrote "The Power of Positive Thinking." He was 86 years old when I met him. Boy, did I learn a lot from him.
I wrote a book with Colleen Barrett, who became president of Southwest Airlines. When Herb decided to step down, you know what her background to be president was? She was Herb's executive secretary for 25 years. And see, at Southwest, their vision about what business they're are, what they're trying to accomplish, their values and everything is really clear. And that's the responsibility of the hierarchy and all.
And then the second part of servant leadership-- he said I'm into-- that's the leadership part of servant leadership, is turning that pyramid upside down for implementation so the whole organization's working for their people who eventually work for the customers. And Herb didn't want some Jack Welch look-alike coming in and changing the vision and all and acting like a big deal. He wanted somebody who was a natural servant.
And he said, Colleen, you be president. She said, really? She won every major Leadership Award in the airline industry. Unbelievable.
And when she was president, they had 36,000 employees, and about 100,000 notes and emails came out of her office every year to employees. She had scouts out there trying to find good things that were happening to them and their families and all that. Just a major cheerleader around their values, and all that kind of thing.
So I've had some wonderful, wonderful experiences. I just finished a book with a gal by the name of Claire Diaz-Ortiz. She was one of the first employees with Twitter, and she wrote a book called "Twitter For Good." She's 32 years old, and she got the pope to Twitter. She was in the New York Times.
And she came to me, and she said, Ken, in the past, mentors have always been older people. And I think us young people need older people to mentor us on wisdom. But you know what? I think you older people need some of us young people to mentor you, particularly around technology.
I mean, my 10-year-old grandson says, grandpa, push that button. I mean, I saw a thing in the email recently, this kid seven months old is sitting on a bed playing a game on a computer, and the kid can't even talk yet. And so we're just finishing a book on cross-generational mentoring and, man, have I learned a lot from her. It's just unbelievable.
So what I want you to think about and then talk with your neighbor, on a 1 to 10 basis, how are you doing in refiring intellectually to keep your mind going and all? I want you to just chat with each other and see how well you're doing.
OK. How many of you think you're doing pretty good in that area? OK. How many of you think it might be something where you could use a little work? OK. So it's just interesting. And there's some more questions on that sheet that you can ask when you go home, but just think about these.
The second area is the emotional relationship area. And the question there is, are you doing the same thing with the same people in the same way all the time? Are you in a rut in terms of interpersonal relations? What are you doing to meet new people, to get new friends, to get new contacts and all? It's a fascinating thing to think about.
What are you doing? And so often we get narrow, and you start thinking, oh, my god, well, yeah, we're going out to the same places, the restaurant, and this, you know, and you're ordering the same things, and all that. What are you doing to experiment? What are you doing to get a little life going in you?
I mean, like one of the concepts that we have in the book that's really fun is that a lot of times somebody will call you and say, do you want to go to the movies? And it's 5:30 at night.
And you say, when? Tonight. Tonight? I mean, why didn't you call me yesterday, and all?
I mean, well, what are you doing? I'm not doing anything. Well, why the hell not you come?
And so what we've started is what we call the Last Minute Gang. And the rule of Last Minute Gang is if somebody calls you to do something in the last minute and you're not doing anything, you do it.
And just go, why not? Let's go. Say, well, I haven't eaten yet. We'll have a hot dog at the movies. A hot dog at the movies? Why not?
If you don't like the hot dog, go for the popcorn. You know what I mean? And so it's that whole thing of getting in a rut, you know, it's got to be done a certain way, and all this kind of thing.
And there's another fun concept that we've really had a lot of fun with, is that this one guy wrote an article and said he didn't know any of the people in his neighborhood. I don't know if you live in those kind neighbors. In California, everybody [SOUND EFFECT] into their house, and nobody knows anybody. And so he sent out a note to everybody in the neighborhood, and say, I'm having a little cocktail party from 4:00 to 6:00, and if any of you would like to have a sleep-over and stay at our hou- -- my house, I'd like for you to come. Because he remembered as a kid they had sleep-overs, and you would have your friends over. And it was just fabulous because you played until you were so tired, and then you got up in the morning and you still had time, and all that kind of thing.
And so an older guy agreed to stay. Other people thought the guy was a little weird. And so this older guy in the neighborhood stayed, and they had a wonderful time. They watched each other's favorite TV shows, and then in the morning they went to exercise together, and they had their-- and the word spread around. And so they started having sleep-overs in the neighborhood, and it just changed the whole environment of the neighborhood.
And one of the things we love about Skaneateles is we come here for eight or nine weeks and all kinds of friends and people come and stay for two or three to five days. And it's a sleep-over because you wake up-- hey, what do you want? New Hope pancakes today? We'll do different things and all, and then at night, you know, we're going to-- and then, wait, we got another day, you know.
And so think of the concept of a sleep-over. It's a really fascinating concept of really to get to know-- and we first started thinking about this is when we moved to California in 1976. I was teaching at the University of Massachusetts, and we were just going for a one-year sabbatical leave. And that was 38 years ago. My wife said, we're really going back to Massachusetts? I mean, summer there is two weeks of bad skating.
But we used to come back every year at Thanksgiving for a week because we had wonderful friends in Amherst. But we would stay at three different friends' houses for at least two days, and our friendships grew significantly, and we were in California. Why? Because we had sleep-over.
And so the whole concept here is what-- and, like, you go to a restaurant. Margie and I went to a restaurant recently, and the waiter came over and said, can I take your order? We said, why don't you just bring us the two favorite things that you think are hors d'oeuvres and main course, and whatever you think.
He said, really? I said, yeah. I mean, why not? I'd love to know what you like. Rather than, you know, I've got to order-- I've got to order the same thing, and all that kind of thing. Again, get some fun and spontaneity into your life. And that just kind of fascinated me.
We had some stuff-- like, I never thought I'd like duck. I mean, he brought duck. It's pretty good. So that's the whole thing, is just looking at what you're doing inter-personally and all and trying to figure that out.
I'm not recommending you trade in wives, and things like that to get in different deals. But just, what can you do to get some fun in your life? Margie and I just celebrated our 54th anniversary recently, which is pretty good.
So on a 1 to 10 scale-- and talk with your neighbors again-- how do you think you're doing on being spontaneous and creative and all in your relationships and in things that you do, or are you kind of in a rut? Just think about it.
How many of you would say you're doing pretty good in this area? How many think you're doing pretty well? How many of you think you need some work in this area? Well, that's really interesting on that.
And just in terms of this, I see some people here sitting by themselves. And I say, talk to your neighbor, and you've been sitting like this. Get up off your butts and talk to somebody.
I mean, just because you've got nobody near you. Come on, get a life. I mean, it really is funny how people-- oh, nobody to talk to. So you just got to start thinking about life as a very special occasion. You don't want to miss it and see where it's going.
So the third area to take a look at is physically. What are you doing for yourself physically? And so I went on a big physical fitness kick a while back. And I was really motivated because I have this wonderful dog by the name of Joy, who is a little Goldendoodle, and she is just amazing. The reason I called her Joy, there is a friend of mine, Fred Smith, who was a great businessman in Dallas, died a year or so ago, said, the real joy in life is when you get in the act of forgetfulness about yourself.
And if you want to forget about yourself, get a dog. And it's no accident that "dog" spells "god" backwards, because Joy could care less about yesterday. That's already taken care of. She could care less about tomorrow. That one's guaranteed.
She wants-- [SOUND EFFECTS]. I mean, when I get home tonight, she's going to say-- not going to say, where the hell you were? You said you were going to be gone just two hours and this has been five. What is the deal? She goes-- [SOUND EFFECTS].
But when I started this program she was 5. She's 7 now. And I figured that she's small, so she's going to probably last 15 years anyway. Well, by then I'd be 85, see, and I thought, man, I better get my-- because I was weighing 235 at the time, and all this kind of thing.
And I said-- and she gets so excited. She can hear my car coming before I even turn in the driveway and she's racing down the hall towards the garage door. And I didn't want her racing down the hall to the garage door and it wasn't me. I mean, a lot of people said, Blanchard, you are strange. A lot of people are worried about losing their dog, not their dog losing them.
And so I decided to get in shape. And I started to work with this guy who'd been a head trainer at West Point for seven years. And he decided that there's six parts of physical well-being. The first one is aerobic, which is, what are you doing to pump your heart?
And I have a recumbent bike because I have, periodically, back issues. And you get in that recumbent bike. And I got one on our deck at the lake. And I got one in our bedroom at home. And I'll be on the phone call or anything, and I'm on that beauty every day almost 30 to 45 minutes on there. And so that's one area, is aerobic.
The other one area is strength training. And I had never done any of that. I mean, I had never lifted anything. And so he started having me lifting weights. And now I found a guy over in Auburn that works with me with weights and all that, not to be Mr. America but to tighten your core.
Then the third thing, which is fascinating, is the whole area of flexibility. Because my kids were kidding me, because you can't back up. You know why? A car, because you can't even go like this. What are you doing on your flexibility? So he works on my flexibility.
And I got involved with Egoscue-- Pete Egoscue, if you want to see an interesting guy. It's the Egoscue method, and he was in the Marines and came back, and they wanted to do all kinds of back operations, and so on. And he said, I'm not going to do that. And he learned all kinds of exercise, and a lot of them are kind of yoga type, and all those things, but are working on your flexibility. So that's an interesting area.
A fourth one is balance. Now, that's a problem for a lot of older people, see. Now, I can stand on one foot and all. They got me on one of those-- I always pronounce it wrong. Is it a Bosu ball or whatever? One of those things. I can stand on that and swing a golf club, and all that kind of thing. It doesn't mean I might not fall, but I'm really lowering the possibility, because I've been working on my balance.
A fifth thing is weight and weight control and diet, you know, nutrition and diet and all. And so I initially started going to Weight Watchers. And I loved all the women. They'd cheer you on, and all that kind of thing.
But what I really found-- I have a leadership model called Situational Leadership, which you need different strokes for different folks, depending on your development level. And so if you're an enthusiastic beginner, like I was with weight training, I needed really close supervision. I couldn't sort of go in the gym and start working on that. So you need direction if you're an enthusiastic beginner.
When it came to aerobic, I was really a disillusioned learner. I had started a thing, and I needed more of a coaching style, not just pure direction. And with Weight Watchers, that's kind of a supportive leadership style. And they cheer you on, but they don't give you a lot of direction. You know, you weigh in and all.
So I switched to Medifast. I don't particularly eat all their stuff, but you go in once a week, and they weigh you, and you have the same counselor, and they talk about how you did that week and all that. So that was really a powerful thing.
And so one of the things you've got to look at is what aspect here is and what's your development. The only thing-- you know, why don't New Year's resolutions work? Because you announce them, and everybody important in your life laughs and said, I'll believe it when you see it. And they go to a delegating leadership style.
If you could handle a delegating leadership style, it wouldn't be a New Year's resolution. So that's the wrong leadership style. So if you have a resolution, you need to analyze, am I an enthusiastic beginner, disillusioned learner, capable to cautious where I have the skills, but I need some support, or am I a self-directed achiever? And on different aspects of your health program, you're going to need a different kind of coach. And the goal, eventually, is you get to the point on all of them where you can handle the delegating leadership style, and so I really worked on that.
Now, I've had two hips removed, so I have-- next they'll want to do my knee, and all that. But it's not hurting me on the aerobic bike and walking, and all that. I have a little gimp, but at my age, what the hell.
But the point is, how are you doing to refire physically? What are you doing with yourself? I mean, do you got a weight problem? Or do you have-- you're not doing anything to stimulate your heart. What are you doing for your flexibility? So why don't you think on a 1 to 10 scale on physical, how well are you doing refiring yourself physically?
OK. How many of you think you're doing pretty well on the physical side? OK. How many of you think you need some work in that area? OK.
That's pretty good. A lot of people are getting some things to work on here. So it's kind of fascinating.
And the last one I want to talk about is spiritually. When I talk about spiritually, I'm not talking about religion. I mean, if I had a magic wand, I would hope that everybody would want to give up being right about their religion and just kind of--
Because most of the problems in the world is where people are wanting to be right about that. But I think it really has to do with, where's your emphasis in life? And I think one of our biggest problems that get us out of whack is the human ego, and we define that as edging God out and putting yourself in the center.
And there's two ways that we edge God out and get ourselves in the center and, I think, get ourselves wacky, is one is false pride, when you have a more-than attitude towards other people-- you're brighter than, I'm smarter than, I'm brighter than. I'm, you know, more than you.
And I'm [SOUND EFFECT]. And you're always judging and evaluating other people-- how could they be doing that? What's wrong with them? And you spend a lot of time judging people, which is really not a great hobby, I don't think. But I think it comes from this concept of false pride.
Then the other aspect that's really interesting is-- that gets your ego in the way, is fear or self-doubt. And a lot of people wouldn't think that that is an ego problem. But if you start to get fearful-- god, you know, I mean, I don't know what's going to happen. You know, I mean, what if Trump really does get elected or whatever?
I mean, I see so many people walking around with their shoulders down, like, oh, god, where the hell is the country going? Hell in a handbasket. Jesus Christ, you know, and all this kind of thing. But what you're doing is you're kind of focusing on yourself, your own fears and self-doubt.
And we've had a lot of fun in our work, and if we had more time, it would be fun to have I have it here, but we've developed a 12-Step Egos Anonymous program. Because I think it's the biggest addiction in the world, see. Because why do people drink too much, go into drugs, sex, other kind of things? It's because they don't feel good about themselves, and they're looking for some outside agent to make them feel better about themselves out there.
And it's really interesting, Thomas Harris wrote a fascinating book years ago called, "I'm OK- You're OK." Some of you might remember that. And he said that the worst life position is, I'm OK, you're not, which is the false pride concept. And his data showed that people who act like a big deal and they're judgmental and all that about other people, they're scared little kids inside because they haven't really dealt with who they are and feel comfortable with who they are and all.
And so as we look at the whole thing, is the way to overcome the whole false pride thing is humility. And humility is an interesting concept. A lot of people have felt that's a weakness.
And in my field of leadership, some of you probably have read Jim Collins' book from "Good To Great." And he's a really sharp researcher. And he was trying to decide, what are the two major characteristics of great leaders? And he studied 15 companies, I think, that over a 10-year period were continuing to grow and all.
And the two characteristics that came out of their data was-- the first one was resolved, which is determination to accomplish a goal, live according to a vision and all. So great leaders are-- they're task-oriented, achievement-oriented and all. But the second was humility.
And he kept on saying to his researchers, go look at the data. Humility cannot be the second major characteristics of an effective leader. And they kept on coming back and saying, Jim, the data is so clear.
And when he started to think about it, in these 15 companies he studied, he asked people around the company if they knew any of the presidents of these companies, and nobody knew him because they weren't Iacocca's. They weren't Jack Welch's and all. They were people who were more interested in what was happening with the people in the organization than they were getting all the credit, see.
And when I worked with Norman Vincent Peale, he had a wonderful definition of humility. And listen to this. He said, people with humility don't think less of themselves, they just think about themselves less. Let me repeat that. People with humility don't think less of themselves, they just think about themselves less, which is really a powerful thing.
And then Fred Smith, who I mentioned earlier, he said that people with humility don't deny their talents and their skills but they recognize that they pass through them, not from them, that the skills that you have is a gift. And what are you doing with that gift, to kind of steward that gift?
And in our Egos Anonymous programs, it's really hysterical, people will stand up-- and if you know anything about AA, it's always voluntary. And people will stand up-- and I'll just model it. I would say-- I would stand up, and I'd say, hi, I'm Ken. And what would you all say?
Hi, Ken. And then I would say, I'm an egomaniac, and the last time my ego got in my way I was coming over here, I was thinking, you know, god, I'm almost 80 years old. Are they going to want to hear anything from me? It's an impressive bio and all, but what am I going to be able to-- I mean, so I always have some doubt. And I find that if I have a little self-doubt, then I pump myself back up so that I'm ready to be my best.
I was a basketball player, and if I didn't have butterflies or feel nervous before a game, I was going to get run right over. But if I kind of was anxious and all-- man, oh, [SOUND EFFECT]-- and all, that kind of thing. So then I would sit down, and what would you all do?
You would all clap. And it's really interesting that a number of presidents now, who when they meet with their executive team once a week or once every two weeks, they begin their meetings with an egos anonymous meeting. And if you couldn't-- just think-- and I'm going to ask you to share with somebody-- when your ego got in the way in the last 48 hours, either false pride or fear. And if you can't think of an instant in the last 48 hours when you either were judgemental of other people or yourself, then you lie about other things, because we all do it.
Now, why don't you just share with each other when you had a little ego issue. And those of you by yourself, share with somebody.
OK. Anybody have any trouble thinking of something? It really is interesting because we all get caught periodically. What's really neat, it's like any addiction, if you're aware of it as a potential addiction and you spot it, you can start to cut down on it and maybe sometimes say, wow, maybe I ought to apologize because I remember, I got my ego in the way there and all.
And it's interesting, when we're talking about-- and we're talk about spirituality-- is that when your ego is in the way, you are focused on success, not significance. Because I think spirituality is about significance. Success is usually about you. Significance is about what you're doing to reach out and to help others.
And what I find is that-- somebody told me, if the devil had a definition of self-worth-- if you believe in such a negative concept-- it would be your self-worth is a function of your performance plus the opinion of others. The reason he'd love that is because he's got you. Why? Because your performance isn't always great, whatever you're doing, whether it's your golf game, or whatever you're doing and all.
And then people are fickle. Sometimes they're with you and sometimes they aren't. And so-- [SOUND EFFECTS] -- he's got you there. And then when people are thinking about success, they're focused on how much money have I accumulated, what recognition have I gotten from my efforts, and what power and status do I have? And if you look at those things-- there's nothing wrong with those necessarily-- but what's wrong is when you think your self-worth is those, because the only way you can maintain your self-worth is to get more of those. OK?
You know, and I don't want to go into politics, but I've done some work with Trump. And the reason he's in this whole thing is he wants to what, another platform for what? Ego. And that's not to say he doesn't have maybe some good points, and all that kind of thing. So there's nothing wrong with those, but if you keep score in life by those, you are going to be pushing and shoving in order to get more money, more recognition, and more power and status because that's the only way you keep your self-worth intact.
Now, interesting-- significance is quite interesting because, what's the opposite of accumulation of wealth? It's generosity. So it's not about money is bad, but what do you do with it? And it's not just generosity of your talent, I mean, your treasure, but what are you doing with your time and your talent? Are you being generous in your service with other people and all? So generosity is a significant aspect, where accumulation and wealth and success.
What's the opposite of recognition? It's service. And service is-- a really interesting heart question is, are you here to serve or be served? Is life all about you, or is there a way you can reach out? Because there's a lot of hurting people, not only around the world but in your neighborhoods, and all that kind of thing. What are you doing to reach out and maybe make a difference and serve others?
And then the opposite of power and status is loving relationships. And do you have a lot of loving relationships and all? And I got fascinated by this whole concept.
I have a friend, John Ortberg, who's a wonderful author and an interesting guy, a wonderful pastor. He wrote a book called "At The End Of The Game, It All Goes Back In The Box." I don't know if any of you have ever seen that. And it's a story about he and his grandmother. And when he was a young kid, his grandmother was an incredible Monopoly player.
How many of you have ever played Monopoly? He said she was vicious when she played Monopoly. I mean, she acted like she was the illegitimate child of an affair between Donald Trump and Martha Stewart.
So at the end of the game she had everything. She had Park Place. She had Broadway. She had-- and he'd have nothing. And she would get this big grin on her face, and she'd say, you know, John, someday you're going to learn how to play the game.
And so one summer when he was about 13 this kid moved next door who was an incredible Monopoly player. And he practiced with this kid every single day that summer because he knew his grandmother was coming in September. And when grandma came, he ran into the house, gave her a hug and a kiss, and he said, Grandma, how about a Monopoly game? And her eyes lit up, and she said, let's go, John.
But he was ready for her this time. And he came out of the chute. And he wiped her out. In the end he had everything. She had nothing. He said it was the greatest day of his life.
And his grandmother smiled, and she said, John, now that you know how to play the game, let me teach you a lesson about life. He said, what's that? She said, it all goes back in the box. He said, what do you mean? Everything you bought, everything you accumulate, it all goes back in the box.
And I want to tell you, you can push and shove in this life for money, for recognition, and power, when you die, baby, it all goes back in the box, and the only thing you get to save is your soul. And that's where I think you store who you love and who loves you. And my wife's mom died a few years ago at 92, and she said, you're never really dead until the last person who loved you and cared about you is gone. And I think that's a really powerful thing.
I love the ending of the movie "Ghost." Any of you ever seen that? It's a story about this guy who was a financial adviser, and he gets killed by a supposed friend. And he gets to stay on Earth as a ghost to protect his girlfriend Molly, who's played by Demi Moore. And he gets to communicate with Molly through this wonderful character that Whoopi Goldberg plays, who's kind of a clairvoyant.
And at the end of the movie, he's avenged his death, Molly and Oda Mae and Sam are on the rooftop of Molly's building, and all of a sudden this white light starts coming towards them, see. And Oda Mae says, they're coming for you, Sam. And he goes over and he stands in front of Molly-- if you remember the movie, he never told Molly he loved her. She would say, I love you, Sam. And what would he say? Ditto.
And now, with tears coming down her eyes as he said, Molly, I love you. I've always loved you. And she's crying, and she says, ditto. And then he turns to face the light, and he stops one last time, and he says, the remarkable thing about this, Molly, is you can take the love with you. And I don't think you're going to take another damn thing out of this Earth.
And I think the whole spirituality is about perspective and all. And so I'd love for you to think about that with your neighbors and where you are on your journey from success to significance.
OK. How many of you are doing pretty well in that area? OK. How many of you need a little work? Yeah. Notice my hand was up every time, because it's a journey. Life's a fabulous journey.
And at the end of the sheet I handed out for you, I think it would really be fun for you to do, and we won't do it here, but I'll open up for questions. But find a partner, find somebody that either you're living with or is a friend or what have you, and choose one or more of the refiring areas and come up with a goal, and use your partner as a consultant. Then kind of exchange your roles. And I have just found to the power of having somebody who's kind of a partner in your journey is a really powerful thing where you are.
And so one of the things I want to warn you is-- because a lot of us had our hands up every time, is don't try to take them all on at the same time. You might want to work on one at a time. And maybe it's the physical one you might want to take on first, or maybe it's the social/emotional one, or intellectual, or the spiritual one. The spiritual one is an interesting overview kind of one at the end.
But just think about it, because I think life is really a fascinating thing. Was it Plato that said, life unexamined is not worth living? I think it was him. And that's a pretty powerful thing. And I think what we need to do is be careful that we aren't racing our life, even in, quote, retirement.
And I wanted to just end by sharing one other concept that I got when I worked with Norman Vincent Peale. He said that we have two selves. We have an external task-oriented self that's used to getting jobs done, and then we have a thoughtful, reflective self.
And he said, which one do you think wakes up quicker in the morning usually, your external task-oriented self or your thoughtful, reflective self? The task-oriented, isn't it? What happens? The alarm goes off. John Ortberg says, isn't that an awful term? Why isn't it the opportunity clock or, it's-going-to-be-a-great-day clock, but Alarm! And all of the sudden you jump out of bed into your task-oriented self.
And I find people-- whether they're working or retired, they're running around-- [SOUND EFFECTS] -- activity. [SOUND EFFECTS] you know, and all. And they finally at the end of the day, boom. They fall into bed absolutely exhausted, don't have any energy to say good night to somebody who might be lying next to them. The next morning-- [SOUND EFFECTS] --they're out of there again.
And I think a lot of us, no matter what our age is, we have to watch that we get caught in a rat race. And I love Lily Tomlin, the great philosopher from Hollywood. She said, the problem with a rat race is even if you win it, you're still a rat.
And so I think that the whole concept is, how can you maybe enter your day slowly? Now, a lot of people say, god, I don't want something else on my to-do list, and all that kind of thing. But I tell you, the power of entering your day slowly and spending maybe 15 or 20 minutes thinking about-- what I-- one of the things I want to share with you that I do that is so powerful is I sit on the side of the bed, and I put my hands down on my knees. And I think about any concerns I have about the day, and as I think of it, I lay it down.
And I learned from Warner Erhard, you know, what you resist persists. If you refuse to identify an issue, it continues to be an issue. But if you identify it and talk about it, very often, it goes away. So you just lay it down. OK.
And then I put my hands in an upward thing, and I'm quiet. And I want to see if I might get a few good words from the Lord or who-- anybody else. But I think we don't quiet ourselves enough to maybe get some things that could maybe change our lives that we hadn't thought about. A friend of mine said she can always tell if God is talking to her. She thinks of something she never would have thought herself.
And I had that experience. This year our pastor left our church after 17 years. Fabulous guy.
They were going to go and hire an interim. And we have two young pastors who were fabulous that nobody had ever heard. We have an Egyptian pastor who runs an Arabic service and has 125 people including some Muslims from L.A. who come down. And he's an amazing Bible teacher. The only person they had ever heard was the executive pastor.
So I'm driving home from work one day. And all of the sudden-- and I was just quiet, because one of the things I'm doing, I would recommend, too, don't turn your radio on. Use that as quiet time.
And so I'm really using that as quiet time. And I'm driving home without the radio, and all of the sudden I say, why don't you become the interim pastor? Where the hell did that come from?
And so I sent an email. And I said, it's a wild idea, but why bring an outsider in? I could help facilitate what we're trying to do. Why don't I come in? And it's unbelievable, the church permitted it.
And so I'm having a lot of fun. And every five weeks, each of us preach. And the congregation is loving it, because they never have heard the variety, and that kind of thing. And it's really kind of fun to see. And we've revisioned the whole church, and all that kind of stuff.
But I would have never thought of that myself. And it was shutting the radio off and going down the road, why don't you go in? Oh, yeah. That would really be good.
But the point I want to make is if you could think about what you're concerned about, lay it down, and then quiet yourself. And then find some periods of time of quiet during the day. And I find when I'm driving in the car by myself it's a wonderful quiet time just to be and here. So that's about all I have to share with you tonight, but I'd be open for any questions that you might have or any attacks or anything.
But if anybody has any questions, if you've got to go go, or-- yeah.
Where do I what? Well, I think that's part of the spiritual stuff, where I would put it, which is also-- but it could be intellectual and all. But when I think of art-- oh, the question is, where do you put art and music and things like that in a category? And I was just trying to say it might appear in all of them.
But I find out when I listen to really good music or I see good art and all that, just gets me out of my own way, and I kind of, wow. I would have loved to talk to the person who wrote that or painted that, or, what were they thinking? And so that's what I would say. Yes.
Well, he was saying when I'm driving here I had some self-doubt about would they want to hear what I have to say, is-- I don't know. I mean, this is quite an intellectual community. And sometimes you have an idea like I have here, and people might say, well, where's your data? And all that kind of thing.
And so I always have a little anxiety talking to a group at Cornell. But you all are probably a different Cornell group. But the way I overcome that is to say, hey, if they don't like it, it's their problem, because the worst this could be is fabulous.
Because I think just having a chance to think about your life is a pretty powerful opportunity to reflect. I think it's just great. So I hope I've given you some ideas to reflect on. Any other questions, comments, or-- yes.
It's a personal growth. She asked about the Hoffman Process. It's a personal growth thing, and it's headquartered in Northern California. And there's a book called "The Hoffman Process" that you could find out. It's a pretty intense kind of thing.
For example, I mentioned to you they believe you're looking for unconditional love and you look in the wrong places in your parents. And before you go there, there's 300 adjectives or nouns and you have to say whether your father engaged in that, your mother engaged in that, and whether you do.
Because they said that-- what's interesting is subconsciously with our parents sometimes we take on behaviors that they have subconsciously to get them to love us more. And then subconsciously we also rebel against some behaviors to get even with them. And so it was really interesting is to take a look at those behaviors and take a look at which behaviors are working for you and which aren't. It's a pretty powerful experience. Yeah.
Yes. Well, that's interesting. Our company-- we have a group of introverts that meet periodically on how to survive in our company. But it's really interesting. I think that my experience-- and you could probably tell me more-- introverts are more experienced in going inside and processing things more than extroverts-- [SOUND EFFECTS] -- it's all out here.
And so I find that if introverts hear something that gets them, they really are able to even process it better than an extrovert. Extroverts are usually on to the next interaction, and all that kind of thing. And so I'm kind of a off-the-wall extrovert who really has had a lot of fun reflecting over the years.
But as an extrovert, why I have all these co-authors. And my 70th birthday-- you'll get a kick out of this-- I invited all my co-authors to come, and over 60 of them came. And it was a hoot.
It was a day-and-a-half of a lot of little panels and sharing what people had learned since we had written together. And, like, we had a birthday party in between, and people were bringing footballs for Don Shula to sign. And it was just a really hoot. A lot of them had met each other.
I think we probably-- all of us have some introvert, some extrovert. It's just probably one area is a little bigger than the other. Yeah.
My own epitaph? I think that-- my hope is that my epitaph, my mission statement is, I want to be a loving teacher, an example of simple truths. And so I would love that to be maybe, he was a loving teacher, an example of simple truths.
Because, it's so interesting, I've written all these books. When I was a graduate student here, I thought I'd really like to be at university. That would really be kind of fun. And the faculty said, well, you better be an administrator, because you can't write. And I later learned that you could understand that. And that kind of confused them, I think.
But it was so interesting, my first job is I went as assistant to the dean of the Business School at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio. When I got there, he said, Ken, I want you to teach a course. I said, oh, teach. I had never thought about teaching, because I can't write.
He said, I don't care about that. I want all my deans to teach. So he put me in the Management Department. And Paul Hersey had just come as the chairman of the Management Department, so he gave me a course.
And my research had been on Feezle's leadership model, so I knew some about it but I had never really taught. So after a couple weeks, I came home. I said to Margie, man, this is what I ought to be doing. This is fun.
She said, what about the writing? I don't know. We'll figure something out.
And so in December '66 I heard Hersey taught a great leadership course. So I went up to him, and I said, Paul, I hear you teach a great leadership course, could I sit in next semester.
He said, nobody audits my course. If you take it for credit, you're welcome. And he walked away. I thought that was really interesting. I had a Ph.D., and he didn't, and he wants me to take his course for credit. But [INAUDIBLE] and he said, if you audit a course, you probably don't ever do anything.
And so I told Margie. She said, well, is he any good? And I said, he's supposed to be great. She said, well, get your ego out of the way and take his damn course. Oh, I did, and I wrote the papers. And it was a fabulous course.
June '67 Hersey comes in my office. He said, Ken, I've been teaching leadership for 10 years, and I think a better than anybody, but I can't write. I'm a nervous wreck. But I've been looking for a knowledgeable guy in our field who's a good writer, like you. Would you write a textbook with me?
And I said, what a great team we should be. I can't write, and you're not supposed to. Let's do it.
So he wrote a book called "Management of Organizational Behavior," utilize it. It just came out in its 10th edition. It sells more today than it did in the '60s.
So I went to the dean and said, I quit as an administrator. I'm going to be a faculty member. I got a book.
And he said, you can't quit. I said, why not? He said, because I was going to fire you because you're a lousy administrator, which I was. And so we kind of agreed it was a photo finish.
But the way I got into writing parables-- I mean, because my books are all small, except that textbook, is I met Spencer Johnson at a cocktail party. And some of you might remember he wrote children's books with his wife, "Value Tales." Any of you ever remember that?
The value of a sense of humor, the story of Will Rogers, the value of curiosity, the story of Christopher Columbus. Wonderful kids' books.
So Margie met him at this party first. She hand-carried him over to me, said, why don't you write a children's book for managers? They won't read anything else.
And he was working on a one-minute scolding with a psychiatrist. And I invited him to a seminar I was doing, and he sat the whole day and laughed and came running up at the end and said, forget parenting. Let's do the One Minute Manager.
And since he was a children's book writer, and I'm a storyteller, we wrote a parable. That book can't take you more than an hour to read. And can you imagine? We're on the Today Show. Nobody knows us. Next week, it's on the bestseller list, and we sold actually more than 13 million. It's really ridiculous, you know, for a little kid's book.
And so I've been writing kid's books ever since. Life is-- what did John Lennon say? Life is what happens to you when you're planning on doing something else. That's why--
Yeah. Yeah. And keep your eyes open and keep refiring and seeing. You never know what's going to happen. So any final thoughts? Yeah.
Well, he said-- my career, am I discouraged or enlightened or happy that people are becoming more humane? I think-- this is just a personal problem. I think the major problem in the world is the press, because I think all they do is look for bad news stories. And I think evil has been in the world for a long time, but we didn't know it as much as we do now.
And the positive thing about that is you can't get away with much without getting-- but you can sometimes get discouraged. But I just feel that we've rallied before, and we've survived a lot of craziness over the centuries. And I think will survive.
And I'm just hoping-- I tell you, I'm finding more corporation presidents in my field and all who are really getting interested in servant leadership, and all that. Because when I look at all the great companies that are leaders in their industry, and I've had a chance to work with most of them, is they think their number one customer is their people. And if they take care of their people and empower their people and love on their people, their people will go out of their way to take care of the second most important customer, the people who buy their products and services. And if they do that, then they become raving fans, and they become part of your sales force and that takes care of the owners and all that.
And with Wall Street and all, a lot of people act like the reason for being a business is to make money. No, profit is the applause you get for creating a motivating environment for your people so they'll take care of your customers.
And look at Southwest. Why are they the only one making money in the airline industry, Nordstrom's in retail, Chick-fil-A in fast foods, Wegmans in groceries, Synovus in financial services, Disney in entertainment? Every one of them, their people are their most important customer.
And I'm excited about that. And I'm working on a book now called, "Duh," which is, why isn't common sense common practice? Because I think we're getting better, but we're still behind on that. But what do you think?
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Business consultant Ken Blanchard, coauthor of The One Minute Manager, shared his thoughts on refocusing priorities and finding opportunities for personal growth and satisfaction July 20, 2016, as part of the School of Continuing Education and Summer Sessions' free summer events series.
In his talk, Blanchard described "refiring"—a process in which the primary focus is not on career advancement, financial gain, or specific types of achievements, but on healthy living, warm and significant relationships, continued learning and cognitive growth, vitality and meaningful involvement, and the development of a personal sense of spirituality.