Leading at a Higher Level

Emma De Vita casts her eye over Ken Blanchard's book on why leadership is love

Ken Blanchard is one of those cheesy, best-selling US management gurus who has us cynical Brits guffawing into our muesli. He comes from the preacher school of management thinking, and is all about making us feel warm and glowing about being such wonderful managers and leaders.

One of his popular books is called Leading at a Higher Level. To quote: "Leadership is not about love - it is love." As a third sector manager, is that how you feel about your job on a Monday morning? Are your colleagues feeling your love? No? If not, it's time to do something about it.

Blanchard advocates a form of leadership called "servant leadership" - which, as the term suggests, is about serving the people you lead. You need to be humble and focused on the greater good. It's about serving a higher purpose, not just chasing filthy lucre - which gives charity managers a head start, at least.

As a corollary to this, Blanchard argues that leadership should be about focusing on long-term results and human satisfaction. Essentially, Leading at a Higher Level is about "the process of achieving worthwhile results while acting with respect, care and fairness for the wellbeing of all involved". It's time to start spreading the love.

Emma De Vita is books editor of Management Today

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