Speaker encourages students to lead with humility, integrity

Ken Blanchard counsels students to model their leadership roles after Jesus’ example at the Christian Leadership in Business Speaker Series Tuesday in Cashion Academic Center.
Makenzie Mason | Lariat Photographer

By Molly Packer

More than 500 students, professors and members of the Baylor community piled into the fifth floor of Cashion Academic Center looking for guidance on Christian leadership in the business world from a bestselling author Tuesday. Dr. Ken Blanchard, bestselling author of books “The One-Minute Manager” and “Lead Like Jesus,” shared his words of wisdom with Baylor as a co-founder and chief spiritual officer of his company, The Ken Blanchard Companies.

Blanchard spoke as part of the Paul J. Meyer Christian Leadership in Business Speaker Series with the Hankamer School of Business.

Blanchard said that although he was writing about business leadership before he became a Christian, God was helping him before he realized it.

“I didn’t become a believer until I was almost 50 years old,” Blanchard said. “The One-Minute Manager” was a gift from God. I guess he figured I would be on his team sometime soon. It’s a lot easier to see God backwards in your life instead of forward.”

Blanchard said when he first started writing with a focus on God, he saw that integrity in the business world had not yet been written about.

“Jesus is the best leadership role model of all time, but I found that that wasn’t being taught at divinity schools,” Blanchard said. “So I guessed this is what I was supposed to be doing.”

Once Blanchard started writing about Christ-like integrity in the business world, his ideas quickly became popular.

Blanchard’s ideas are famous for being easily relatable and useful. Mitchell Neubert, associate professor and the Hazel & Harry Chavabbe chair of management, said the author’s ability to take important truths and translate them is something that sets him apart.

“The thing he is well known for is taking timeless truths and making them practical and simple,” Neubert said. “Ken has the ability to take those truths and make them useful.”

Blanchard said everyone acts as a leader at one point in life.

“When I ask people to identify who impacted their life the most, they don’t talk about a manager at a company,” he said. “They talk about a mother, father or friend. Everyone of us is a life-role leader.”

Blanchard said he believes the only way to be truly successful is to model one’s leadership after that of Jesus.

“Humility should be one of the top qualities in a leader because with humility, you realize it’s not all about you,” Blanchard said.

Blanchard encouraged students to change the way leadership is looked at in the world.

“The typical attitude towards leadership is that it’s all about you. You’re supposed to make decisions and people are supposed to follow them,” he said. “Students have the chance to leave this institution and make up for a lot of the mistakes and goof-ups.”

Neubert said leadership with integrity is becoming more rare.

“You can open a newspaper today and see an absence of leadership with integrity,” he said. “Christian leaders have the opportunity to make an impact. We want to continue to develop good qualities in those people.”