Catching People Doing Things Right

The Heart of A Leader, By Ken Blanchard

** Note from Coach O: I was doing some spring cleaning and found a book I read some time ago: “The Heart of A Leader”, by Ken Blanchard. I have been taught by my pastor/mentor, Dr. AR Bernard, that we should occasionally revisit a previously read book or article because: we SHOULD be at a different place in our leadership & will see things we did not see before. Well, it is TRUE!

I will be sharing things from this quick read – but robust book on the “Heart of A Leader”. It’s a collection of Mr. Blanchard’s “favorite sayings” (as he put it) I hope you read something that helps you and inspires you to be a better leader!


“The key to developing people is to catch them doing something right”

~ Ken Blanchard & Spencer Johnson – One Minute Manager

Catching people doing things right is a powerful management concept. Unfortunately, most leaders have a genius for catching people doing things wrong. I always recommend that managers (coaches) wander around their organization catching people doing things right.

But I remind them, that effective praising must be specific. Just walking around and saying “thanks for everything” is meaningless. If you say, “Great Job” to a poor performer and “Great Job” to a good performer you sound ridiculous to the poor performer and “demotivate” the good performer.

Catching people doing things right provides satisfaction and motivates good performance. But remember, give praise immediately, make it specific, and finally, encourage people to keep up the good work. This principle can also help you shine at home. It’s a marvelous way to interact and affirm the people in your life.

Coach O’s “3 Pointers”: 3 Things For Us To Consider:

1. What are you consistently known for? Catching people doing things right…or wrong?
2. When we DO give praise, is it immediate or three days later? Is it specific?
3. Do we praise people in our family as passionately, and as OFTEN as we do our players and coaches? (Hmmm)

(Think on these things and resolve to Improve TONIGHT!) I know I have things to work on! 🙂

I’m your partner in the pursuit of excellence!

The Best Leaders Love What They Do!

Candace Parker (L) & the great Coach Pat Summitt

Work is thought of as something that you have to do, while play is something that you choose to do. The distinction is more of an idea than a reality, since both require physical and mental energy. The best coaches and managers in the world are those who absolutely love what they’re doing.

The enjoyment of coaches is not a perk, it’s an essential ingredient of winning. People want to see the passion in a leader; it’s inspiring to think that all this commitment and energy are behind your team’s performance. You can’t fake your love of the game; it’s there or it’s not. If you find you enjoy leading people to success, give it all you’v got. If not, let someone else do it.

The crux of a mission statement is identifying what it is you enjoy so much that you lose track of time when you’re doing it. Part of that mission must also require the desire to make a difference in other people’s lives. You can achieve greater success in your responsibilities as a leader when your mission statement keeps reminding you of your passions while making important decisions regarding your career and your people.

~ Ken Blanchard


From “The Little Book Of Coaching” by Ken Blanchard & Don Shula 


“One who has mastered the art of living simply pursues his vision of excellence at whatever he does, leaving others to decide whether he is working or playing”

— James Michener

Don Shula on Respected Leadership

Reprinted from

Monday, October 19, 2009


It’s more important as a manager to be respected than to be popular.
1. Think back to a leader you had—a parent, teacher, coach, or boss who got great performance from you. More than likely, this was a leader who combined tough and nice. You knew that person cared about you, but that he or she would not let up on you in the quest for excellence.

2. If you, as a leader, demand that your people add value to the organization through their work, you must fulfill you end of the bargain by telling the truth and keeping work standards high. This often means sacrificing popularity in your endeavor to do the right thing.

3. Are you willing to push your people—whether it’s a group of middle managers or a Cub Scout pack—beyond their comfort zone in order to achieve excellence? They might not like what you ask of them, but they will remember you as a leader they respected.
From Everyone’s a Coach” by Ken Blanchard and Don Shula
Donald Francis “Don” Shula is a former professional American football coach for the National Football League.

He is best known as coach of the Miami Dolphins, the team he led to two Super Bowl victories and to the NFL’s first and only Perfect Season. He currently holds the NFL record for most career wins with 347. Shula only had two losing seasons (below .500) in his 32 year career.