American author Ken Blanchard just turned 80 years old and the revision of the third edition of his best-selling book “Leading at a Higher level” recently came out. His son Scott Blanchard who is also the Principal and Executive Vice President of The Ken Blanchard Companies, studied some of the beliefs regarding excellent leadership to prove if they are correct.

Blanchard’s team discovered that the essential principles of leadership believed by experts and discussed in the books of Mr. Ken Blanchard are still correct.

Self – Centered Leaders or Employee-Oriented Leaders

The teams’ separate research on work passion of employees has found that positive behaviors cannot be expected from employees unless someone who leads them thinks of their welfare.

The more recent data they identified were the two types of leaders as observed by employees. The first type is self-centered leaders- those who think only of themselves. Under this kind of leadership, employees feel unimportant, not valued, replaceable, and unable to communicate with their manager.

On the other hand, employee-oriented leaders are those who are always there to support others and whom employees can trust. This kind of leader may also be called situational, servant, or purpose-driven leader.

If employees recognize that their managers got their backs and are dedicated to seeing them doing things correctly, they choose to work better for the company. They also become great team members and exercise good judgment. But when employees see their manager being self-focused, this discourages them and creates an unhealthy workplace setting.

One of the founding associates and longtime Research Director of The Ken Blanchard Companies, Dr. Drea Zigarmi, studied how behaviors of leaders affect the performance of employees. He looked into the actions of self-centered and employee-oriented leaders and found out that the latter are more facilitating and enabling, while the former are more likely to be controlling.

The study surveyed the efficiency of athletic coaches who tend to be more controlling than facilitating coaches. The given questions pertained to coaches, but other types of leaders may be showing these similar negative behaviors.

These leaders are the ones who can shatter the positive goals of people that great companies are aiming for.

Factors Attributed to Hiring Success

The team has also studied an idea called the locus of control, which is the degree to which people presume that they can manipulate the outcome of events in their lives. Among all the respondents, half believed that they have an internal locus of control while the other half perceive they have an external locus of control. 

Having an internal locus of control, people assume that with their efforts, creativity, ideas, and perseverance, they will achieve the result they are expecting.

On the other hand, if people believe they have an external focus of control, results are dependent on external factors like monetary rewards, satisfying their leaders, and being allowed to do things.

According to the consulting firm Hireology which the team has worked with, applicants have a 40% chance of being effective in their new work if they have an internal locus of control.

Another factor is the optimistic work attitude wherein the need, desire, motivation, and satisfaction of an employee is seen across his work experiences.

A third factor would be previous similar work success – if objectives for previous work were the same for the current job.

The last factor is cultural fit – which means that employees’ beliefs and behaviors are in alignment with their company’s core values and culture. 

Effects of Supporting Positive Behaviors

The study also revealed that the way a manager works has a positive or negative impact on other peoples’ views of their work and life.

A manipulative manager can significantly affect how his or her employees reason out and respond and how they view themselves. A manager like this may be developing people with an external locus of control – who might become demotivated and lose their work passion. In the end, this manager will have employees who only do what they were instructed or paid to do.

A great leader, on the other hand, can make his or her employees think, act, and see themselves positively. Having a manager like this, employees will tend to have an internal locus of control, which is an important sign of success. Eventually, this kind of manager will have employees who are enthusiastic and excelling individuals.

Uplift and educate leaders to be employee-oriented, and you will have accountable people who create the best results and impart fabulous service. It’s a fact that has been working for more than 40 years so you can never go wrong.