Investing in People
“The best minute I spend is the one I invest in people.”
— Ken Blanchard
He invested in us. He gave us his time. He answered our phone calls. He invited us to his home to share several days so that we would get to know one another.
He was generous with his attention while we were at his home in San Diego. He invited us to his church. He and his wife Margie took us to a restaurant on a Pacific beach. They included us in an intimate dinner party with their friends.
He sat with us by his pool and talked about his family, his life, and his work. He showed us around his company’s headquarters. He and Margie invited us to watch the movie White Christmas with them, a tradition they have had for years at the start of the holiday season.
He spent every waking hour we were there with us. He served us Bloody Marys at 11:00 in the morning, as a team of party planners worked in their house on the details of their upcoming yearly company holiday party. He told us as we said goodbye at their front door while the Uber driver waited to take us to the airport, that he would help us in whatever way he could to advance Someone To Tell It To’s mission.
Ken Blanchard agreeing to write the foreword to our forthcoming book is something wonderful he is doing to keep that promise. His affirmation of our work is a gift, a true gift. And we are deeply grateful for it.
Throughout the next few months, as we prepare for our new book, Listening 2by2: A New Paradigm Shift for Leaders (That’s When the Magic Happens!) to be published in January 2022, we will be sharing behind-the scenes-glimpses into what goes into writing a book. Or at least, what went into our writing of this book.
Ken was one who inspired us to write the book. His best-selling books, often co-authored with others, especially the One-Minute Manager series, is a classic. He gave us a stack of some of his other books, too, books that speak to needs our culture struggles with. His organization, The Ken Blanchard Companies, helps to create cultures of caring, excellence, and servant leadership, and has helped to change the way organizations operate and the way leaders lead. He is leaving a lasting and towering legacy upon which others will build to make places of work and individual relationships stronger, healthier, and more fulfilling.
We were introduced to Ken through mutual friends of ours, who insisted we had to meet him. We are grateful for their insistence. It brought us to this moment.
A moment when Ken could affirm our message, our work, and our mission.
And we thank him. He invested in us and it has given us the inspiration we need to do the hard work of writing and publishing another book. Of adding our voices to the voices of others who value the integral part that listening well plays in enhancing our relationships and communities. Of showing how we can live in more empathetic, relational, and supportive environments.
So, thank you Ken Blanchard, and your team of dedicated servant leaders who believe that what is doesn’t have to be, especially when it doesn’t satisfy or work. But who believe, as we do, that everyone’s life’s work and our relationships can be more positive and life-giving.
And much more meaningful and beautiful, too.
But the fact is, there is a lot of brokenness in the world. It’s a world desperate for meaning and beauty.
Loss, grief, disappointment, fear, alienation, hatred, insecurity, poverty of resources and of spirit, discrimination, and violence tear painfully and tragically at the fabric of our society. None of us escapes the wrenching blows that are part of human life.
Someone To Tell It To exists to help alleviate the distress that can accompany human life.
Someone To Tell It To exists to create a listening culture to create environments in which everyone is heard and valued.
That’s also why we write books. We want to spread the word far and wide.
We are all in this together. We all need one another to navigate well through this turbulent life. And we all have more in common with one another than we have separating us from one another.
In this season, especially this unsettled season in which COVID continues raging, Someone To Tell It To wants the world to know that if we care and listen – truly, intentionally, graciously listen, and grow to know one another’s very human and incredibly powerful stories – we can begin to heal from that which breaks us apart.