This month Ford Kyes reviews Gung Ho from Ken Blanchard and Sheldon Bowels. For over two decades this classic has gotten reave reviews from top motivational gurus to business owners. Written in a very smooth conversational style Gung Ho focuses on the challenge of a one year to turn around an under-performing plant.  This book is a simple reminder of some of the basic components we as business owners often forget on how to build enthusiasm in our organizations. Here are some quick highlights and BFO’s of Gung Ho to give you the 60 second review that will hopefully prompt you to read it for yourself!

Gung Ho’s leadership objectives based on observations of animals in nature that can be applied to modern organizations:

Spirit of the Squirrel:  Worthwhile work based on understanding its true meaning, shared goals, and value-based plans, decisions and actions. (p27)

Way of the Beaver:  In control of achieving the goal. (p93) A playing field with clearly marked territory.  Thoughts, feelings, needs and dreams are respected, listened to and acted upon.  Individuals are able to achieve goals but they are challenging.

The Gift of the Goose:  Cheering others on. (p150) (“The gift of the goose is God’s gift we give each other.”) Active or passive, congratulations must be TRUE.:  No score, no game and cheer progress and E=MC2.

The true meaning of Gung Ho:   “Gung Ho people so the right work, the right way, for the right reward.  No score, no game.”

Other BFO’s:

  • Using Rituals: “The morning huddle and the morning cheer!”   “Good teams always have a game plan and some form of huddle to be sure the players know what the next play or set of plays will be.”  (p110)
  • The old habit won’t change until the new one replaces it.
  • Information is the gatekeeper to power. I want the team in charge with the power to make decisions and make things happen.
  • “The last place I HAD to go to work, here I GET to go to work.”
  • “You put an old dog in a new yard and the first thing they do is piss on all the fence posts to mark out their territory.”
  • “E=MC2 – Enthusiasm equals mission times cash and congratulations”
  • Congratulations must be TRUE – Timely, Responsive, Unconditional, Enthusiastic – Best if Spontaneous, Individual, Specific and Unique.
  • Coaching: Teaching and practice focused on taking action, with celebration when things go well and supportive redirection when things go wrong, while all the time creating excitement and challenge for those being coached.

About Ford Kyes

As a corporate business leader, Ford gained valuable coaching experience by mentoring graduate students in hospital management and MBA programs for five different universities. He continues to work through the chambers of commerce to share his knowledge and experience with other business professionals, and lends his expertise to many nonprofit organizations on a volunteer basis. Ford Kyes, founding partner, has proven himself to be a dynamic and inspirational business leader by achieving outstanding success for both large and small companies throughout his career. A graduate of Carnegie Mellon University’s Master’s program in management, Kyes is passionate about helping individuals and businesses achieve their full potential by passing on his own business knowledge.