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Posted on Apr 20, 2012

A dynamic couple in business together

Image from University of Massachusetts AmherstInsightful. Compassionate. Influential. Accomplished.

These are commonly referenced values used to describe Ken and Marjorie Blanchard.

Dr. Ken Blanchard is an icon in the fields of leadership and management training. A world-renowned keynote speaker, co-author of over 30 books – including the bestseller “The One Minute Manager” – Blanchard is also the co-founder of an international management training and consulting firm that bears his name.

Dr. Marjorie Blanchard is Ken’s partner – in business and in life. She is an accomplished management consultant, compelling motivational speaker, and best-selling author. She also led the rapid growth and success of their company as president from 1987 to 1997.

They are a dynamic couple in business together.

Mixing Marriage and Business

When Ken and Marjorie founded their training and development company in 1979, some of their first work was putting on seminars for spouses. While the Blanchards have been careful in keeping their family life as private as possible, both Ken and Marjorie have fully invested themselves in helping make a difference in people’s lives.

With over 300 employees and a client roster representing some of the world’s most successful companies, the results speak for themselves.

On the company’s website there is a video entitled “Why Leadership Matters.” It includes Ken talking about the original goals of the company:

1)     Working with people they loved

2)     Wanting to make a difference

3)     Striving to walk the talk

4)     Having fun

That sounds to me like a perfect set of goals for a meaningful marriage. And the Blanchards appear to have embraced these goals in their relationship too.

Marjorie points out that “We’ve struggled to put these ideas into practice, and have figured out how to do it.” Maybe this is the reason so many people are interested in what the Blanchard’s have to offer and are eager to learn from them.

Ken goes on to state “You don’t learn to be a great leader in your head. It starts in your heart, then in your head, then moves to your hands.”

I think this nicely captures a critical part of the process that leads to success in both marriage and business. Once your heart is committed and your head understands, then your hands will do the work that brings about great achievements.

A Lovely Tweet

Earlier this year I read a wonderful tweet from @KenBlanchard on Twitter:
Real happiness is marrying the person you love, but real joy comes from falling in love with the person you married.”

After so many years together, I find this very inspiring. It doesn’t matter how long you have been married, or how long you’ve been in business together. There’s no time like the present to start falling in love – again and again. It’s the source of real joy.

In June, the Blanchards will celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary. They are a fabulous example of what a leadership couple can accomplish when they work together.


What can other leadership couples learn from Ken and Marjorie Blanchard?