Thank You Ken And All The Great Managers

Today, I am honored to bring you another guest post from Greg Blencoe:

Society is powered by an economic engine that produces products and services that enhance the human experience.  The mind, labor, and components of the Earth comprise the intellectual, physical, and natural resources that serve as the ingredients for these creations.


A great paradox of business is that one person can do very little and one person can do so much.


One finger on one hand can only lift so much weight and can do very little.  But the ten fingers on two hands working together can lift vastly more weight and have far greater usefulness.


In a business context, one person can’t build and sell lots of cars.  One person can’t operate an airline.  And one person can’t run a typical fast-food restaurant.


Business is about teamwork.  Business is about teams.  And those teams are led by managers.


In most circumstances, one person working alone can only do very little.  But one person who is a manager can do so much.  The power of the team is unleashed by the power of the manager.


Great products and services come from great teams which come from great managers.


In early 1990 just a few weeks after my 16th birthday, I started working at the Little Caesars Pizza fast-food restaurant located at the intersection of Main Street and the Oak Ridge Turnpike in Oak Ridge, Tennessee.  One of the employees that I got to work with a lot was an assistant manager named Ken.  Within a few weeks, I started to develop a strong bond with Ken.  I loved working for him.


In life, major differences in outcomes are often the result of a consistent implementation of simple actions over a long period of time.  Momentum in the direction of a specific outcome builds very slowly but very surely with each simple action that is taken.  The little things are the big things.


I could spend a very long time explaining why Ken was such a great manager.  But instead I will just focus on six words.


A simple and common task that Ken would often ask me to complete was to get him a container of sauce when he was making pizzas.  The conversation would usually go something like this:


“Hey Greg, could you get me a container of pizza sauce?”


And then after I would get the container of pizza sauce for him, he would say:


“Thanks, I appreciate it.”


This brief interaction would have had a much different meaning if the words could, you, thanks, I, appreciate, and it were omitted.  These six words were the difference between respect and disrespect, high and low morale, and pride and resentment.


Those six words that Ken said were the little things that were the big things.


The financial and human resources under the guidance of great managers appreciate in value.  This can lead to the creation of more wealth, more jobs, and more happiness and fulfillment.


On the other hand, unpleasant situations at work can infect the sanctity of our homes with negative energy.  A virus that starts at work can spread to our families and beyond.  Most of us know what this feels like.


Managers influence our lives tremendously in a variety of ways.  I’m so deeply grateful that Ken has had such a positive influence on mine.  And like all of the other great managers out there, his presence uplifts the world.


Thank you, Ken.


Thanks for those six words.  Thanks for uncovering and igniting my passion for management techniques that maximize employee morale, motivation, and productivity.  Thanks for continuing to uplift the world today as an electrical engineer who is the head of your department.


Thank you, Ken.  And thanks to all of the other great managers out there.


Do you have a story about a great manager in your life?


Greg Blencoe is the author of “The Supermanager: A Short Story About the Secrets of an Extremely Successful Manager” which is available on

9 comments on “Thank You Ken And All The Great Managers

  1. Nice to hear from Greg again, and loved the story. The point is clear and very simple, it is too bad when managers miss it. Respect and caring makes an employee feel a part of the team. Without it they just work at a job.

  2. gregblencoe says:

    Thanks for saving me, Tina!!! It was looking like the post wasn’t going to get any comments! 🙂

    Ken was a very special manager that showed employees a lot of respect and cared for people a lot. And he definitely made me feel like I was part of the team and what I did was important.

    Thanks again for the comment.

  3. johnpersch says:

    How often do you give recognition or praise for someones work? How often do you receive it? It seems to me, the more, the better. Real recognition – like the six words.

    I read a study of Gallup recently that just a few employees are truly enthusiastic about their work (median 14 %). Any guesses, why that might be so?

    Greg, thank you for this phantastic post. I will reblog / twitter it.

    • gregblencoe says:


      Thanks so much for the kind words and for sharing the post with others. I’m extremely proud of this post, so I’m really happy to hear that you liked it.

  4. Steve Borek says:

    Encourage the Heart is one of the five practices of exemplary leadership in my Leadership Challenge workshop.

    Recognize contributions by showing appreciation for individual excellence.

    If leaders did this more often, performance would soar.

    • gregblencoe says:


      “Encourage the Heart”, I love it! And I totally agree that appreciation is so important. The simple things like this can make such a big difference.

      Thanks for checking out the post and the comment.

  5. Marie Wiere says:

    Another great post Greg!

    Its amazing how so often managers neglect the details and forget how much of a difference little things such as saying thank you and meaning it can transform the work environment.

    • gregblencoe says:

      Thanks so much, Marie!

      I completely agree that these little things can transform a work environment. I really appreciate your taking the time to read the post and the comment.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s