• Home   /  
  • Archive by category "1"

Gung Ho Book Essay Contest

Ken Blanchard and Sheldon Bowles, co-authors of the New York Times business bestseller Raving Fans, are back with Gung Ho! Here is an invaluable management tool that outlines foolproof ways to increase productivity by fostering excellent morale in the workplace. It is a must-read for everyone who wants to stay on top in today's ultra-competitive business world.

Raving Fans taught managers how to turn customers into full-fledged fans. Now, Gung Ho! brings the same magic to employees. Through the inspirational story of business leaders Peggy Sinclair and Andy Longclaw, Blanchard and Bowles reveal the secret of Gung Ho--a revolutionary technique to boost enthusiasm and performance and usher in astonishing results for any organization. The three principles of Gung Ho are:

The Spirit of the SquirrelThe Way of the BeaverThe Gift of the Goose

These three cornerstones of Gung Ho are surprisingly simple and yet amazingly powerful. Whether your organization consists of one or is listed in the Fortune 500, this book ensures Gung Ho employees committed to success.

Gung Ho! also includes a clear game plan with a step-by-step outline for instituting these groundbreaking ideas. Destined to become a classic, Gung Ho! is a rare and wonderful business book that is packed with invaluable information as well as a compelling, page-turning story.

Management legend Ken Blanchard and master entrepreneur Sheldon Bowles are back with Gung Ho!, revealing a surefire way to boost employee enthusiasm, productivity, and performance and usher in astonishing results for any organization.

Raving Fans brilliantly schooled managers on how to turn customers into raving fans. Gung Ho! now brings the same magic to employees. Here is the story of how two managers saved a failing company and turned in record profits with record productivity. The three core ideas of Gung Ho! are surprisingly simple: worthwhile work guided by goals and values; putting workers in control of their production; and cheering one another on. Their principles are so powerful that business leaders, reviewing the manuscript for Ken and Sheldon, have written to say, "Sorry. Ignored instructions. Have photocopied for everyone. I promise to buy books, but can't wait. We need now!" Like Raving Fans, Gung Ho! delivers.

Sarah Hulsey, PHR, reviews the book Gung Ho! Turn On the People in Any Organization by Ken Blanchard and Sheldon Bowles, finding it easy to read but more appropriate for a novice HR practitioner than the seasoned professional.

I just finished reading Gung Ho! Turn On the People in Any Organization by Ken Blanchard and Sheldon Bowles (the authors that brought you Raving Fans: A Revolutionary Approach To Customer Service).  The book recounts the story of a plant called Walton Works #2, and the imminent plant closure and layoffs of its 1500 employees.  Desperate to save the factory, General Manager Peggy Sinclair learns a new technique, called “Gung Ho,” from finishing department manager Andy Longclaw.  As Peggy learns the technique, she applies it to Walton Works #2, ultimately resulting in saving the factory, increasing productivity, and creating unbelievable enthusiasm amongst the employees.


This is a very quick read –  only 164 pages of large type, and while entertaining, you can’t help but feel as though you are being told a bedtime story.  The book attempts to be the next Fish! A Remarkable Way to Boost Morale and Improve Results or Who Moved My Cheese?: An Amazing Way to Deal with Change in Your Work and in Your Life and exists as another parable about workplace dynamics/high morale/motivating a highly productive workforce. Despite a creative effort, it falls short, and doesn’t live up to its tagline of “Increase Productivity, Profits, and Your Own Prosperity.”

The Gung Ho philosophy is based on three principles:

  • The Spirit of the Squirrel – employees must know that they are doing worthwhile work, and that their jobs serve a higher purpose than units sold or widgets made. Employees work towards a shared goal, and values create the framework in which we operate on a daily basis.
  • The Way of the Beaver – employees must be in control of achieving the goal.  Individual empowerment is the most efficient and effective way to achieve goals, but that also means that workers must be challenged, provided with a framework of goals and values, and supported by management.
  • The Gift of the Goose – we must cheer each other on.  Congratulations must be genuine and timely, and when done correctly, motivates employees to do better.  This enthusiasm for each other is the result of a worthwhile goal (mission), cash, and congratulations.

Now, I won’t spoil the stories behind why the principles are named after squirrels, beavers and geese, but I will say that the principles are essentially an inverted Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.  It is a repackaging of an old tale, and most of the knowledge contained in the book is common sense.  Gung Ho suggests that management focus on the following items, in order, to create the thriving, enthusiastic environment we see in places like Zappos and Google:

  • Meaning & Inner Purpose (Maslow self-actualization level)
  • Confidence, Control, Respect of Others (Maslow self-esteem level)
  • Money, Connectedness, Achievement (Maslow safety & security, love & belonging, and self-esteem levels)

I’m sure Mr. Maslow would disagree with the order of the priorities, but the sentiments are the same. Employees have fundamental needs, and it is our job as supervisors, managers, and creators of culture to nurture those needs into success.

Aside from the fact that the Gung Ho philosophy is a version of something we’ve all heard before, there are a few good lessons that can be gleaned:

  • When developing job descriptions and on-boarding processes, think about each position in terms of human impact.  The book gives a great example of a dishwasher at a college cafeteria: that dishwasher, while seemingly insignificant, is making sure that the trays and utensils used to feed college students are free of dirt and disease.  That dishwasher is literally feeding the minds of tomorrow’s doctors, astrophysicists and teachers!  If you can teach a new employee why their job matters, think of how much more excited they will be to come to work each day.
  • Consult your workers on a regular basis about the best way to do things.  As workers improve in their job functions, they will inevitably think of ways to do things that will be more efficient, save clients’ time or money, and be more productive.  Find those ideas, implement them, and reward the employee.
  • If you see something good, say something.  Recognition half a year later at a company banquet does not motivate people – it is the spontaneous, heart-felt praise that engenders pride in your work, and motivates you to do better.

Gung Ho could be valuable to young HR professionals and managers, but seasoned veterans will find the material a little on the juvenile side.  At the center of the book is the Golden Rule — treat your workers as you want to be treated. A valuable lesson, no matter how much experience you have.

Sarah Hulsey is the Talent Manager for Rising Medical Solutions, Inc., a national medical cost-containment and care management organization that services the auto, workers’ compensation, and liability insurance markets.  For more information about Rising Medical Solutions, go to www.risingms.com.

One thought on “Gung Ho Book Essay Contest

Leave a comment

L'indirizzo email non verrà pubblicato. I campi obbligatori sono contrassegnati *