“Business could be the most powerful force for good if we could move from management to leadership.” Bob Chapman, chairman and CEO of Barry-Wehmiller Companies, author of Everybody Matters.
At the ScaleUp Summit in San Antonio, Chapman joined Raj Sisodia, Co-Author of Conscious Capitalism: Liberating the Heroic Spirit of Business on stage with an emotional and impactful presentation.
To Chapman Management is manipulation.
Chapman offered the following stats as proof “The Way we are working isn’t working!”
- 88% feel organization doesn’t care about them 7/8
- ¾ disengaged never understood the impact we have on live
- Money and work is leading cause of stress – thus work is the cause of our health care crisis
- The person you report to at work is more important than your family doctor (Recent Research from Mayo Clinic)
Leadership Is Being a Good Parent
One of Chapman’s statements certainly goes against traditional leadership styles, “What I learned about being a good parent is leadership.”
Two of Chapman’s leadership visions came in church.
- Leaders have the unique opportunity to shape lives – After church one Sunday it dawned on Chapman as he spoke to his wife. Our minister only has us for 1 hour a week – we have people for 40 hours a week. He realized how impactful work is and can be in the lives of his people. Leadership can profoundly shape lives if we simply cared about people.
- Everyone is someone’s precious child. Attending a friend’s wedding, watching him walk his daughter down the aisle and present her to her husband to be. He realized the words this father was saying was a light version of what he truly would say to this man if he could. He would tell him how he and his mother had taken care of this beautiful girl from the time she was born until now, nurturing her, caring for her and loving her. His words would be, “Don’t F#@% this up!” He realized in his organization, the leaders and managers are the steward of that life. Having that view dramatically changed his view of leadership!
Leadership is really a stewardship of the people whose lives are entrusted to you every day.
Barry-Wehmiller Companies have a ceremony when everyone joins the organization. It’s intended to help the company and their people realize the potential promise everyone has and in turn share it with them and their family. For an example of how Chapman’s companies celebrate, and support for his practices, read Harvard Business Review’s The Neuroscience of Trust.
GUIDING PRINCIPLE: WE MEASURE SUCCESS BY THE WAY WE TOUCH THE LIVES OF PEOPLE
“Everyone wants to know that their life has meaning and purpose,” Bob Chapman. Wouldn’t you think all of us as leaders would recognize this?
Barry-Wehmiller Companies, guiding principle is “We measure success by the way we touch the lives of people.”
This guiding principle is integral in Chapman’s organization. He realized how critical the business plays in the lives of his people when he visited a plant and spoke to one of his people about what’s changed since Barry-Wehmiller Companies had taken over.
“My wife is talking to me!” Steve (the employee) offered. Asked how did it impact your life? “I now realize 30 years, before you bought this company, I felt not valued. I was told what to do. No one ever asked me what I thought. If I got ten things right, and one thing wrong I got told off. Now when I‘m asked and tell them what I think they listen to me. I feel good about myself when I go home.”
Chapman’s new measure for lean is a reduction of divorce in his employees. “How we treat our people affect how they treat their family.”
Chapman’s insights, “What’s the most important thing in raising children is a good marriage. The Way we’re sending people home is not teaching the value of relationship.”
At Barry-Wehmiller Companies, if they’re not giving 7 compliments for every criticism, you’re failing to provide the right culture. In Chapman’s mind, we’re not nurturing our children.
Responding to Economic Crisis
Chapman shared a quote from Simon Sinek to illustrate the difference in the way most businesses conduct themselves.
“Military give medals to those who sacrifice for others. We give bonuses to those who are willing to sacrifice others” ~Simon Sinek
In the 2009 economic downturn instead of laying employees off, Barry-Wehmiller Companies took a different stand. As Chapman noted, “If measure success by the way we touch the lives of people, how do we respond?” Every leader in the company took a month off without pay. No one was laid off, and when the economy turned Chapman credits this decision for the resounding turnabout their companies achieved.
“If you don’t stand for something how do you make that decision?”
Ask yourself: Do you believe as Chapman does?
- Leadership is the stewardship of the lives entrusted to you
- People want to know that who they are matters
- Number one determinant of happiness: A good job meaningful work among people who care for us.
- Our people is our product
Chapman finished with this specific directive on how we lead impacts the people in our lives:
- Everybody wants to do better, trust them,
- Leaders are everywhere, trust them.
- People achieve good things big and small every day, celebrate them.
- Some people wish things were different, listen to them.
- Everybody matters, show them.
If you’d like to learn more about Chapman and his way of leadership visit his Website: http://www.trulyhumanleadership.com/
Chapman finished his presentation with these reminders, “Business is not a math problem. Not a machine it’s a human enterprise. It’s not a game it’s about the real lives of real people. Business is not war. It’s deeply human. It’s within our power to care. “
NEXT BLOG - “WORTH DOING GNORW”
Are somethings worth doing wrong? A short presentation by one of our Gazelles customers, Arnie Malham “Worth Doing Wrong (spelled backward on the book cover)” CJ Advertising – Nashville offers his employees unlimited vacations, pays them to read books and even allows children and pets to come to work. We’ll learn more about Malham next blog.
To view more on Bob Chapman's insights on Everybody Matters view this 4 minute video: