“The most powerful and transformative part of our dialogue is when we say that everybody is somebody’s precious child,” Barry-Wehmiller CEO notes in the podcast. “And I get people all the time saying, well, what do you do about the people that just don’t get it no matter what you do?”
“I say, it’s easy just to treat them like you’d like your son or daughter to be treated if they didn’t get it. And the universal reaction is people sit back and say, well, that would be different. And I say, why is it different, it’s somebody’s child you’re talking to,” Bob suggests.
“Along our journey, people have said the questions we’ve asked revealed things we never would imagine, are part of what brought us to this word family,” Bob continues.
“The best example I think of is that when people in this journey come in from outside and interview our team members, they would describe it as a family.
“The most recent example that reflects a lot of other people was General Flynn who wrote the forward to Simon Sinek’s book (Leaders Eat Last). He was involved in military leadership.
“Simon came in to give a talk at Pneumatic Scale in Akron, and General Flynn came in with him to experience our culture.
“I sat down with General after he had interviewed 20 or 30 people in Akron during the course of the day, and he said, you know what strikes me, Bob, is that people described it as a family, they didn’t describe it like a family. That really caught General Flynn off guard.
“We talked about what does that mean. What’s happening is I believe in our language the word family means not that you are blood-related, but in a broader sense a place of ultimate care.
“One place I feel safe and valued is with my family, which is a birthright. But when people feel cared for by leaders who have the skills and the courage to care, quite often they will actually use a word family without even thinking about it.
“And this word comes up because when we say about the extraordinary power of caring for people like family, we mean people genuinely care for each other…”
“When Everybody Matters, the book written by Barry-Wehmiller CEO Bob Chapman and Raj Sisodia was released in 2015, it also had the subtitle: The Extraordinary Power of Caring for Your People Like Family,” says Brent Stewart, Digital Strategy & Content Leader at Barry-Wehmiller.
“Bob has fielded many questions over the years about what he means when he talks about family in business. Recently, he talked about the first revelation that molded his thinking:
“A friend of mine, his daughter was getting married. He was walking her down the aisle and everybody’s oohing how beautiful she looked, how proud he was, how precious this young man was at the altar.
“All of a sudden, my mind goes to a different place. I said, ‘All 12,000 people who work for Barry-Wehmiller around the world are like that young man and young lady. They’re somebody’s precious child whose parents simply want them to live a life of meaning and purpose so they could be who they intended to be.’ We have the power to help give their lives meaning and purpose.
“That day, I stopped looking at people as a function for my success. When you see them as somebody’s precious child and not as a function that you use for your success, it changes everything, the way you view things, the way you choose the words. That day, I realized that we needed to begin teaching people how to care for those they have the privilege of leading.
“I truly believe that when we teach our business/organizational leaders that their primary responsibility is to give those in their care a grounded sense of hope for the future; when we create an environment where people can bring their gifts, develop their gifts, and share their gifts so they return home each night knowing that who they are and what they do matters; and when our team members feel cared for, they will naturally care for others.”
“On this podcast, Bob expands upon this revelation and how it was the first step to thinking business could be like a family,” Brent continues. “He talks about The Extraordinary Power of Caring for Your People Like Family. He talks about how leadership is like parenting.
“The company also explores the idea of family in business through interviews with a number of actual families who work within BW Papersystems division in Phillips, Wisconsin. You can see all those interviewed on the video splash screen above, from left to right: Shannon Stade, Tana and Tracy Williams, Raemie and Nick Runnheim, and Teresa and Mike Przybylski.”