“Bob Chapman, CEO of the $1.7 billion manufacturing company Barry-Wehmiller, is on a mission to change the way businesses treat their employees.” – Inc. Magazine
Starting in 1997, Bob Chapman and Barry-Wehmiller have pioneered a dramatically different approach to leadership that creates off-the-charts morale, loyalty, creativity, and business performance. The company utterly rejects the idea that employees are simply functions, to be moved around, "managed" with carrots and sticks, or discarded at will. Instead, Barry-Wehmiller manifests the reality that every single person matters, just like in a family. That’s not a cliché on a mission statement; it’s the bedrock of the company’s success.
During tough times a family pulls together, makes sacrifices together, and endures short-term pain together. If a parent loses his or her job, a family doesn’t lay off one of the kids. That’s the approach Barry-Wehmiller took when the Great Recession caused revenue to plunge for more than a year. Instead of mass layoffs, they found creative and caring ways to cut costs, such as asking team members to take a month of unpaid leave. As a result, Barry-Wehmiller emerged from the downturn with higher employee morale than ever before.
It’s natural to be skeptical when you first hear about this approach. Every time Barry-Wehmiller acquires a company that relied on traditional management practices, the new team members are skeptical too. But they soon learn what it’s like to work at an exceptional workplace where the goal is for everyone to feel trusted and cared for—and where it’s expected that they will justify that trust by caring for each other and putting the common good first.
Chapman and coauthor Raj Sisodia show how any organization can reject the traumatic consequences of rolling layoffs, dehumanizing rules, and hypercompetitive cultures. Once you stop treating people like functions or costs, disengaged workers begin to share their gifts and talents toward a shared future. Uninspired workers stop feeling that their jobs have no meaning. Frustrated workers stop taking their bad days out on their spouses and kids. And everyone stops counting the minutes until it’s time to go home.
This book chronicles Chapman’s journey to find his true calling, going behind the scenes as his team tackles real-world challenges with caring, empathy, and inspiration. It also provides clear steps to transform your own workplace, whether you lead two people or two hundred thousand. While the Barry-Wehmiller way isn’t easy, it is simple. As the authors put it:
"Everyone wants to do better. Trust them. Leaders are everywhere. Find 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."
About the Author
BOB CHAPMAN is the chairman and CEO of Barry-Wehmiller, a global capital equipment and engineering consulting company. A combination of almost eighty acquired companies spread among ten operating divisions around the world, Barry-Wehmiller’s vision is to use the power of business to build a better world. Chapman blogs about leadership and culture at www.trulyhumanleadership.com.
RAJ SISODIA is the FW Olin Distinguished Professor of Global Business and Whole Foods Market Research Scholar in Conscious Capitalism at Babson College. His most recent book is the Wall Street Journal bestseller Conscious Capitalism (with John P. Mackey, cofounder and co-CEO of Whole Foods Market).
"Profit matters, but people matter more. Bob Chapman and Raj Sisodia use real-world examples to illustrate how the humanity so often absent in today’s boardrooms is actually a direct path to sustained growth. It’s a message that should be taken to heart by business leaders everywhere." —RON SHAICH, founder, chairman and CEO, Panera Bread
"Bob and Raj beautifully illustrate the important intersection of business and the true essence of the human spirit. One company, one employee at a time, Barry-Wehmiller is changing the world—and the world of business! If this model can be successful in manufacturing, it can be successful anywhere." —KIP TINDELL, chairman and CEO, The Container Store
"It is almost impossible for me to adequately convey my admiration, excitement, and incredulity. . . . To give people the power and freedom to care for each other, to trust that people want to do well and be good . . . and to see how these things create value for everyone—it doesn’t get better than that. I have (happy) tears in my eyes as I write this." —AMY CUDDY, associate professor, Harvard Business School
"Is it possible to run a successful business without treating people like numbers? Can a corporate culture of mistrust and insecurity be transformed into one of caring and fulfillment? Everybody Matters answers these questions with an enthusiastic ‘Yes!’ If you’re ready for a new way of doing business, this is the book for you." —DANIEL H. PINK, author of To Sell Is Human and Drive
"When it comes to maximizing potential, Chapman and his team at Barry-Wehmiller have it figured out. This deeply moving and practical book will have you asking yourself ‘Why haven’t we been doing this?’ Now you can begin tomorrow!" —JACK CANFIELD, coauthor of Chicken Soup for the Soul® at Work and The Success Principles™
"Everybody Matters simply blew me away. This is THE book that practically every corporate CEO in North America has been breathlessly waiting for . . . even if they don’t yet know it!" —BOB BURG, coauthor of The Go-Giver