Bob Chapman is the CEO and one of the owners of Barry Wehmiller, a company founded in 1886. He paints an initial picture of a company that we all know too well, and probably have worked for at some time in our lives. He described the company of his grandfather and father as soul-sucking, de-motivational, territorial and mean-spirited. Management didn’t trust the employees, employees questioned management’s motives. In short, a 1960’s place to work. We have all been there.
Chapman had to find a better way to lead. His journey, and the outcomes of that journey are the heart of the book. His premise is that people are at the heart of business. He describes his people as the frontline to clients and the key to the bottom line. Growth and progress can be achieved without sacrificing creativity and morale. ”Everybody Matters” is a journey of transformative leadership. The stories and lessons will help you rethink how your employees view you and your company. If you make the changes prescribed by Chapman, he suggests that your employee’s loyalty, creativity and morale will soar when they feel valued and appreciated.
Overall, the book jives with my philosophy of leadership. It makes sense to me to put people first. It doesn’t matter if your company produces tv’s or transmissions, or is involved in engineering or sales training, people are at the core. An us vs. them mentality never works, and that kind of systemic thinking is doomed to failure.