Start Your Startup With Caring Leadership

November 06, 2019
  • Bob Chapman
  • Bob Chapman
    CEO & Chairman of Barry-Wehmiller

Last Friday night, I was honored to receive the Entrepreneur Award from Arch Grants, a St. Louis-based organization that helps small businesses as they are getting started.

That evening, 1,000 attendees watched as Arch Grants awarded 20 new startups and early‐stage businesses a $50,000 equity‐free grant each. They will also receive pro‐bono and heavily discounted professional services from respected local firms. These businesses are not only from St. Louis, but around the world; however, to receive the award, the startups commit to operating their business from St. Louis for a period of at least one year.

Arch-grants2Since 2012, Arch Grants has awarded more than $8 million in grants to help new businesses.

Barry-Wehmiller was already a 60-year old company when my family became involved, so I’ve not necessarily been in the same situation as some of these new business leaders. However, I’ve learned a lot in the 50 years I’ve been part of this company. We’ve been through some very hard times and very good times. At one point, we had to completely reinvent what our company was to adapt and survive for the future as our industries changed.

But the most important lesson I’ve learned was about the impact my leadership has on the lives of people within my span of care.

This was a lesson that took many years to learn. One of the things I’m most proud of in receiving Arch Grants’ Entrepreneur Award was the opportunity to tell my story and the lessons learned to the new business leaders who were in the room.

Hopefully, their realization of the awesome responsibility of their leadership will come sooner than 30 years into their careers.

Hopefully, they will begin now as agents of change to bring about a better world through their stewardship of the lives entrusted to their care.

You can watch the Arch Grants ceremony in the video embedded below. The segment with Bob Chapman begins at 4:54.

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