Reflect, Recharge, Resume

September 25, 2013
  • Bob Chapman
  • Bob Chapman
    CEO & Chairman of Barry-Wehmiller
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No individual achievement can equal the pleasure of leading a group of people to achieve a worthy goal.

This quote from Bill George, noted author, Harvard professor and former Medtronic CEO, is one of my favorites. I was reminded of it a few weeks ago during a retreat with 50 of the top executives of Barry-Wehmiller. This was our annual executive meeting to review performance and look toward the future, sharing our vision of what each of our operating companies could be, and what Barry-Wehmiller could collectively achieve as a company.

This group of leaders has a tremendous responsibility to the 7,000-plus team members in our care worldwide. Our purposeful practice of bringing these executives together once a year is crucial to achieving our worthy goals: creating a secure future for our team members through a business that is both sustainable and value creating for ALL stakeholders.

In other words, how we get there is just as important as what we achieve.

That’s the essence of Truly Human Leadership.

The meeting provided an opportunity to renew our effort on three areas of focus necessary to achieve our goals: people, purpose and performance. Without all three of them working in concert, we cannot achieve our vision of “measuring success by the way we touch the lives of people.”

With the advancement of technology, many companies have abandoned the traditional concept of the annual meeting to save money and time. However, the practice of getting this group together–face to face—offers immeasurable benefits not achievable through video meeting, Skype or conference call. Hearing the presidents and partners share the journeys of their respective operating companies encourages and inspires others while affirming our shared alignment to our vision. We all walked away with a heightened sense of responsibility for those whose lives we touch, a deeper connection to our colleagues around the world, and renewed inspiration that individually and collectively we can make a difference.

A recent Gallup poll of 155 countries concluded that the number one determinant of happiness is a good job. I believe that what people want is work that is meaningful and done in the company of people we care about. That’s what these dedicated senior leaders strive to give Barry-Wehmiller’s team members day after day.

My hope is that they find it for themselves along the way.

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