Podcast: Treating the People in Your Business Like Family

October 06, 2021
  • Brent Stewart
  • Brent Stewart
    Digital Strategy & Content Leader at Barry-Wehmiller

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.

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. He talks about The Extraordinary Power of Caring for Your People Like Family. He talks about how leadership is like parenting.

We also explore the idea of "family" in business through interviews with a number of actual families who work within our BW Papersystems division in Phillips, WI. You can see all those interviewed in the photo above, from left to right: Shannon Stade, Tana and Tracy Williams, Raemie and Nick Runnheim, and Teresa and Mike Przybylski.


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