Everybody Matters: A Documentary Short Based on the Best Selling Book


Fifth Floor Vault Films
presents When I grow up,
I’m going to be a doctor. – A mom and a doctor.
– I wanna be a famous soccer player. – A fisherman.
– I want to be a firefighter. I want to be a scientist. When I grow up,
I’m going to be a teacher. – A vet.
– I might want to be a policegirl. Dentist. When I grow up,
I want to be a prospector. – A plane flier.
– I want to be a veterinarian. A helicopter flier. I would like to be
a teacher maybe. A taxi driver. I want to be a computer programmer,
to make video games. – I want to be an architect.
– I want to be a singer. Superhero. Another veterinarian.
Another doctor. When you look into these faces, it’s pretty easy to realize each one
is someone’s precious child. Someone cares for them.
Someone values them. Someone wants them to be happy
and find fulfillment in their life. To them, work is going to be fun. They never dream that work
might be a dismal existence where they’re micromanaged
into a state of oblivion, because they feel valued,
appreciated, cared for. They have no reason to believe that
somebody would go out of their way to make them feel less than that;
so, what happens? Why is it, when we go to work, most employers don’t think
of us as precious or valued? Instead, we are what we do. We are functions
rather than people. We’re expendable.
We don’t really matter. Wouldn’t it be great if we lived
in a world where, wait for it– Everybody matters. A documentary short
based on the best selling book
Everybody Matters There’s not a person
in this world that I know that likes to be
micromanaged. I don’t think that people
really necessarily feel valued at all. I think more of them
think less about their people and more about
their bottom dollar. What about your bosses? Can we change the subject? If you had a better boss,
what would a better boss do? More friendly, more appreciate
the employees maybe would be nice. Most managers and bosses,
they’re mean. They don’t show that they care. That’s really how they are. Once you care for them,
they feel something for the company and it’s not just, “I’m working.” It’s, “I’m working for someone
that actually cared for me when I needed someone
to care for me.” My company’s been good to me, but they’d drop me if the dollars
and cents aren’t there. But I don’t blame them for that.
That’s business. That’s America. Anybody that’s got a job
they complain about, they need to go somewhere else, because that’s not good
for your health. And a lot of people
are doing just that: leaving. According to Forbes, 2 million people
leave their jobs every month because of poor leadership,
lack of trust and empowerment, internal politics,
and a lack of recognition. A Mercer study showed 32%
of the workforce is actively looking for a new gig
at any given moment, and 75% of workers say
they’d take another job if one came along
because they don’t feel valued, appreciated, or cared
for by their employer. I talked to a lady that worked
for me at the other company. She hasn’t had a raise in 7 years. She went to the boss
and asked if she could get a raise, and their response to her was, “You’re getting a paycheck every
Friday. If you don’t like it, leave.” The shortsightedness
of this sort of thinking is common, and the productivity loss due
to low moral is staggering. A Gallup study found,
in the U.S. alone, unhappy, disengaged,
unfulfilled workers cost the economy up to $500 billion per year. That’s half a trillion dollars
of lost productivity. That’s a stack of $100 bills that would literally pass
the International Space Station. And that’s just
the financial toll. What about the human loss? What about the fact that just
doing the right thing, doing good, could actually make work
and the world a better place? Best-selling author Simon Sinek
has been saying that for years. I think the major problem
with business leadership today is that there is no leadership;
there’s a lot of management. It’s a very short-term attitude to just
think of people as a resource that you just pay and expect them
to do their work. I mean, you don’t even have to take it
from a human perspective. The human perspective is,
isn’t it good to look after people? This is a team. We’re responsible
for the lives of human beings. But if you want to be
cold-hearted about it, people who like coming to work more
are more productive. People who feel safe
amongst their own, who can trust the people
that they work with, are more likely to offer bigger ideas,
take better risks, be more innovative,
be more productive. I mean, there’s a whole host
of good business reasons that has nothing to do
with the humanity of it all. That’s nice, Simon, but are there businesses
that care about humanity? There are quite a few businesses
like this that do exist out there. This is Raj Sisodia,
another best-selling author and professor of global business
at Babson College. Well-known companies like
Southwest Airlines, and Google, and Starbucks, and Costco,
and Container Store, and Patagonia,
and Barry-Wehmiller certainly is very much part
of that framework as well. I know what you’re thinking.
“Who is Barry-Wehmiller?” It’s not a who, it’s a what, and chances are
you come in contact with something made by a Barry-Wehmiller
machine every single day. Barry-Wehmiller is a manufacturing
and consulting company based in St. Louis that builds and designs
machines that make things, like the top of nearly
every aluminum can in the world, cereal boxes, toilet tissue,
corrugated boxes, all kinds of labels,
pet food bags. They even hold the patent on those tiny little metal clasps
on manila envelopes. And 80% of the world’s medicines
pass through a BW centrifuge. They build bottle fillers,
pasteurizers, conveyors, corrugators, labelers. The list is endless. They’re made up
of more than 80 companies with over 10,000 employees worldwide. Around the year 2000,
they came to the realization that the most valuable part
of the company wasn’t their manufacturing
or consulting, but rather, their people, and leadership, not management,
was going to make the difference. “Old dog…new tricks” This guy is Bob Chapman,
Barry-Wehmiller’s CEO. He’ll be the first to admit
that in his early days of leadership, people-centric thinking
was not part of his business plan. I did things.
I was a nice guy. I had a positive attitude,
but I wouldn’t say to you I was sensitive to the impact
of my initiatives on people. It was about numbers. I came from accounting
and MBA programs, and it’s all about building
shareholder value, not human value. So, my early days
were very traditional. If you had to let people go
or fire people, you did it. I mean, that’s what you do
in business, you know? That’s business. And then, that’s the conventional thought
that exists in most places today. It’s just business. It’s not human, it’s business. It’s about numbers. How did you feel working
for that company? Like a miserable
little pissant. – Like a number.
– Yeah, like a number. Like a number,
or a prisoner really. Like a number is how most
of the employees of Barry-Wehmiller felt for the majority of its life
before they changed their rudder and began to put people
in the forefront. To better understand
where this company is today, it’ll help to know
where it came from. This isn’t some
Silicon Valley startup. The Barry-Wehmiller Company
dates back to 1885. Grover Cleveland was president, Carl Benz was about to patent
the first automobile, Charles Dow was publishing the first
Dow Jones industrial averages, and Thomas Barry opened a
machine shop in St. Louis, Missouri, soon to be joined by his brother-in-law, Alfred Wehmiller, founding the Barry-Wehmiller
Machinery Company. From bottle washers and conveyor
systems to pasteurization machines, most customers were from the brewing
and beverage industries. So dependent on brewing, prohibition should’ve been
the end of the company, not to be outdone
by the Great Depression. It was a constant cycle
of survival without thrival. Is “thrival” a word? Now, fast-forward to 1950. In 1950, Bill Chapman,
Bob’s dad, an accountant from Arthur Andersen, comes aboard
as general manager and treasurer, bringing experience and leadership. His influence grows, and by 1953,
he’s named president. A decade later, ownership of the
entire Barry-Wehmiller Company passes to the Chapman family. Meanwhile, Bob attends college
and then grad school. He works at Arthur Andersen
and then Price Waterhouse. And in 1969, his dad asks him
to come work for Barry-Wehmiller. He accepts and works
alongside his father for 6 years, until one morning in 1975. He got up that morning, ran an errand to a friend of theirs’ house before they went to the airport,
and he passed out and died. Clearly, I was shocked that
all of a sudden he wasn’t here, and I think motivated
by my dad’s sudden death, the fact that I felt his hard work to try to build this company
that I’d grown to appreciate fully, a sense that when it happened,
I was ready. I was ready to take command. Although Bob
was ready to take command, the bankers in New York
were not as confident. The bankers flew in
from New York and said, “Sorry about your father, “but given the performance
of the company, your father’s death, “we really think
we need to be repaid our loans and we need to end this relationship.” That was exactly
what I need in hindsight, because my reaction
was to grab ahold of that business, pay down that debt,
and get the company on track. The next 9 months resulted in the most profitable year
in the history of the company. We paid down our bank debt, and all of a sudden we went
from not being bankable to banks approaching us. For the first time
in over a century, Barry-Wehmiller
was a thriving company. As they thrived, they developed
new technologies, like solar and automatic
inspection systems. They bought out a joint venture in
the United Kingdom called BWI. Revenues soared from $18 million
to $71 million in only 4 years. Bob Chapman would say, “Everything we touched
turned to gold.” We were about
to come to a cliff, and that was going to come
to an abrupt end. And in 1983, what appeared
to be too good to be true was. The core markets dramatically
changed overnight because instead of building
new breweries, they started buying breweries
that were being shut down. Solar energy systems started
having technology problems. Electronic systems
had technology problems. We wound up
with warranty issues. We have a bunch of inventory
that became obsolete. And so, we had a $5.5 million warranty
and inventory write-off, which put us in a very big loss. The banks, who told me
how much they supported us, shut down, radically,
our credit lines to the point where we didn’t know
we could make payrolls. The consequence of all of this
was we were buried in debt, we had no money coming in,
and we had all of our vendors and people who wanted money knocking at our door, including the bank. As one of our last resorts
during this period of time, we looked to an asset based loan. This is certainly not something
that you’d want to do normally, because essentially
what you’re doing is you’re pledging all of the assets
that you have to this loan, and they’re giving you a ceiling in terms of what
they’ll lend to you. We gradually went that direction because we really had
no other opportunity. I just walked around the table
and signed hundreds of documents that basically said, “If you ever hiccup, your business is ours.” Now, it was my only chance
to get out of jail free, so I would’ve signed anything so I actually had money
I could pay a bill. So, as time went on,
we continued survival mode on a day-to-day basis, and certainly, that wasn’t providing us
a mechanism that would put us in a place
where we were stepping above it and we were able
to flourish once more. “A HUGE TURNING POINT” I went to my finance team
and I said, “We’ve got to do acquisitions
to create a future.” And my finance team looked
at me and said, “Bob, great idea. We only got one problem, Bob.” They said, “Bob,
we don’t have any money.” And I said, “Don’t tell me
what we can’t do. “I didn’t tell you
we had to have money. “I told you we need
to do acquisitions “because that’s the only way we’re gonna be able to create
a future for our people.” So, what kind of company do you buy
when you have no money? Companies that nobody else wants. So, over the next few years, they
acquired several small companies. And while individually
they weren’t worth much, the hidden value was clear when they merged them
into a single company. Tapped out of credit,
millions in debt, our core business
was still struggling, Citicorp had grown tired
of the relationship and wanted us to repay the loan. With the debt pressure mounting, an idea came from the European team to combine these new acquisitions
with the European division and sell them off on the London
Stock Exchange as an I.P.O. They hoped they’d make enough
money to pay off their debt and maybe end up with
an extra $2 million in the bank. Out of debt, $2 million
in the bank sounded like heaven. So, we went forward
with the I.P.O., and as it turns out, it was 31 times over-subscribed. So, if you’re new to
multinational business deals, 31 times over-subscribed means that they expected
a certain number of buyers, but that number was 31 times
larger than they anticipated. To make it even more simple,
this was a really, really good thing
for Barry-Wehmiller. Go ahead, Mike. Brought back the money,
and net of taxes, we wound up with approximately
$28 million in the bank, well in excess of the $2 million
that we anticipated. Almost miraculous to the company
to have this new beginning for us. In fact, it was so remarkable that it was something
that Harvard determined would be an appropriate case study
for them to do. The rest is history in terms of all
of that activity that took place. This was a new era
for Barry-Wehmiller. Bob and his team
were on a mission now to design a company that could thrive,
even in the tough times. So, we designed a business
that balanced markets, products, technology, after market,
new equipment. We designed it,
and then we went out and looked for companies
that allowed us to achieve that. So, we began doing acquisitions with the clarity of exactly this balance that we never had before. But now, we had the luxury of cash,
experience, and credibility. At the time, the leadership team
was looking for companies to acquire, and they were companies
that needed help, because we had the experiences
of the ’80s, and we felt that that was value
that we could bring to companies, but also ones that added
to what we were already doing. When you get
into an acquisition, probably your greatest anxiety
occurs as soon as the seller says yes, because then the reality sets in of, “I hope we know everything
that we need to know to be successful
with this acquisition.” When the acquisition
was announced, of course there’s a ton of concern. Everybody was sick of losing,
I can tell you that. It was a deflated,
demoralized team here. This acquisition was absolutely
the best thing that could’ve happened. It is not the same company
as it was prior to Barry-Wehmiller in a very positive light. Marquip was going
through bankruptcy, and before we knew
about the acquisition, it was a very scary time for us. This is a small town, so when Barry-Wehmiller came in
and made the acquisition, I personally believe
that they saved Phillips. Saving a town
is a pretty lofty statement, but it was through acquisitions
like the one in Phillips, Wisconsin that challenged Bob and his team to realize a greater sense of responsibility for their rapidly-growing
number of employees. What I realized
is that everything I learned about being a good parent
was about leadership. Everything I learned in business school
is about management. Everything I learned was wrong
in terms of the relationship I had with the people
in our organization. “Three Defining Epiphanies” We were so shaped
by a series of experiences that really made the company
what it is today. From the late 1990s
to early 2000s, three different experiences
began to shape my view of how we could be better stewards
of people’s lives. What we called the “Why can’t
business be fun?” moment. We had completed an acquisition
and he was in a new facility, stopped people in the morning,
talking around coffee, talking about March Madness. Then he watched them
walk back to their offices as it got closer to 8 o’clock, and he watched the energy
and the enthusiasm drain out of their bodies. He just asked himself– Why can’t business be fun?
Why do we call it “work”? Why do we call it a “job”?
Why can’t it be fun? Defining Moment #2
40 hours a week to inspire He talks about
sitting in church, and the rector of his church,
Ed Salmon, who he found
so inspirational. He’s sitting there feeling in awe of how Ed was able to touch the lives
of the people in their congregation, and what he realized was,
“Wait a minute, “we have a bigger congregation
at Barry-Wehmiller than he does, “and we touch their lives
not 1 hour a week, but 40 hours a week or more,
so, what if–” If we use that time we have people
in our care to help shape their life and give them a chance
to be who they’re intended to be. That was really the beginning of a huge transformational
learning experience for us as we started to see the true power
of our leadership in business. Defining Moment #3
Every is SOMEONE’s PRECIOUS CHILD. I was sitting in a wedding. A friend of ours was walking
his daughter down the aisle. He took the hand of his daughter. He said, “Her mother and I give our
daughter to be wed to this young man.” As a father, I knew that that’s not really what that father meant to say. What he meant to say is, “Her mother and I brought
this precious young lady into our life. “We’ve given her everything
we can possibly give her “so she can be
who she’s intended to be. “We expect for the two of you
to be stewards of each other’s life “so each of you can be
who you’re intended to be. Do you understand that,
young man?” That moment, my mind
went to our 11,000 people, and I said to myself, “All 11,000 of our people
are somebody’s precious child “that we have the care for
for 40 hours a week. And if we’re responsible,
we can have a profound impact.” It changed the way
I thought of everything, because before that event, I saw the people in our organization
as employees and functions. An accountant, a secretary,
receptionist, an engineer, production team member. I didn’t see them
as somebody’s precious child. I saw them as a function,
a function for my success. And after that day, I realized
they weren’t a function, they were somebody’s precious child, just like that young lady
that walked down the aisle. And our responsibility
is to be a good steward of that life while they’re in our care. We had realized
the power of writing down what we wanted our company to be,
and our vision, putting that on paper, and now we realized
that there would be power in writing down how we wanted it to be
to work here. Management suppresses
people’s ability. What we need to do
is allow people to rise to that, and that’s what our leadership does. We don’t do this
to improve profitability. We don’t do it
to improve productivity. We do it because this is the way
you are called to lead. So, we really started
to articulate, “What would it feel like
to work here? What would the experience be
that people had here?” That document came to be the
Guiding Principles of Leadership, or we now call it the GPL. The GPL basically threw out
all the rules. It’s no longer strictly about profits
or how well you manage people, but it’s about true leadership
and caring for people. The risk is, if you’re going
to go down this road and say, “We’re all coming together
and aspiring to act in this way. We’re going to write it down
on paper,” this is a genie-out-of-the-bottle piece; you don’t get it back in. You don’t come back and say,
“That whole thing “where we said we want to treat
everyone with trust and respect, and we believe in people?
We’re not doing that anymore.” You can’t bring it back. This is a checks and balances
that everyone gets to look and say something like, “Hey, if we’re based on trust,
and respect, and treating people, “and everyone
has an equal voice, “why are the first 16 rows
of our parking lot “reserved for vice presidents who don’t
arrive until this time in the morning, “and I’m on first shift at 6 a.m.
and walk past all those empty spots when it’s snowing?”
Great question. “The Enron Challenge” We had written
this vision of our culture, what we hoped it could be,
the GPL, and we came back and shared that
excitedly with the organization. One of the best things
that happened is that we got some
very challenging feedback. Someone sent me
Enron’s values document. I went to Bob with
this challenge that said, “How are we going to be
any different than Enron or any of those other companies with these beautiful values statements.” Because of the stimulation
of that challenge, otherwise we probably
would have hung it up, because of the Enron environment,
we said, “I’m going to go out “and speak the Guiding
Principles of Leadership and ask people to react to it.” That’s what we did. We sat down with groups
of about 20 people, and talk to them about this vision
for our culture that we had written, and asked them,
“How are we doing against that?” And we learned some things
from those listening sessions. When the GPL was written, there were a lot of skeptical people
that did not see that vision. The First Listening Sessions” A lady stood said,
“I don’t trust you at all, lady.” I thought about it, and I responded
to her, “I don’t blame you. You don’t have any reason to trust me.
You’ve been through a lot.” Her company had been bought
out of bankruptcy, she’d seen a lot of her friends
come and go. I said, “We need to earn
your trust by our actions.” There is incredible power
in listening as a leader to go out and really,
really be willing to listen to what is on people’s minds
and what’s frustrating them, and to be willing to take action. I think that takes a level of bravery
as a leader that few leaders have. A gentleman said to me,
“I had the opportunity, the privilege, “to represent the company
to go install some machinery “in Puerto Rico;
I had an expense account. “I handled myself professionally
in front of the customer. “When I came back, I was walking in “with one of the ladies
in the accounting department. “We got to a point where she turned
left and went into the office, “and I went forward
and went into the plant, “and everything changed;
we were no longer equal. “If she wanted to call home, “she just picked up the phone
and called home. “If I wanted to call home, “I had to get my money
to go use the pay phone, “because we weren’t given the right
to use company phones. “We had to use pay phones. “If she wanted to get a cup of coffee,
she went and got a cup of coffee. “I had to wait until the bell rang
for the coffee break. “Why is it when I’m in Puerto Rico
you trust me, and when I’m in the plant,
you don’t?” I said, “That is brilliant. You couldn’t have nailed it better.
We’re going to change that tomorrow.” He wasn’t complaining. He was just pointing out,
as I’d asked him where we’re not living these principles, and he was brilliant
in the way he expressed it. And that changed our attitude, how we were going to live
these principles, dramatically, because he gave us a chance
to start changing to live these principles more fully. “Basic Changes” The first changes that
we implemented were really basic. You think about break bells
that tell people when they can get a cup of coffee,
removing those from every location. When you first walked out
into our assembly area, there was a caged area, and if I wanted to get
safety glasses, a drill, a cap, a piece of tape, a battery for something that I needed
to do my job at work, I would have to go to an attendant and actually ask them to give me
that component, whatever it was. The first thing Bob did
when he took a tour of our shop, he says, “That cage comes down.
We’re going to trust our people.” We gave him all the reasons
why that’s not a good idea. Our costs are going to go up
because people might take them. He said, “We’ll deal with that,
but that goes down. We’re going to trust our people.” We now have a cafeteria
that’s self-serve. So, not only do we trust people. I can walk over here, and if I
so choose, I can steal this. There’s no cameras watching us, but we trust people that
they’re not going to do that. And so, I have to come here
and scan it… Now, I walk away. And I can tell you,
we didn’t even have a cafeteria, and now we have a self-serve cafeteria
that’s totally on our honor. Trusting people,
listening to people, all of the changes being implemented
were resonating. The GPL was proving to be more
than just words hung on a wall. One of the biggest examples came in the form of recognizing
and celebrating people for living out these new values. Recognition and celebration is
a very important piece of our culture. I would say it’s a cornerstone
of our culture. It is absolutely foundational
to our organization. And one way to do
that is we plan these events around the person that’s actually
the recipient of the award, and we try to incorporate
as much of their family members, close friends, sometimes we bring people
from their churches, and things of that nature, and make it very special and meaningful
to that particular individual. You can even see
in people’s faces, no one is really expecting recognition. We do it in a big way. It’s really an exercise
that we do now because people want to know
they make a difference. But even with the changes, the listening sessions, and celebrations, there were still many naysayers refusing to embrace
the people-centric culture. I just ignored it. People-centric was just
another catchphrase, a flavor-of-the-month type of thing. To say that I didn’t believe in it
would be an understatement. I was completely against it and
was actually fighting against it because it didn’t make
any sense to me. Yeah, at first it seemed
like a joke. What is this?
What’s this stuff? We’re used to coming here,
working, doing our job,
coming home. That’s what you do. There was a lot of skeptics,
but when 2008 came around, that was the big test. Let’s talk about the speed with which we are watching
this market deteriorate. DOW, at the same,
has fallen about 18%. Twenty-one percent. What’s happening
on Wall Street? It was challenging. I was looking at it going, “Uh
oh, where’s this going now?” Roughly March of 2009, we had about a $30 million order
from one of our major customers put on hold because of the
financial situation in the world, and we all realized that we
were probably in trouble. We didn’t know where
the bottom was. We didn’t know how long
it was going to last. It’s heart-breaking.
There goes your job. You figured you
didn’t have a job, or wondering when you were going
to be laid off; it was scary. But you could see it happening
all over the place. Everybody’s slowing down. Everything is slowing down. It was pretty challenging, but I think this is
where leadership occurs. Even though it was razor thin. And think of our campus
in Phillips, Wisconsin. Huge amount of the population
that they worked there. This is going to affect
not just individual lives, and a house here on this corner,
and a house over here. This is going to affect a town. I’m shaking thinking about it. It really was a scary moment. That was the first real test of whether Barry-Wehmiller could do
what it said it was going to do. What would a caring family do if one of the family members
was under crisis? They would all pitch together so
that everybody might take a little pain so that nobody
had to take a lot of pain. There was a lot of our business units that were weathering the storm well and a lot of the business units
that were really struggling, that literally did not have work
for associates each and every day. Bob sent an e-mail to everybody saying that we are
in the midst of a crisis, orders are down, and this is
what we are going to do. “The Family Response” What if, instead
of letting anybody go, we just gave everybody a month off
without pay, and they could take it
whenever they wanted to? So, this was really
from the top down. Bob reduced his salary
to his starting salary when he began his career
at Arthur Andersen. People came to me and said,
“Bob, you can achieve the same goal if you just cut everybody’s
salary by 5%.” I said, “That doesn’t seem fair. “If we’re going to ask people
to compromise, “we are going to give them
something in return, which is quality time
at a time they want to take it.” Business units
that were doing well, people still took a furlough. You think about, how would
a caring family respond? We would all sacrifice some so that nobody
would have to sacrifice a lot. And that was a huge sigh
of relief for everyone. You could swap. Let’s say Joe didn’t want
to take his week of furlough and Mike wanted it. Mike would take Joe’s week,
and it worked good. You’d have Joe working
and have Mike at home when he could afford
to be at home. It was a good program
for everybody. And it actually became
a great coming together across the organization of how we’re going to get
through this as a family. That’s what the real question was.
Are we going to live to our ideals? They wanted to save our jobs,
make sure that we were secure, so that we could have a job
to come back to. That built trust of maybe
this company is really for real. Maybe they really
do care about us. Unfortunately, it’s unusual we
see someone running a company that interested in people;
that’s sad. I’m proud to be working in a place
that does care about people. In going through that phase, a lot of the people that were skeptical
at first, now they’re in. That sealed the deal. This GPL is real. It’s real. Having won over many
of the skeptical hearts and minds, productivity and revenue flourished,
even in the midst of the recession. The people-centric culture
wasn’t perfect, but at its core,
people were getting it. Leaders were learning to listen,
and trust, and care, and even some of the hardest of hearts
were changing. Yeah, it was a point in my life where I was realizing that I had
that in me to care for somebody. And when somebody would say, “I really can’t afford to take
a furlough,” I felt it. I felt like, “I can take that for you. If you can stay here and work,
I really do want you to be okay,” which was a new thing for me to worry
about someone else and say, “I’ll do it for you.” I have a completely new perspective
on how I view people. People are the most
important thing to me. I used to push people away, now I need to surround myself
with people. But also, I look for the ones
that were like I was. I want to have that opportunity to do for them
what everyone’s done for me. “Spreading the Message” So, there’s a lot
of great examples of people doing great things to teach LEAN,
or continuous improvement, outside our own organization. As we sent people
away to classes, they came back with the tools
and the terms, but they didn’t come back
with the passion, the sense for culture,
and fulfillment, and the commitment
to people we had. We don’t teach this
at our schools. We obviously don’t teach this
in the MBA programs. This isn’t a slam
on an MBA program. I think you need those
quantifiable skills, but I think you also need to human skills to go along with that. You need people. You can manage a spreadsheet,
you don’t manage people. No one likes to be managed.
No one likes to be supervised. No one likes to be bossed. In the Guiding Principles
of Leadership, we have a bullet that says, “Leaders are called
to be visionaries, coaches, mentors, teachers, and students.” And so, that’s why we created
Barry-Wehmiller University. We wanted to create a way to share this new thought
on what leadership is. Really importantly, how do we listen
to our team members? We teach skills which help people empower others
by listening to them. iI’s an important skill
to have as a leader if we are interested in touching
the lives of people. Listening plays
such an integral part. And touching the lives of people is what it’s all about at Barry-Wehmiller. Their motto says,
“We measure success by the way we touch
the lives of people.” And not just their own people,
but all people, which is part of the reason they launched the Barry-Wehmiller
Leadership Institute, where outside leaders
from all kinds of backgrounds come to be inspired and hopefully carry that inspiration
back to their own organization. But realistically,
how does that work? Do leaders really connect to an idea
of putting people above profits? “People ABOVE Profits?” One of the things that people
always will misquote us saying is that it’s people
above profits, right? That’s just simply not the way it is.
It’s people and profits in harmony. The biggest way that we touch
the lives of our people is by them knowing that they have
the security of their job tomorrow. That is an awesome
leadership responsibility. Numbers are important here too, but we feel if you focus on people,
if you use the ideas of people, if you give people
responsible freedom, the numbers will follow. If my value was measured
by the size of my paycheck, I’m not gonna have a fulfilling life. If my value is measured
by the lives of the people I impact, and if I, in small ways, have a chance to contribute
to the fulfillment of others, that’s something that
I’m going to look back on years from now
and be proud of. My dream is for my kids
to one day work for a company where they will not feel
like a number. I want them to experience
that same culture that I experience
here at Barry-Wehmiller. I want them to feel valued.
I want them to feel loved. Having children whose parents
work in our company also come to work in our business is one of the best compliments
you can have, because it reflects
the parents coming home and speaking positively
about our culture and recommending that their kids
actually come here. To me, it allows a thriving legacy
to continue. “Is this Utopia?” We’re far from perfect.
Far from perfect. We’re not Utopia.
We aren’t perfect. I don’t think
we want to be perfect. – We’re absolutely not perfect.
– We acknowledge it. We are trying to attack the areas
that we aren’t perfect. This is a journey;
there may be somebody that we haven’t asked
to express their gifts yet. Shame on us. We will get there.
We will focus on it. All we ask is that we have the time
and we ask our leaders to go out and keep on providing environments
where there’s trust, where there’s listening, and opportunity
to express people’s frustration, and that be okay. I’m happy. That’s all I can say.
Like I said, I’m happy. I wish I’d have been able
to start here 30 years ago, found a company like this
to work for. When you know
someone trusts you, it actually raises your awareness. You’re almost trying to meet what
they already expect out of you. I love my job. It’s a great place
to work. It’s a challenge. I love my job.
What more could I ask for? Somebody once told me years ago
the greatest motivator is fear, and he meant in business. People need to be afraid of you and afraid they’re going
to lose their job, otherwise they won’t do
what they need to do. That’s terribly wrong
and I don’t think that’s for anyone. You want to work, you work for it, and you want to work
for other people like that. I think that what Bob
has achieved and what Barry-Wehmiller
demonstrates is that it doesn’t all
change overnight. It is a momentum. It is like exercise.
It is like parenting. It’s hard work and you don’t always get to see
the results of all of that labor, and stress, and sacrifice. But you get these little glimmers
that you realize it’s all worth it, and that’s the point. I don’t think it’s possible
to overstate the importance, and the power, and the potential
of creating a work environment where people feel valued,
and respected, and have an opportunity
to be fulfilled in their work. It doesn’t matter whether
you’re in a service business or you’re in a
manufacturing business. It makes no difference. At the end of the day, everyone
wants to be part of something. And if you give me an opportunity
to play a meaningful role, I’m going to give you 150%. And any organization powered
by people who care and are cared for is a heck
of a lot better place to work. It’s a better place
to buy things from. It’s just a better place. The most exciting
part of life is learning, and being a better listener, being a better husband,
being a better father, being a better leader,
being a better friend, being a better community member. We should all aspire
to never be satisfied with where we are and always be better. And that’s our whole message is to be good stewards
of the lives entrusted to us. That is what leadership is. It is the stewardship
of the lives entrusted to you.

5 thoughts on “Everybody Matters: A Documentary Short Based on the Best Selling Book

  1. I learned a lot in watching this video it is so inspiring. Everyone is truly someone's precious son or daughter. Thank you Bob for the insights.

  2. I'm a huge fan of Chapman's "Everybody Matters" message…what's a good way to reach you guys? Would love to feature Barry Wehmiller and the new Manufacturing Happy Hour podcast launching in 2019.

  3. in 2014 I was working for a global Oil & Gas company that was aquired by a larger O & G company. That larger company closed my plant down in a matter of 6 months. Which ended with 300 laytoffs right before Christmas. Watching all these poeple get laid off was the worst days i have ever experienced. I wish my employeer would do what BWM is doing. BWM Ya'll rock. Wish i worked there.

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