Behind every great leader is an extraordinary team of people. And extraordinary teams don’t just happen — they’re made.
It takes time and resources to build a high-performing team. Few have done it better than Bob Chapman, recently named the #3 CEO in the world by an Inc. magazine article. Bob became CEO of Barry-Wehmiller in 1975 – at the age of 30 – and 40 years later has transformed it into a $2.5 billion company with 11,000 employees. Over the past two decades, he has pivoted from traditional management practices to hone a people-centric approach.
It may be counterintuitive to traditional ways of thinking about business management. Those in leadership have long been taught a definition of performance and profit that leaves people out of the equation.
But a manufacturing environment where employees feel valued and involved as an integral part of the company’s purpose shouldn’t be a novelty. Rather, it should be the norm.
Enter Truly Human Leadership — the human dimension of business.
Bob will share his philosophy on True Human Leadership at the SafetyCulture Summit 2021: Made Extraordinary, a free 2-day event set to inspire working teams around the world.
Connecting people, purpose and performance with Bob’s Truly Human Leadership tips.
Tip 1. Be a steward, be a leader
To Bob Chapman, leadership means being a steward of your team member’s lives and cultivating a culture for each person’s unique motivations, skills, and challenges to grow and develop. This genuineness, or Truly Human Leadership as Bob calls it, can make work more meaningful for each individual.
“At Barry-Wehmiller, we’ve found that people are capable of doing amazing things if we just give them the environment in which they can discover, develop, share, and be appreciated for their gifts,” he shares.
Tip 2. Listen with empathy
Employee wellbeing is now a multi-faceted concern that includes career wellbeing, social wellbeing, financial wellbeing, physical wellbeing, and community wellbeing, with all five elements contributing to our overall happiness at work. A significant part of maintaining this is to simply start by listening.
Bob says that empathetic listening, which is the basis of being a good leader, is about putting yourself into their shoes and listening. Show genuine interest to the people around you. We’re taught to talk, learn to listen. More than ever, people want to feel valued; people want to be understood and heard. If you do this, you’ll realise that listening can make each person feel the presence of a leader who can help create a better future.
Tip 3. Recognize and celebrate the goodness in people
It’s often the case that we only tap into a tiny fraction of the talents our teams have, which is not only wasteful but also a dereliction of our duty to truly celebrate our people for everything they bring to our organisations.
Truly Human Leadership is about discovering these special gifts and skills and nurturing them into something bigger than themselves. Daily acts such as a meaningful word or note of appreciation can make employees feel considered. Rather than an over-the-top celebration, small daily acts to remind employees of their efforts and progress can create an environment where people feel cared for.
Tip 4. Success lies in the way you touch the lives of others
The metrics of success are different for every business. Organisations typically report on profits, KPIs, and ROIs, but for Bob Chapman, Truly Human Leadership is about connecting business to purpose and humanity. The approach should be to find new ways to lead, creating a brighter and more sustainable future.
As we look at what the “new normal” might be after COVID-19, it’s increasingly clear that to a large extent we are already living it. With complexity and uncertainty a regular feature of manufacturing landscape today, it’s on us to adopt truly human leadership in order to help our people through it.
For more lessons in extraordinary leadership and teamwork, look no further than our upcoming global summit, Made Extraordinary. This is your launchpad to level up. Reserve your FREE seat today.
About SafetyCulture Summit 2021: Made Extraordinary
Made Extraordinary brings together leaders, trailblazers and experts for two days of inspiration, industry insights, keynote sessions, and professional development. Learn how everyday teams and organizations can achieve extraordinary outcomes through great teamwork. Join Made Extraordinary physically at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, stream live from anywhere in the world, and catch up on demand in the weeks following the event.