Bob Chapman is a mentor and good friend of Simon Sinek. You’re going to hear his name a lot more soon. For those lucky enough to have already come across his thinking and writing it is transforming the way they work. After speaking to him on my podcast I’m now a convert.

Who is Bob Chapman?

The essence of his thinking is that leadership is about caring for those you have the privilege of working with. Just as we have a responsibility to act as stewards of our planet to protect it for the next generation, we also have a responsibility to build caring and resilient work cultures.

His journey from management to leadership began 25 years ago with an internal series of transformative events that changed his view on what a leader’s responsibility is. Along the way, he worked closely with Simon Sinek and published a book – Everybody Matters – which has become an international best seller. He was recently nominated as the #3 CEO in an Inc, magazine article.

During this period the company has grown from a turnover of $20 million to $3 billion, his shareholders have had a return of !5% p.a. for 25 years, and the company now employs 12000 employees. Bob Chapman, CEO of Barry Wehmiller, recently shared how this was achieved in an interview on The Caring CEO podcast.

So, you could say that he knows a thing or two about leadership. Just like many others, I deeply believe in the approach that Bob Chapman and his team have brought to their company.

They achieved this by reversing the lens and looking at how they could help their team instead of how their team could help them. Instead of focusing on how the team could drive success for the company, they focused on how they could ensure that everyone felt valued and that they went home each day feeling as though they’d done something that mattered.

To paraphrase John F. Kennedy, “Ask not what your employees can do for you; ask what you can do for your employees.”

Culture of service

Great leaders know that it’s “we,” not “me”. Businesses could be the most powerful force for good that the world has ever seen, but only if they start to care for the people that they have. Writing it down might sound hippy-ish and a bit “kumbaya,” but it’s also true. And everyone knows it – they just don’t necessarily act upon it.

The way that we treat people affects the way that they treat the people they have relationships with at home. If you treat an employee like dirt, they’ll take it out on their kids and their significant others. You’ve probably found yourself doing the same thing with your loved ones after you’ve had a particularly stressful or unpleasant day.

That’s why one of the greatest skills you can develop is the ability to listen with empathy. When you listen attentively, you lead through example, demonstrating that you care about your people and that you’re interested in what they have to say.

Don’t tell people to care – teach them how to care, and do that by caring yourself. Treat others as they need to be treated, and not just how you want to be treated. This means recognizing that everyone is different and tailoring the way that you interact with them accordingly.

Putting it into practice

One of the most effective things that you can do is to tap into the law of early adoption and begin with the believers. These are the people who are already onboard with the idea of a culture of service, and if you work with these people first, they’ll take your message and run with it.

You can think of it as creating a “safe bus,” with culture being the fuel that goes into the engine. Your goal is to take your employees on a journey without putting their mental or physical health on the line.

Want to learn more about establishing a culture of service? Click here to listen to our full conversation with Bob Chapman!

The Caring CEO podcast interviews senior leaders who champion both a culture of care AND high performance. It is now listened to in 37 countries and is in Apple’s top 10 in the management category.

#leadership #mentalhealth #resilience #culture

Contact Media Stable Expert: Graeme Cowan – Mental health and resilience expert, The Caring CEO podcast & Board Director, R U OK?

PH: +61 414 487 072

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