Bob Chapman, author, CEO and Chairman at Barry-Wehmiller Companies, is this week’s honored guest. He joins Kevin Monroe on the Higher Purpose Podcast to discuss the true meaning and responsibilities of leadership.
Kevin asks Bob how his optimism equips him to navigate seasons of uncertainty. Bob responds that our greatest growth comes from our greatest challenges, and that he takes life on one day at a time. Everybody has a lens, Bob says, and though he’s not sure what creates the lens through which we see the world, he was blessed with one of optimism so he sees the good in people.
Bob believes that a leader’s fundamental responsibility is to give the people in their care a sense of hope for a better future. A core issue is that leaders are not taught to care for people, and instead know how to to use people for their success. Bob defines management as ‘the manipulation of others for your success,’ whereas leadership is ‘the stewardship of those entrusted to you.’
Span of Care
Bob describes ‘employee’ as too much of a technical term to apply to humans. He had a key revelation that everyone in his span of care is someone’s precious child. Research shows that the way leaders treat those in their span of care has a profound effect on their health. Every business should be the most powerful force for good in the world because they have people in their care for at least 40 hours a week, every week. The way people are treated will affect not only themselves but their families and lives and communities.
Truly Human Leadership
Leadership during a crisis starts with a fundamental responsibility to both the individual and the organization, Bob says. You can’t decide to do the right thing for the people without considering the impact it may have on the business, because the business provides for the people. Truly human leadership looks at both the organization’s health and the people’s health and leads with it in a positive way.
Kevin and Bob hope that leaders are able to keep their feet on solid ground and lift their vision to see beyond this current crisis. Many are making hard decisions that affect the lives and futures of many others, and so, should be a voice of reason and a source of hope for those they lead.
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