“Everybody Matters” by Bob Chapman (CEO of Barry-Wehmiller) & Raj Sisodia (Coauthor of Conscious Capitalism), is one of the best books I have ever read. Broken into two parts The Journey & The Playbook, it gives some of the actual tools from the stories to help you solve similar problems. Its inspiring affirmations, stories, and guiding principles are like chicken soup for the organization’s soul.
This book presents millions of moments of inspiration, affirmation, and insight. It oozed ideas like the real value of innovation, quality, leadership, and that “people are our most valuable resource.”
The following paragraphs are a supplement to reading the book and act as a summary of what I consider to be its fundamental ideas, tools, and insights.
1. A Passion for People (Prologue – P. 1)
What to know – Real leaders have a passion for people. “Everybody matters is about what happens when ordinary people throw away long-accepted management practices and start operating from the deepest sense of right, without a sense of profound responsibility for the lives entrusted to them.” Real leadership is a journey.
What to do – Create value for all stakeholders. Focus on the people, purpose, and performance of the organization. Be genuinely human. Believe that people in and outside of work indeed matter.
2. Part 1 – The Mantle of Leadership (Chapter 1 – P. 19)
What to know – “My positive attitude was key to not letting our circumstances get me down personally or professionally.” A positive attitude can move mountains.
What to do – Keep a positive attitude. Encourage positivity. Don’t be afraid to fail. Embrace the bad times as opportunities to learn and grow.
3. Starting The Acquisition Journey (Chapter 2 – P. 35)
What to know – “I have grown to believe that the best strategy in business is a combination of organic growth and strategic acquisitions.”
What to do – Identify a measurable goal worth achieving as a team. Inspire the organization to leverage their gifts and talents to accomplish the goal. Make sure the group creates the purpose together, and it is something everyone believes and pledges to sustain.
4. Growing the Human Side (Chapter 3 – P. 51)
What to know – Business and government can be fun! When enterprises believe in their people at every level, they inspire trust.
What to do – “Leaders should measure success by the way they touch the lives of people.” Moreover, “inspire your people to solve problems rather than trying to manage them out of problems.”
5. Leadership is Stewardship (Chapter 4 – P. 66)
What to know – Leadership as stewardship is “to feel a deep sense of responsibility for the lives we touch through our leadership.” Celebration and recognition are about “repaying emotional investment with your own caring.”
What to do – Believe in people. Focus on people, invest in people, & treat people like family; forgive people. Celebrate and recognize people.
6. Hardwiring Our Culture (Chapter 5 – P. 83)
What to know – Continuous process improvement or “Kaizen Events” positively empower people, culture, and the overall health of an organization.
What to do – Create a culture without fear and increase effectiveness people-focused productivity overall. Implement people-focused “continuous-improvement events.” Support and inspire a work-lifestyle free from fear.
7. Part 2 – The Test of Our Culture (Chapter 6 – P. 95)
What to know – Emotions are reciprocal. “When times are hard, everyone makes sacrifices.” People are more important than profits. Profits exist to support investment in people. Leaders are everywhere. Find them, coach them, and elevate them.
What to do – Create and share positive emotions. When work or tasks are heavy, share the burden to lighten and level the load. Judge the quality of an organization by the ugly times.
8. Envisioning the Ideal Future (Chapter 7 – P. 115)
What to know – “How you win as a team matters.” When people “communicate a strong message of hope, patience, and caring,” enterprises thrive.
What to do – Practice the “Ten Commandments of Truly Human Leadership”:
- Align all actions with an inspirational vision of a better future; 2. Truth is the foundation of all relationships; act accordingly; 3. Embrace leadership practices that send people home each day safe, healthy, and fulfilled; 4. Align all actions [with] an inspirational vision of a better future; 5. Trust in the foundation of all relationships; act accordingly; 6. Look for the good and recognize and celebrate daily; 7. Ask no more or less of anyone that one would ask of their child; 8. Lead with a clear sense of grounded optimism; 9. Recognize and flex to the uniqueness of everyone; 10. Always measure success by the way one touches the lives of people!
9. A New Way to Lead (Chapter 8 – P. 138)
What to know – True leaders continuously educate and develop themselves to be better. When we engage our heads, hearts, and hands around these habits, extraordinary levels of trust and fulfillment result.
What to do – Accept the awesome responsibility of leadership. Create a leadership checklist to help inspire and guide leaders like the following:
- Practice stewardship of the guiding principles of leadership through personal time, conversations, and development; 2. Advocate safety and wellness through individual actions and words (“I am the message.”); 3. Reflect on leading a team in achieving principled results based on the overall ‘why’ and purpose; 4. Inspire passion, optimism, and use; 5. Communication cultivates fulfilling relationships; 6. Foster a team community in which we are committed to each other and top the pursuit of a common goal; 7. Exercise responsible freedom, empowering each of us to achieve our potential; 8. Proactively engage in the personal growth of individuals on the team; 9. Facilitate meaningful group interactions; 10. Set, coach, and establish measurable goals that define winning; 11. Recognize and celebrate the greatness of others; 12. Commit to continuous daily improvement.
10. Humanizing the Process (Chapter 9 – P. 155)
What to know – People are more valuable than profits. The people doing the work must be empowered & supported to improve the process & system issues.
What to do – Collectively envision a better future for the organization. Establish a vision of continuous improvement that empowers people & culture.
11. Cultivating Responsible Freedom ( Chapter 10 – P. 173)
What to know – The best ideas come from the people that do the work. Everyone must have a seat at the table. To get trust, give it freely. “High-trust businesses are built on respect and caring, not fear and anxiety. ”
What to do – Strive to create & support a place where everybody matters. Believe that “people should have the freedom to innovate, experiment, and fail.” Trust that most people are good and want to do good. Learn how to trust people authentically. Coach and support people as they learn how to authentically and freely trust each other.
12. Recognition & Celebration (Chapter 11 – P. 189)
What to know – “Recognition creates enormous positive energy in the organization.” Precious forms of recognition and celebration come from the heart.
What to do – Enable others to succeed. “Light fires” in people; inspire, recognize, care for, listen to, and support people. Recognize people to show them that they matter.
13. Educating Leaders (Chapter 12 – P. 204)
What to know – Continuous education and improvement are potent tools when growing an organization’s leadership. “The gift of silence” is one of the most valuable things one can give another. True Leaders want to help and support people to become their best selves.
What to do – Listen often. Demonstrate the culture one wants to see. Believe and say, “I am the message.” Actualize caring through empathetic listening. Humanize as much of the work as possible. Invest in the organization’s current and future leaders.
14. Everybody Truly Does Matter (Chapter 13 – P. 224)
What to know – “Everything we consider valuable in life and business begins and ends with people… You – and everyone else in your organization – already have everything within yourselves to start living the universal truth that everybody matters.”
What to do – Find the organization’s leaders and liberate them. People have limitless potential, leverage it. Know that everyone wants to contribute, let them.
15. It is All About the People! (Epilogue – P. 243)
What to know – The more we can combine work and care, the more fulfilled we will be, and the further we will collectively advance. “This is a journey with no endpoint.”
What to do – Make any continuous improvement effort about the people. Care for your employees and watch the company soar. Measure success by the way that the enterprise touches the lives of people. Value actions over promises. Invest in responsible forms of freedom; celebrate and reward with heart. Innovate, elevate, and repeat.