A Most Momentous Day

A little more than ten years ago I attended the wedding of my good friend’s daughter.

Little did I know how it would change the course of my life. And, in doing so, the lives of thousands of people whom I’ve had the privilege to positively impact since that momentous mind-expanding a-ha moment in the pew.

There I sat on that day, enjoying the splendor of the scene unfolding before me: The proud father walking his precious daughter down the aisle. Her mother smiling adoringly from her seat of honor in the front row. Both parents filled with hope and excitement about the life that awaited their precious daughter. Upon reaching the altar, the bride’s father offered his daughter’s hand to the groom and then spoke the ceremonial words “Her mother and I give this daughter to be wed.”

Those words, of course, are tradition. The meaning behind them, however, is deeper: “We trust you with our daughter, a most precious human being, and expect through your union you will love her and take great care of her and allow her to grow into all that she was meant to be.”

And that was the moment that it became crystal clear: every single one of Barry-Wehmiller’s team members are like that young lady. Every single one of them is someone’s precious child, with hopes and dreams for a future through which they can realize their full potential.

As leaders, when someone ‘walks down the aisle’ into our organization, we are called to be stewards of that life. When we invite someone to join our team, we are bestowed with the awesome responsibility to provide the care and inspiration and support that that precious human being needs to become everything he or she was meant to be.

Today, as we celebrate another momentous day– the release of Everybody Matters:  The Extraordinary Power of Caring for Your People Like Family — I am reminded of that special day so many years ago that became a turning point in my leadership journey. That wedding provided clarity to the role I play in the lives of those I have the privilege to lead: every one of us, no matter what our job or where we live, simply want to know that who we are and what we do matters.

As leaders in business, we have the awesome responsibility to let people know that they do.

My hope is that this book will become a handbook for people at any level of leadership in organizations. Then perhaps what we discovered along our journey will improve the joy of work and ultimately life for so many.

And that the next time you attend a wedding, you’ll think twice about the real meaning behind the awesome ceremony before you.


Note: Readers of Bob Chapman’s Truly Human Leadership blog can download free Bonus Materials when they order Everybody Matters: The Extraordinary Power of Caring For Your People Like Family. Click here to get yours.

Truly Human Leadership is found throughout Barry-Wehmiller Companies, where Bob Chapman is Chairman and CEO. A $3+ billion global capital equipment and engineering consulting firm, Barry-Wehmiller’s 12,000 team members are united around a common belief: we can use the power of business to build a better world. Chapman explores that idea in his Wall Street Journal best-selling book, Everybody Matters: The Extraordinary Power of Caring For Your People Like Family, available from Penguin Random House.

1 Comment

  • Ann Davant Crehore says:

    Congratulations Bob! I look forward to reading your book. I hope to see you in November when I will be in St. Louis for the Communications Skills Training.

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