Leadership: Not a Ballot Initiative

What we need right now is leadership. And if you’re waiting for a politician, you’re going to be waiting a long time. We need leadership 1) in your home and 2) in the culture. We need cultural leaders. We need individuals and organizations to rise up and provide inspiring, convincing leadership that will lead to conversions of mind and heart.

Within each of us lies the capability to shape the lives of those within our sphere of influence. Click To TweetThis quote is from a recent article written by Matthew Warner of the National Catholic Register. He wrote the piece following the outcome of our national elections. Regardless of one’s religious or political affiliations, Warner offers readers some valid perspectives on how to create change in our country. His ideas align with our belief that business is the most powerful force through which we can make a positive impact on the world. No single politician can possibly make the world a better place. But if more business leaders would strive to send their team members home with a sense of fulfillment, we would see a profound impact on the quality of relationships at home –resulting in improved marriages and improved environments for the precious children raised in those marriages. Within each of us lies the capability – and the opportunity – to shape the lives of those within our sphere of influence! We need to quit looking for politicians to address the issues we face in this world and simply own the responsibility that leadership in our places of work, our communities, our homes can change the world to the way it was intended to be!

Click here to read Warner’s “Here’s the Lesson From the Election, Folks.”

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.


  • Rod says:


    You make some interesting points which are in agreement with what I learned in economics class. The current state of our economy is the result of everyone acting for their own self interest without any consideration for the common good. Morality was only an afterthought when things went wrong. Greed is a powerful motivator and can cloud people’s judgement. No one knows this better than Bernard Madoff.

    The revolutionary thing that Bob is committed to is a concept of a human ethical business model. Profit must be a part of that model. The only way business can progress and maintain that profit motive is to achieve a standard of morality. That morality will either be defined by politicians in an inefficient manner or by the capitalists of the world. The most efficient way to achieve ethical business practices is for each of us to become responsible and prudent business people. This includes the worker as well as the business management. We need to do this in our own lives as well as at work. Acting in a prudent manner rewards us individually and rewards our society. Prudent actions reduce the waste we generate and increase the effectiveness of our incomes. The best interest of each of us is the best interest of all of us.

    It is in our best interest to be satisfied with who we are and what we do. This is achieved through the sincere striving of being the best we can be. It is also in our best interest for our coworkers to be satisfied and healthy, too.

  • Greg L Williams says:

    Matthew Warner makes some profound points. I hope others will click on the link and read the complete article. I agree with Bob that business is a powerful force through which we can make a positive influence on the world. I’m reminded of an excerpt from Jerry Bussell’s book, Anatomy of a Lean Leader, “A respectful leader is in service to the people – to their personal fulfillment, and beyond that, to the health, wealth and happiness of the community. Respect means knowing that our words and actions have a profound effect on others, rippling outward to family, schools and other businesses. Respect means striving toward positive outcomes for people. Sakichi Toyoda knew that his company – a machine tool manufacturer out in the countryside – affected the entire nation, one employee at a time. Respect for individuals and their contributions is the way that great companies are built. And respect is essentially how Bob Chapman, chairman and CEO of a multi-national manufacturing services and products company Barry-Wehmiller, intends to change the world.”

  • malangay says:


    While I don’t necessarily disagree with Mr. Warner’s overall message and that indeed we – you, me, all of us – need to take to heart the Gandhian maxim to “be the change you want to see in the world”, methinks it’s a great leap of blind intellect from there to “his ideas align with our belief that business is the most powerful force through which we can make a positive impact on the world”.

    A business as typically defined as a for-profit initiative which by it’s very ethos cannot possibly make a positive impact on the world. A business is purposely constructed and willfully operated by it’s owners to be positively impacting not the world but it’s owners and managers. To do so otherwise would be contrary to it’s raison d’etre. The economic theory then that underpins any business (yes even the ones espoused by Barry-Wehmiller) sacrifices and exploits humanity and the environment for the sake of the mythical “rational” man in search of “profit”/personal gain. Such a psychopathic definition of mankind can never hope “make a positive impact on the world” unless s/he is kept in check by a counterforce of humanity that questions those principles and regularly asks the business upon whose back pray tell are the profits being generated and sustained? Understand please Bob that there is always someone down the line paying the price for any business’ profits so unless this “force” is regularly confronted by this manifest force defined scientifically by the 2nd law of thermodynamics, it can never hope to be a source of any “positive impact on the world”. To claim that it is I suspect would depend on the typically narrow American definition of “world”.


    Mohammad Babar

    • Bob Chapman says:


      Thank you for your thoughtful comments.

      At Barry-Wehmiller, we truly believe that “building great people is our business.” However, we realize that objective requires an economic activity. We have purposefully transitioned our focus from “for profit” to instead one whereby we create “value for ALL stakeholders”—that includes team members, customers, shareholders, vendors, owners, anyone with whom we may come into contact. That’s a profoundly different outwardly-thinking approach than most businesses. We commit daily to come together to allow people to discover, develop, share and be appreciated for their gifts. The direct byproducts of that are, yes, profit but, more importantly, a rewarding work environment, fair wages, and an engaged and fulfilled work force. The indirect byproducts are the happier marriages, the well-adjusted families, the team members with good work-life balances. Interestingly enough, a research study conducted by Georgetown and Washington University professors who looked at a segment of our workforce showed that those team members who felt that our company cared for them and “touched their lives” were far more likely to be more altruistic. In other words, in countless ways day after day, we are positively impacting the world, team member by team member. Thanks for reading!

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