Members of Centre for Transformational Leadership™, Centre for Entrepreneurial Excellence™ and Centre for Coaching Excellence™ in a Mentoring Conversation with Bob Chapman above.
In search of a Level 5 Leader
I first met Bob exactly 2 years ago, in May-2019, before the world knew what Covid was. Thanks to technology, we could have a deep-dive conversation from the comfort of our homes many oceans and 12 hours away from each other, me in India and he in the US. Bob Burg, co-author of the beautiful must-read book The Go-Giver, had connected us because I was in search of Level 5 Leaders, as Jim Collins called them, as role models for my coachees. When Bob Burg heard of my project, he immediately said I had to meet Bob Chapman, Chairman and CEO, Barry-Wehmiller.
Here's how Jim Collins describes Level 5 Leaders only who, as per his research, can lead an organisation from good to great:
"A man who carried no airs of self-importance... He never cultivated hero status or executive celebrity status. ... a Level 5 leader - an individual who blends extreme personal humility with intense professional will. ... they were self-effacing individuals who displayed the fierce resolve to do whatever needed to make the company great. ... their ambition is first and foremost for the institution, not themselves. ... humble and fearless. ... ambition first and foremost for the company and concern for its success rather than for one's own riches and personal renown. Level 5 leaders want to see the company even more successful in the next generation, comfortable with the idea that most people won't even know that the roots of that success trace back to their efforts.
... In contrast to the I-centric style of comparison leaders, we were struck by how good-to-great leaders didn't talk about themselves. ... Those who worked with or wrote about the good-to-great leaders continually used words like quiet, humble, modest, reserved, shy, gracious, mild-mannered, self-effacing, understated...
... The good-to-great leaders never wanted to become larger-than-life heroes. They never aspired to be put on a pedestal or become unreachable icons. They were seemingly ordinary people quietly producing extraordinary results.
... Level 5 leaders are fanatically driven, infected with an incurable need to produce results. ...didn't have an inspiring personality to galvanize the company, but had something much more powerful: inspired standards.
... The evidence does not support the idea that you need an outside leader to come in and shake up the place to go from good to great. In fact, going for a high-profile outside change agent is negatively correlated with a sustained transformation from good to great.
... The quiet, dogged nature of Level 5 leaders showed up not only in big decisions, ... but also in a personal style of sheer workmanlike diligence.
... flat-out refused to take credit for his company's success, attributing his good fortune to having great colleagues, successors, and predecessors. ... a contrasting pattern in the comparison executives: They credited substantial blame to bad luck, frequently bemoaning the difficulties of the environment they faced.
... Level 5 leaders look out the window to apportion credit to factors outside themselves when things go well (and if they cannot find a specific person or event to give credit to, they credit good luck). At the same time, they look in the mirror to apportion responsibility, never blaming bad luck when things go poorly. The comparison leaders did just the opposite. They'd look out the window for something or someone outside themselves to blame for poor results, but would preen in front of the mirror and credit themselves when things went well. Strangely, the window and the mirror do not reflect objective reality. Everyone outside the window points inside, directly at the Level 5 leader, saying, "He was the key; without his guidance and leadership, we would not have become a great company." And the Level 5 leaders points right back out the window and says, "Look at all the great people and good fortune that made this possible; I'am a lucky guy." They're both right, of course. But the Level 5s would never admit that fact.
... A strong religious belief ... might also nurture development of Level 5 traits."
When I first spoke to Bob Chapman, I knew I had found my first Level 5 Leader or Gear 5 Leader, as I called them. He was exactly how Jim Collins had described.
After our first few conversations, I fell into oblivion because Life decided to push me into my personal hell to make me strong enough to be the channel for my impossible, unimaginable, scary dreams. He did not need to really bother about one insignificant stranger at the other corner of the world. Yet, he was graciousness, which is the quality of Gear 5 Leaders. He counselled me, coached me, mentored me till I saw that I did not need to wistfully wait for the Light at the end of the Tunnel because I was the light. That gave me the energy to rise from the ashes, like the phoenix. I can say that if he wasn't there with me during the darkest phase of my life, believing in me when I had lost belief in myself and Life itself, I might have never recovered from the fall. That is the hallmark of a great Leader. They lead people to their highest potential, even when people themselves have little belief in themselves or their potential.
A justifiable question at this point is that in the busy world of business where there is not even time to breathe, being this kind of a leader is like a pipe-dream, nice to have, impossible to achieve. Yet, I was on my hero's journey to bust quite a few myths - with this one being one on the list. The top most being that one cannot have it all, that success had to come at the cost of everything else - health, family, fun, fulfilment, freedom.
A Hypothesis Worth Testing
For me, business is a work of art, an expression of creativity of the artists known as the business leaders, a vehicle to fulfil on one's Purpose this Lifetime. I had developed a hypothesis since I had started my journey as a coach in 2010 after 15 years of loving the adrenaline rush of the mad corporate rat race, without really knowing that was the journey I was on when I started.
The hypothesis was about business being a way to contribute to the world and only, if one began with that intent, would one be able to lead oneself and one's business from good to great. Otherwise, the business and those who led such businesses in pursuit of wealth, fame and success were destined to burn out and die the death of mediocrity along the way.
The hypothesis was that the purpose of Business is to make a difference. When the Business lives that purpose, it leads to not only greater but sustainable profitability. That it is no longer politics or religion that will lead our species forward. It is on the shoulders of business leaders that the future of humanity now rests.
It's through strengthening authentic leadership in the world that will move us forward to the next phase of our evolution which is no longer on the physical plane; but on the emotional, mental and spiritual dimensions. That requires CEOs, Business Owners, Entrepreneurs and Business Leaders to travel 3 journeys simultaneously to climb to the summit of their Mount Everest, personally and professionally; and lead their people along with them:
1. Leadership Depth: The inner journey of personal transformation from a Fighter or a Victim to a Peaceful Warrior, embracing our default fears to become Whole and Complete by stepping into Transcendent Love for greater impact in the world by living our Purpose of Life through our work. The measure of Leadership Depth is to Have It All:
i. Deeply fulfilling, successful business supporting us to live our purpose of life; gifting us with impact, contribution and financial freedom
ii. Loving, harmonious, positive, uplifting relationships at work and at home
iii. Happy, healthy, responsible kids with their genius joyfully expressed
iv. Nourishing, nurturing ourselves to the highest level of fitness and well-being (physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually)
v. Making a massive difference through the work we do
2. Craft Mastery: The journey of playing to be the World's best, a Master of our Craft, in service of our customers' said and unsaid needs by becoming a Thought Leader and being at the source of Transformation of our industry globally. Craft Mastery not for the sake of ambition, but as an outcome of being purpose-inspired. Reading and learning not for intellectual stimulation or entertainment, but for the purpose of contributing to the communities that we are committed to serve. Craft Mastery enables the discovery of the Value Proposition.
3. Business Excellence: The outer journey of professional success by living our purpose through our work, leading our business from good to great, generating a healthy Triple Bottom Line (3P - Profit, People, Planet); creating a legacy by making a massive difference to our employees, customer communities, business partners, investors and all other stakeholders through:
i. Nurturing Customer Relationships: Coaching our team to work from Being of Service consciousness, creating a powerful Value Proposition for our customers that makes a massive difference, by marrying what’s missing in the world for them with Craft Mastery.
ii. Operational Excellence: Creative ways to reduce our and our team’s time, effort and resources and yet increasing value for our customer communities creating a powerful Profit Proposition.
iii. Extraordinary Service: Serving and contributing to our customers, employees, business partners, investors and all other stakeholders to the level they have no right to expect; sourced in a powerful People Proposition created through Leadership Depth.
The Journey to a New Model of Leadership in Business
Jim Collins and his team in search to discover what makes an organisation great started with 1,435 good companies. They examined their performance over 40 years and found 11 companies that became great. Then, they did a deep-dive study of these 11 companies to find a research-based answer to the question - What makes organisations great?
His mandate to his team was clear - not to get leader-dependent answers. What he wanted to unearth was a leader-independent process that if applied to a business would support the business to transition from good to great.
And, yet the very first chapter of his book 'Good to Great: Why some companies make the Leap and Other don't' in which he published the results of his research, is about Level 5 Leadership. After a massive amount of data-driven research and analysis, Jim Collins concluded that without the leader at the helm of the organisation being a Level 5 leader, the organisation cannot cut-over from good to great.
Jim Collins mentions something else in the first chapter of his book, which is even more interesting. He says though Level 5 Leaders are needed to lead an organisation from good to great, his research does not reveal how Level 5 Leaders are developed and that Level 4 Leaders are opposite of Level 5 Leaders.
My journey has been really about uncovering this hidden connection because if we found the way to develop Level 4 Leaders to Level 5 Leaders, then we would solve for the biggest challenge that faces humanity - how to consciously nurture and nourish the seed of greatness in each human being so that they would lead themselves and their business (in the domain of their influence) to greatness, contributing massively to the world around them through their work. It becomes clear that human evolution is no longer at the physical plane; it is now on the emotional, mental and spiritual planes.
The reason Jim Collins could not find Level 5 Leaders in a straight line development from Level 4 Leaders is because Level 4 and Level 5 leaders are not in the same model of leadership. We grow from Level 1 to Level 4 in the old model of Leadership sourced in Fear and Scarcity. By the time, one has risen up to Level 4 in the old model of Leadership of dog-eat-dog, You win I lose; one has become exhausted and burnt out, waiting to one day retire to live a life of one's dreams. The game is about how soon can I retire to live my purpose of life.
From the old model of Leadership, we move to the new model of Leadership sourced in compassionate love and abundance. From Level 4 from the old model, we start from Gear 0 and climb up to Gear 1 in the new model of Leadership and continue the climb up to Gear 2 to Gear 3, all the way up to Gear 5 which is when we become Level 5 Leaders. The game is about living our purpose of life through our work, and our work refreshes and rejuvenates us.
Research proves that a culture of compassionate love and servant leadership leads to greater productivity, performance, profitability and organisational greatness.
"We surveyed more than 3,200 employees in 17 organisations spanning seven industries: biopharmaceutical, engineering, financial services, higher education, public utilities, real estate, and travel. In organisations where employees felt and expressed companionate love toward one another; people reported greater job satisfaction, commitment, and personal accountability for work performance."
- From an article published in Harvard Business Review, Jan-Feb 2016 by
Sigal Barsade, Professor of Management, Wharton;
Olivia A. O’Neill, Assistant Professor of Management, George Mason University
Here's a new world that would get created when we have Gear 5 / Level 5 leaders leading our businesses: Monday morning excitement to come to work; people discovering their purpose of life and living them through the work they do, working with joyful passion; relating to each other as extra-ordinary and with love, gratitude, reverence; every act done with mastery consciousness not for a positive appraisal but because it deeply fulfils people to do it that way; integrity expressed as being on time every time, doing what is said by the time it is said not because boss or customer is chasing but because honouring one's word is the only way to live; having it all - deeply fulfilling successful career, joyful relationships, happy responsible kids and lots of nourishing me-time while making a huge difference to the world. Yes, this is in the domain of possibility. All we need is to leave our resignation and cynicism outside the door; and believe. Inside of that belief, we will get the Power to Create™ a brave new world.
What we need is a structured step-by-step pathway from Gear 0 to Gear 5 (Level 5) for developing leaders consciously, rather than wait for a few to develop into Level 5 leaders.
Growth through Pain or Insights
In my study over the years across varied subjects to uncover the secret of greatness and mastery - Brain Science, Neurolinguistic Programming (NLP), Psychodrama, Action Learning, Ontology, Cellular Healing, Spirituality, Philosophy, Personal Mastery, Creativity & Innovation, Performance & Productivity, Science of Success, Leadership and Business, one thing became evident that it is the responsibility of each one of us to live in the expression of our undeniable greatness, rather than it being a privilege of a few. And, that there's a step-by-step approach to getting there.
There are a few who organically shift from the old model of leadership sourced in fear and scarcity to the new model of leadership sourced in love and abundance.
Google recently demonstrated that its best employees were not Ivy League students but rather young people who had experienced a big loss in their lives and had been able to transform that experience into growth. According to Google, deep personal loss has resulted in employees who are more humble and open to listening and learning.
- Exponential Organisations by Salim Ismail
It looks like a big loss may help in making that organic shift. In the case of Bob Chapman, it was more God-sent Insight rather than pain that made him shift from a Level 4 to a Level 5 Leader.
Two of Bob’s leadership visions came in church.
1. Leaders have the unique opportunity to shape lives – After church one Sunday it dawned on Bob as he spoke to his wife. Our minister only has us for 1 hour a week – we have people for 40 hours a week. He realised how impactful work is and can be in the lives of his people. Leadership can profoundly shape lives if we simply cared about people.
2. Everyone is someone’s precious child. Attending a friend’s wedding, watching him walk his daughter down the aisle and present her to her husband to be. He realised the words this father was saying was a light version of what he truly would say to this man if he could. He would tell him how he and his mother had taken care of this beautiful girl from the time she was born until now, nurturing her, caring for her and loving her; and asking him to do the same. He realised in his organisation, the leaders and managers are the stewards of that life. Having that view dramatically changed his view of leadership!
Recently named the #3 CEO in the world in an Inc. magazine article, Bob is very intentional about using his platform as an awakened business leader to build a better world. He is Chairman and CEO of US based Barry-Wehmiller, a $3 billion global capital equipment business with more than 12,000 team members globally. He became the senior executive of this private company in 1975 at age 30 when the 80-year-old business had $20 million in revenue, outdated technology and a very weak financial position. Despite the obstacles, he applied a unique blend of strategy and culture over the next 40 years in leading Barry-Wehmiller through more than 100 successful acquisitions. Over the past two decades, a series of realisations including those shared above led him away from traditional management practices to what he now calls Truly Human Leadership - a people-centric approach where his employees feel valued, cared for, and an integral part of the company’s purpose. At Barry-Wehmiller, they have a unique measure of success: by the way they touch the lives of people. His experiences and the transformation he champions are the inspiration behind his Wall Street Journal bestseller Everybody Matters: The Extraordinary Power of Caring for Your People Like Family. The book is co-authored by Raj Sisodia, founder and co-author of Conscious Capitalism.
Young and joyously energetic at 77, he is lit up by his purpose to transform the world and make it a better place through his business and his life.
I believe he will.
Like he writes in his book - "Everyone wants to contribute. Trust them. Leaders are everywhere. Find them. Some people are on a mission. Celebrate them. Others wish things were different. Listen to them. Everybody matters. Show them."
He's creating a massive transformation in the business world by inspiring leaders around the world to embrace Truly Human Leadership, which is his gift to humanity. It is not People at the cost of Profit. He says if there's no Profit, then People suffer. His simple maxim is People, Purpose and Performance. Through Truly Human Leadership, he has created a pathway to becoming Level 5 Leaders.
Truly Human Leadership is about creating a Safe Bus (Performance), an inspiring destination (Purpose) to journey towards and happy inspired co-travelers (People) partnering with us to fulfil on our Shared Purpose.
Creating a Safe Bus is about building a robust, profitable, scalable, sustainable Business Model sourced in our Core Competencies and a Strategic Business Architecture serving our Customer's Needs.
In terms of the 3 journeys I travel with my coachees,
1. We deliver on our Purpose through Business Excellence giving us a sustainable and robust Profit Proposition.
2. We inspire our People to partner with us to joyously fulfil on our shared Purpose and shared inspiring Big Hairy Audacious Goal through Values-based Leadership by strengthening our and our team’s Leadership Depth giving us a strong People Proposition.
3. We make a massive difference to our customers (Performance) so that they chase us instead of us chasing them, by marrying our Core Competencies (both existing and those we want to acquire based on our Strategic Business Architecture) with Customers’ said and unsaid needs by playing to be the best in the world in our Core Competencies through Craft Mastery to deliver an attractive Value Proposition.
In their article Building your Company's Vision in Harvard Business Review, Jim Collins along with Jerry Porras note that Companies that enjoy enduring success have core values and a core purpose that remain fixed while their business strategies and practices endlessly adapt to a changing world.
Core Values is a system of guiding principles and tenets and core purpose is the organisation’s most fundamental reason for existence. Core values and core values (together known as Core Ideology) of our Company defines what we stand for and why we exist. Core ideology provides the glue that holds an organisation together as it grows, decentralises, diversifies, expands globally, and develops workplace diversity.
Bob, early on in his journey in 2002, as he was transitioning his business from a traditionally managed organisation to Truly Human Leadership, he brought together a team of thoughtful leaders at Barry-Wehmiller. The goal was to articulate ideal leadership behaviors so that, based on their experiences at work, Barry-Wehmiller team members could lead richer, and more fulfilling lives. They together co-created Barry-Wehmiller's Core Ideology which he called The Guiding Principles of Leadership that stands as the cornerstone of their culture. Chapman stated, and the team leaders aligned with the touchstone, that “Everything we do in the future needs to be in harmony with these principles.”
Leading our Business from Good to Great
The journey of transforming our organisation from Good to Great begins with us transforming from Good to Great, from Gear 0 to Gear 5, from Level 4 to Level 5. Fortunately or unfortunately, the organisation mirrors the leader at the helm of the organisation. Fortunately because that means the power is in our hands to make this happen. Unfortunately, because it is easier to work on the outside than on the inside.
For the organisation to shift gears from good to great, there are actually 3 journeys that the CEO / business leader will have to undertake simultaneously:
1. Business Excellence
2. Leadership Depth
3. Craft Mastery
This is my hypothesis of the step-by-step approach for CEOs / Founders / Business Owners to lead themselves and their organisations from good to great, which I have been studying, exploring, testing over the last 12 years since I hung up my corporate boots to be on my hero's journey to discover and live my purpose of life.
Even before we begin to explore each in greater detail, let us define what is good and what is great to assess whether it is even worthwhile to be on this journey. A good organisation makes profit but struggles to do so, is in the red ocean of bloody waters with competition nibbling at its toes, primary motive is financial survival, does not have any significant impact in the world, employees work half-heartedly and only for their salary. Employee engagement is a huge focus because disengagement is so rampant. Employees don't feel connected with their own selves or with each other or with their leaders. Its stressful to be working and everyone is waiting to hang-up their corporate boots some day to follow their heart, to come alive. There are off-sites to discuss mission, strategy, future etc. and everyone uses these as a way to get a breather from the boring routine and nobody remembers anything once they are back at work. Nobody understands what love is or what's that got to do with work. Leadership is bottom-line and top-line focussed. Another word for good is mediocrity and the organisation is only leading itself to a certain death sometime in the future.
A great organisation is purpose-inspired; significantly and positively impacts human consciousness and evolution; passion, commitment, accountability, self-inspiration & purpose drive the employees who joyously work with their heart, mind & soul; is in the blue ocean, is a market leader running a monopoly with its nearest competitor miles away; is in an effortless self-sustaining cycle of creativity, innovation and profitability. No employee engagement programs are needed because employees are deeply engaged and connected with their work, with each other and with their leaders. Employees live their purpose of life through their work; leave the day at work feeling rejuvenated and refreshed. There's focus on value-based leadership with leaders creating a space of compassionate love through nurturing, coaching and leading authentically by themselves doing 10 times what they tell their people to do. This results in breakthrough performance, productivity and profitability.
Well, isn't leading your organisation from good to great then a worthy goal?
If it is, then lets deep dive into what it takes to make that happen. There are three journeys that the CEO, the leader at the helm of the organisation would need to undertake simultaneously:
1. Leadership Depth
You cannot lead your organisation from good to great without deepening who you are as a human being, without being on your own journey of transformation and evolution from good to great. This is a journey over 5 Gears by dropping Limiting Habits and inculcating Growth Habits to create the highest level of health, fitness and well-being across all the 4 bodies (Physical, Emotional, Intellectual / Mental, Spiritual) of your Being.
Each Gear is about elevating one’s consciousness by developing a specific leadership muscle, working at the level of physical, emotional, mental and spiritual habits.
Gear 1: Discovering your destiny, your purpose this life-time. Strengthening Agility of Mind™ leadership muscle to experience unconditional love, gratitude and reverence for who you are as a human being. There is deep stillness within, with nowhere to go and nothing to prove.
Gear 2: Making a difference through your work, playing your big game with peace in your heart and mind. Strengthening Being of Service™ leadership muscle to see the light in everyone and have the leadership depth to give your unconditional love, gratitude and reverence to each one in your space, irrespective of however they are and however they are not. Experiencing oneness with the Universe.
Gear 3: Experiencing joy of effortless existence as the world around you experiences you as extraordinary. You receive unconditional love, gratitude and reverence from everyone as you strengthen your Communicating in the World of Others™ leadership muscle by coming from a place of - I believe in you. You communicate powerfully through committed listening.
Gear 4: Experiencing deep fulfilment as others in your space experience themselves as extraordinary and experience unconditional love, gratitude and reverence for themselves. The Authentic Leader in you is born as you get access to significant Power to Create™ by strengthening your Delivery on Your Word™ leadership muscle.
Gear 5: People in your space experience each other as extraordinary and give their unconditional love, gratitude and reverence to each other. Your presence causes a shift in the space around you as you inspire a culture of trust, partnership and compassionate love; with each one supporting the other to be successful. The Master in you is born, as you strengthen your Excellence™ leadership muscle to have your Power to Create™ in full bloom. You become The Master Creator. You intend; it gets created effortlessly and almost instantaneously.
2. Craft Mastery
For the organisation to cut-over to greatness, there is no other option but to be the world's best in whatever the organisation is upto. And, for that to happen, the employees need to be playing the game to be the world's best in whatever they are doing as part of the organized work. For the employees to be on the learning path to be masters of their domain, their craft; you absolutely guessed it - the CEO has to be playing the game to be the master of the domain the organization is in. This is also a journey over five stages.
1. Amateur: This is the stage of Passive Learning, when you learn on your own through reading works of masters in the field, training yourself through material available in the public domain.
2. Professional: This is the stage of Active Learning, when you implement whatever you are learning to make a difference to your chosen target community.
3. Expert: You become an Expert by learning through Apprenticeship, when you learn directly from an existing Master of your Craft.
4. Mentor: You become a mentor when you coach others to become Experts in your domain.
5. Master: You finally become a Master when you coach Experts to become Mentors in your domain. This is when you go inside your craft and become it.
3. Business Excellence
This is a journey over 5 mountains:
Mountain 1: Inquiring into his / her own Purpose, the CEO / Business Leader identifies a real experiential link between his / her purpose of life and what the organisation is up to in the world. Without this, there will be mediocrity and death which is the only outcome available to a good organisation. For the organisation to be on the path of greatness; the CEO / Business Leader has to be on the path of greatness working with a mission to transform the world, committed to make a huge difference, inspired to leave footprints in the sand of time.
Mountain 2: Discovering your organisation's Blue Ocean and a Compelling Value Proposition that has prospects chase you to become your customers instead of your business having to chase the customers. Till the time you don't have anything to offer that has customers chase you, you are playing a losing game.
Mountain 3: Iterating to create a robust Repeatable, Scalable and Profitable Business Model, giving your business a solid foundation of long-term value-creation for your customers and for your organisation. Here's how you test whether you are ready to cross this mountain -
a. Profitability - Is the cost of customer creation and product / service development & delivery substantially less than what she is willing to pay for?
b. Repeatability - Can you repeat the entire value creation cycle (from customer creation to post-sales service) following the same steps, with the same inputs and the same outputs, every time; delighting the customer the same extraordinary way each time?
c. Scalability - Can the entire process run without you?
Mountain 4: Scaling-up your business through Business Development, Operational Excellence and Extraordinary Service.
a. Nurturing Customer Relationships: Your sales team is more committed to the well-being of the community that your organisation serves (your customers) than to the commission that they will earn.
b. Operational Excellence: Bottoms-up continuous process automation and innovation to reduce costs, reduce time to do any specific activity and increase quality.
c. Extraordinary Service: Delighting customers with such amazing service, at levels that the customers have no right to expect.
Mountain 5: Creating a Self-Sustaining Business. The fifth stage is when the organisation no longer needs you and can function effectively without you, as you have not only created an organisation with strong, robust fundamentals but also have created succeeding leaders to take the organisation to its next level of evolution with even greater velocity. You are now free to contribute to the entire industry, leading the industry itself to transform through your thought leadership, impacting a lot more organisations simultaneously as you sit on multiple Boards of Directors and bring about social change, contributing to the evolution of the human race bringing people and countries together through who you have become as a human being as an outcome of leading your organisation from good to great.
The best way to travel on this path is to synchronise each of the five stages of Business Excellence, Leadership Depth and Craft Mastery.
A Journey Worthwhile
Yes, it is a long haul forward. Why should you make your life difficult to be on this path? Because this path supports you to have it all - deeply fulfilling successful career, joyful relationships, happy responsible kids and lots of nourishing me-time, while making a huge difference in the world through the work that you do. The old model of leadership only gives you a successful career but at the cost of everything else. In this new model of leadership, you have it all and experience not just a successful career but the joy of a super-successful career that creates a huge positive impact.
I believe this new model of leadership will transform what it means to be a business, a leader and a human being inside of that; helping each one of us to contribute massively to humanity, making a huge difference to our fellow beings around the world, through the shared wisdom of our common heritage, our creativity and innovation which is a privilege of our species, and authentic leadership in business and society; creating joy, harmony, peace, loving kindness and prosperity for all beings on our planet. It indeed is a journey worthwhile.
Bob has embraced the responsibility of leading the movement around the world to enable the shift from the old model of leadership sourced in fear and scarcity to the new model of leadership sourced in love and abundance through Truly Human Leadership. Though our approaches seem different; at the heart of it, we have the same goal-post. I feel fortunate to have him as a mentor and a guide, inspiring me to travel the path to our shared purpose.
He's a man on a mission; breathing, eating, living his purpose to transform the world and make a massive positive difference by delivering on a message for the world he feels grateful to be a channel for - a message of hope, a message to deliver humanity to the next level of its evolution through Truly Human Leadership.
I am deeply grateful to Bob for not only the massive contribution he has made to my life, but also the massive contribution he continues to make in the lives of my coachees through his mentoring sessions for them. My coachees are CEOs, Business Owners and Senior Business Leaders from India. By mentoring them on Truly Human Leadership, he has changed the way they lead their businesses and inside of that moved my country forward in her journey to be the world's most developed and beautiful nation - economically, socially, environmentally, intellectually, spiritually, and infra-structurally - with her citizens happiest, healthiest and the most prosperous in the world.
After a recent mentoring session with Bob, the recording of which is given at the top of this article, here's what my group shared through post-session Review and Reflection inputs collected from the participants on how they felt, the insights they had and the actions they are committed to take. I am simply blown away by the depth of impact Bob has had on the group in a mere 2.5 hours session with them. What enables transformation with greater velocity is to have a role model that you can see and learn from because it increases your belief that transformation is possible. And, when you can believe it is possible, then you can make it happen.
Reflection by the Participants post the Mentoring Session with Bob
How the participants felt as an outcome of the session: Positive, Inspired, Wiser, Focussed, Empowered, Rejuvenated, Energised, Grateful, Committed, Encouraged, Happy, Purpose-inspired, Insightful, Deeply moved.
The insights that the participants had that made a difference to them:
1. Business is the most powerful force for good in our society today. True business success is measured by the way we touch the lives of our people.
2. How we lead affects how we live. Organisations have a significant opportunity to treat people in a different way; a way that energises, provides purpose, and leads to personal growth.
3. You can't ask people to care. You have to teach them how to care.
4. Don't listen to debate, don't listen to judge, listen to understand.
5. It's the combination of Purpose, People and Performance that creates a winning organisation. An inspiring purpose, inspired people and business performance are all equally important. Only with business performance, a safe bus is created for people to journey towards fulfilling the organisation's shared purpose. It is the responsibility of the business leaders to create that safe bus.
6. The greatest acts of charity are not the cheques we write but how we treat our people every day.
7. Your culture can give you a competitive advantage.
8. Treat your low-performers as you would your own child when he / she is not performing well.
9. As leaders, we can't lose hope. We have to give hope and a grounded sense of future to your people.
10. Everyone is someone's precious child, so when someone joins our team, it is our responsibility to provide the care, inspiration and support that he or she needs to realise and achieve their dreams. This is true not only for our own people, but also for our business partners.
11. It takes real courage and skill to care about people.
12. Leadership = Parenting
13. Be the leader you would want your child to have.
14. Business model needs to take care of all the three - people, purpose and performance.
15. We need to practise Deep Listening and make everyone in the organisation feel that they matter.
16. Treat people with respect and dignity.
17. As a leader, we have the privilege of the stewardship of the lives in our care.
18. Leadership is caring and inspiring others to care.
19. Everyone wants to do better, TRUST THEM. Leaders are everywhere, FIND THEM. People achieve good things big and small things every day, CELEBRATE THEM. Some People wish things were a little different, LISTEN TO THEM. Everybody Matters, SHOW THEM.
20. If we build a great culture, then people want to work in our organisation. Though, don’t build culture to win the talent war. Build it because we truly care about people.
21. Make every employee feel that they matter.
22. It is important to give employees committed listening.
23. If we have to let go of an employee; call it an adjustment, instead of firing. And, do it with compassion and dignity so that the individual feels respected and cared for.
24. My role as a leader is a privilege and a blessed opportunity to touch people’s lives.
25. Everyone is someone’s precious child. I will always remember this when I am engaging with people, personally or professionally.
26. People simply want to know who they are and what they do matters.
27. Listen to understand and validate; and not to argue and debate.
28. A true leader doesn't tell his people what to do but asks questions that lead the people to the right decisions on their own.
The actions that the participants are committed to take in their lives, professionally and personally, that they feel would create breakthrough results for them:
1. Keep reminding myself of the huge responsibility I have as I am more important than their doctor in ensuring their health and well-being by being caring and respectful.
2. Treat home support staff with as much care, respect and dignity as for the office staff. Treat people at work like I would treat my son.
3. I will shift from hearing my vendors, suppliers and business partners to deep listening to really understand; relate to them as my family and truly care for them.
4. I will start Listening Sessions in my organisation. I will appreciate an employee 10 times for every negative critical feedback that I give.
5. Build a caring culture all across the organisation, not just focus on creating that in my CXO team.
6. Caring is a skill. I will practise it consciously at work and at home.
7. I will be a leader like a leader I would want my kids to have.
8. I will practise deep empathetic listening.
9. I will share with the Executive Committee and the entire organisation the concept of Everybody Matters and take actions to build a Caring Organisation. I will also plan a session on Bob Chapman's concept for the entire organisation.
10. When I am talking to my people, I will always remember that each one is someone's precious child.
11. I will be the harbinger of hope for my people, even during the turmoil we are going through as a business.
12. My job as a leader is to inspire people. I have people in my care. People simply want to know who they are and what they do matters. Listen to understand, not listen to judge. Elevate myself to almost a spiritual form of leadership and personally, learn how to deal with the emotional exhaustion that comes with having to listen.
13. I will practise to actively listen to my employees with the intention to really understand than to think of a smart response.
14. I will speak to more colleagues across functions and seniority in the company to build a strong connect.
15. I will make a conscious effort to practice deep listening with everyone in my life.
Thank you, Bob, for being the trailblazer and leading the way to create a more caring and a loving world. May God continue to give you inner strength, health and well-being to spread your Light far and wide. You are making a huge difference.
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