Bob Chapman: Inspiring Empathy Through Truly Human Leadership

November 22, 2023 00:37:20
Bob Chapman: Inspiring Empathy Through Truly Human Leadership
AYNA INSIGHTS
Bob Chapman: Inspiring Empathy Through Truly Human Leadership

Nov 22 2023 | 00:37:20

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Show Notes

What if managing employees wasn’t a responsibility, but a privilege? What if, before efficiencies and synergies, empathy was a driving force in leadership? In this episode, Connor Bradley speaks with Bob Chapman, Chairman and CEO of Barry-Wehmiller, a leader who transformed his company with a potent mix of strategy and culture, shaping a vision that breathes life and meaning into Barry-Wehmiller team members’ existence.

Bob Chapman is widely recognized as a transformative leader from the manufacturing industry. As CEO of Barry-Wehmiller, a global supplier of manufacturing technology and services, he has grown his company through a prolifically successful acquisition strategy. Chapman's deep understanding of leadership and his unique methods have made him a bestselling author and speaker. Chapman has successfully instilled a culture of empathy and purpose within Barry-Wehmiller, solidifying his position as a revolutionary in both business and leadership.

 

Discussion Points

Ayna Insights is brought to you by Ayna.AI—a managed service provider that combines domain expertise and transformation capabilities to create alpha—performance superior to market indices—in the industrial and industrial technology sector. The host of this episode, Bradley, is a Senior Analyst at Ayna.AI.

 

For More Information

Barry-Wehmiller

Truly Human Leadership Blog

Book: Everybody Matters

Chapman & Co.

Book: The Titanium Economy

Ayna.AI Website

Connor Bradley Profile

 

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Episode Transcript

[00:00:03] Speaker A: Welcome to INA Insights, where prominent leaders and influencers shaping the industrial and industrial technology sector discuss topics that are critical for executives, boards and investors. INA Insights is brought to you by Ina AI, a firm focused on working with industrial companies to make them unrivaled. Segment of One Leaders to learn more about INA AI, please visit our website at WW INA AI. [00:00:40] Speaker B: Good Afternoon, folks, and Happy Halloween. Welcome to another episode of our Titanium Economy podcast series hosted by Ina AI. Our guest Today is Mr. Bob Chapman, CEO and Chairman of Barry Waymiller Companies. Barry Waymiller is a leading global supplier of manufacturing technology and services. They were founded in 1897 and are based today in St. Louis, Missouri. Barry Waymiller Companies has executed 130 plus acquisitions, growing from a $20 million business in 1987 to over $3.6 billion today. In 2016, it was ranked number ten on the St. Louis Business Journal's list of the city's top 150 privately held companies. A little bit about Mr. Chapman Mr. Chapman joined the company in 1975 as a senior executive. Over the next 45 years, Mr. Chapman has applied a unique blend of strategy and culture to lead Barry Waymiller through a period of prolific growth and transformation. Chapman's experiences and the transformation he championed were the inspiration behind his 2015 Wall Street Journal bestseller, Everybody Matters, the extraordinary power of caring for your people like family. This book has been printed in eight languages, and in 2016, Harvard Business School released a case study featuring Barry Waymiller's unique approach to business, which is now taught at over 70 business schools worldwide. Lastly, in 2013, Bob and his wife Cynthia, launched a nonprofit, the Chapman foundation for caring Communities, to bring the company's groundbreaking listen like a leader training to communities. And in 2015, the Chapman and Co Leadership Institute was founded to bring Barry Waymiller's culture, transformation, and leadership training to for profit organizations. Bob, welcome to the podcast. Sorry, I almost ran out of breath running through your resume there. It's quite impressive. Super excited to have you on and looking forward to talking about Barry Waymiller and your journey today. [00:02:43] Speaker C: Well, I appreciate the opportunity to stand on the top of every mountain and share this blessing we've been given as the way the world was intended to be. [00:02:53] Speaker B: Excellent. So let's start by talking about Barry Waymiller. How would you kind of describe the company's overall strategy and mission, and what are your top priorities when you wake up in the morning? [00:03:04] Speaker C: Our strategy is pretty simple, to create a grounded sense of hope for the people we have the privilege of leading. That sounds like a very lofty statement, but I think our focus is on giving people a sense of meaning and purpose in their professional lives so they can go home at night, being good stewards of their families, having been valued for 40 hours a week. Because, again, one of our revelations is that we realize we have people in our care for 40 hours a week, and the way we treat them will have a profound impact on their life. So I wake up every day making sure that this organization, this global organization, truly cares for the people. We have the privilege of lead and gives them a grounded sense of hope for the future so they can make personal decisions, getting married, raising children, buying a home, educating their kids, because they feel safe and valued in our organization. That's what I wake up every day preoccupied with, that stewardship of the 13,000 to 14,000 lives. [00:04:08] Speaker B: Excellent. Yeah, I think that's super insightful, because I think in a lot of ways today people hear 40 hours work week and it's triggering or it's anxiety inducing, but you try to make those 40 hours maybe flip from the traditional narrative. [00:04:23] Speaker C: Well, remember, we live in a country where we have TGIF. Thank God it's Friday. Get the hell out of this place and go drown my pain with beer. I imagine, and you'll know it by the end of this podcast. I imagine a world where we go from TGIF to TGIM. Thank goodness it's Monday. Get away from the kids, the spouse, the chores, and be with a group of people I really enjoy spending my time with. So that's our envision, is the time we have. You in our care will be a source of meaningful joy and human experiences. So you can go home at night healthy and ready to take on the challenges of parenting and being a community member. [00:05:01] Speaker B: Yeah, that's phenomenal. And now, when you joined Barry WayMiller, it was an 80 year old company, and I'd imagine not all of those values were yet instilled. So what were some of the challenges that you faced in terms of kind of an old school ways of working and mindset, and what were the principles that you stuck to to produce a real 21st century industrial company and culture? [00:05:25] Speaker C: Well, I stepped into a company that my dad, in 1953, was doing the audit of a family held company by the Way Miller family. Barry Way Miller was owned by the Way Miller family then and the 1950s. He invested $30,000 that eventually became control of the company. So he stepped into a pretty weak old company that is technology that not involved since the 1930s. It was still alive, but barely. And what I would say to you is what I stepped into, which I see in a lot of companies, is a reactive company. They react to the customer needs a quote, we got a problem, we need to hire people. So we kind of step in just dealing with the day to day issues that can feel our day. And the biggest transformation was to get them to what I call vision. Where are we going? Why do we want to go there? And when we get there, why will we have taken our people to a better place? So kind of going from kind of an eclectic, typical company where we deal with day to day issues to having some sense of where we're going, and then we deal with the issues we face in the context of where we're going. That's a huge shift in mindset in most companies. I see people get very much engaged in the day to day issues as opposed to understanding where they're going. The most important thing we do as leaders is have a sense of where we're going. So some people say it's about building a safe, getting the right people on the bus. I believe it's about building a safe bus, which is your business, and designing it safely, and then having leaders who know where they're going and how to drive that bus. And then anybody that is invited on that bus will be just fine. So I just was blessed with a different way of looking at leadership, which is, again, looking at the people we have the privilege of leading, not the job of leading, the privilege of leading and giving them a grounded sense of hope for the future. That is a huge responsibility for all of us in leadership positions. [00:07:25] Speaker B: Yeah, absolutely. And I think especially today, when you talk about leadership in business, when you've got this really host of dynamic macroeconomic factors that we haven't seen before. I mean, some of it financial, rising interest rates and a rising national debt, but also geopolitical conflict and technical evolution with AI and the questions that poses to job security. So which macroeconomic developments do you see as kind of most critical to your sector and your company, and how do you think about addressing those you've mentioned. [00:08:02] Speaker C: The typical Wall Street Journal headline news of all the issues we face, which is, again, kind of back to my point, the way we typically talk about issues that are identified right before us. I would say to you the issue I'm most concerned with was not on your list. And it was really called, it's called a poverty of dignity. Tom Friedman mentioned it in the New York Times article. He said, more than a poverty of money, we have a poverty of dignity. And I see a lot of these issues. Remember we have the most prosperous economy in our history, and we have the highest level of suicide. We have the highest level of depression and anxiety we've ever had, because people don't feel valued, they feel used. So the biggest issue I'm concerned with is not the war in Ukraine or the Russian Palestinian conflict or the inclusion diversity issues. I'm concerned with the fact that even absent any of those issues, even in a prosperous economy, we are seeing the destruction of the family, of the community, because we're sending people home after 40 hours a week, exhausted, stressed, worried about their job and their future. And they're not good spouses, they're not good parents. So the bigger issue I see is the destruction of our culture for economic gain. We assumed if we paid people well and give them benefits, we'd have a good society. Well, we pay people at record levels and record level of benefits, and we have the highest level of anxiety, suicide, and depression we've ever had. And it's because we forgot one big thing. When we were designing the industrial Revolution, we forgot to create leaders who have the skills and courage to care for the people that would come together in these organizations that were formed in industrial revolution. Because remember, even in the early days of the industrial revolution, unions were formed to protect workers from management. So the big thing I would say to you, the big issue I'm concerned with is the mental health, the physical health of our communities, of our families, of our companies, because we forgot one critical thing. We forgot to teach people how to care for each other as we came together off the farms into factories instead of using each other. So that's the worry concern. These other issues, we'll get through. We've got through them before. And remember, if Ford designs a new F 150, they drive it into the worst terrains to see how the chassis, the engine hold up. Well, if you design a business model, which all those people listening on this podcast will have done, if you design a business model, drive it into the eight nine economic crisis, which is a crisis in my lifetime, the worst. I've seen legendary companies like GE crashed and have never been the same. And many other companies suffered tremendous losses, hurt a lot of people with layoffs, our share price went up 11%, and we let nobody go. So our business model, which I said to you is the primary responsibility for caring, because you can't care for your family if you don't produce a reasonable income. You can't care for your people in your company unless you produce a reasonable income. And so I would say to you that our business model has been tested in the worst economic conditions from eight, nine to COVID to hyperinflation. And we have performed in any one of those. So that is my main focus, is to make sure that we can care for the people, these 13,000 people who count on us so they can raise a family and count on us to support their income. So that's my main preoccupy. I'm not worried with these other issues. We'll get to these others. Compared to eight, nine and COVID, they seem kind of minor, horrible issues, but relative to the impact of COVID So anyway, that's my focus is on our people and make sure that they are safe in our care. [00:12:03] Speaker B: Excellent. Now, I think if Wall Street Journal, if you're listening, the next time you publish an article about the generative AI threat, maybe we talk about the dignity drought instead. [00:12:13] Speaker C: We'll get the poverty of dignity. Tom Friedman wrote this, and he said, when people don't feel valued, they feel a sense of humiliation. And when they feel a sense of humiliation, you'll see anger and unrest like you've never seen before. And he quotes Nelson Mandela in this context. Guess what we're seeing in the streets of America and the cities. Anger and unrest over various issues expressed all different kinds of issues, because people don't feel cared for, they feel used, which is true. I was never taught in my college education to care for people. I was taught to use people to achieve organizational goals. And we are suffering dramatically from that today in mental health, which affects parenting, which affects our kids, which affects drugs and alcohol addiction. So we need to reverse, and our purpose needs to be our people, where we create human value and economic value. [00:13:14] Speaker B: Absolutely. I think it's something we'll touch on the next segment of the podcast. You're doing it. A very excellent clip. So before touching upon that, though, maybe we'll pivot to a little bit about the unique business model that Barry Waymiller employs. And I mentioned at the beginning of the podcast, you guys have performed over 130 acquisitions over your kind of tenure. So it's obvious that M and A has played a huge role in the Barry Waymiller playbook for success. When you think about this playbook, how do you think about finding companies completing transactions and then ultimately integrating them into the way Miller family that you are so passionate about? And what are the keys to success? [00:13:56] Speaker C: Yeah, it really began in about 1984 when our historic business was suffering significantly. And I went to our team and I said, I'm proud of our history, but our history does not give us the future that our people deserve. And I'm not an engineer, so I couldn't develop a new product. So I said, I'm going to follow a company I'd studied, Emerson Electric, who had grown dramatically through acquisitions, and I'm going to start looking for companies that give us a better future. My only problem is, I had no money. And so I began with great intensity because of the lack of resources. But I looked for companies over time that gave us balance, so that we would not be too concentrated with any one industry, anyone, technology, any one market. So should something change, we would hurt our people. So balance was a huge word that I shaped my acquisitions. I didn't want to be dominated in any one market. And today, we are dramatically balanced. And so what we've created through that vision of balance is, again, our 130 acquisitions had us in the range of making tissue equipment, corrugating equipment, packaging equipment, medical devices, insurance services, all with the same mentality. So some people might call us a diversified company. I would call us a balanced company. So, again, that business model that I scrapped, you was tested in eight, nine, and we did extremely well despite that. So we look for businesses that have recurring revenue, aftermarket revenue, spare parts, field service, and upgrades, because that is very predictable over a long period of time. We look at businesses that have daily revenue, which is consulting, which is the second third of our business. So, consulting, which is daily revenue, and then capital spending, which is more cyclical to interest rates and economic factors. We can handle the ups and downs of the cyclicality piece because the stability provided by daily revenue and recurring revenue gives us that. So, again, you've got to have a business model design, okay? And again, the biggest word I learned, I learned it the hard way, because we were highly concentrated in the brewing industry and highly concentrated with a few breweries. And when their situation changed, it almost killed us. And I said, never again will I put our people at risk with high concentration of customers in market. I mean, NCR, cash registers, Polaroid film, Kodak, a lot of companies that were legendary, companies that were not balanced, and technology changed, and they found themselves in a difficult position. So we are balanced in every way you can imagine, which I think is important in your personal life and your professional life. And we just bring a common mindset to each of those factors, because the leadership challenges are identical in each one of them. And so, again, that balance. So we've created through that 130 acquisitions, a great balance between industries, product and services that has been tested in eight, nine, and in the COVID environment as our share price has grown about 14% a year, compounded for 25 years. [00:17:11] Speaker B: Wow. That's incredible. And I think you alluded to this a little bit, but as you were talking, and I match the scale that Barry Waymiller has accomplished with your leadership style, which is so culture. First, would you say that, does the scale threaten that ability to care for your people? Or have you found a way to scale that cultural element as well? [00:17:36] Speaker C: Well, people always wonder, Bob, how do you create this culture with 130 adoptions, acquisitions, adoptions around the world? And I said it's as easy as feeding candy to kids, because I have found from China to India to Germany to Serbia to France, people simply want to know they matter. And as leaders, we get the chance to show that. So I have found culturally, and I would tell you also, we didn't embrace these focuses of caring to any other reason than if you are going to join our firm, our commitment to you is try to help you live a life of meaning and purpose by caring about you. We had no idea that you would tell us that you're a better husband, a better wife, a better mother, a better father. As a result of that was a byproduct, and we didn't have any idea that it would be incredibly attractive to talent. The talent that is joining our company today is unbelievable. And they say the number one at a time when talent is short, guess what? We have tremendous influx of new talent as our company is growing because of our culture. Okay. And then I'll ask them, after they joined us, what was your impression? We read about your culture, and we thought it was too good to be true, and we actually find it to be better than we thought. And this is around the world. This is not an American issue. People around the world simply want to know they matter. Okay. And when you show them, this is something I want your listeners to hear. The bad news about COVID it was highly contagious. The good news about caring, it's even more contagious than COVID. We had no idea when I simply wanted to send you home feeling valued and showed that I cared for you, that it would release in you the capacity to care for others. So Washington University in Georgetown did a study of our culture, and they found a high degree of altruism, which means the willingness to do something for somebody else without expecting anything in return. And they had never seen that in a company. So when we all have the capacity to care, that is held back by our feeling of lack of safety, insecurity, stress, but when you show people you care, it releases in them the capacity to care, and it's dramatic. So I would say to you that as we have grown bigger, our culture has been easier to implement because it's kind of like a flywheel. The momentum is dramatic, and it is attracting talent, and it is attracting almost every one of our acquisitions. Last year, our biggest year ever in our history, was driven because of our culture, which we didn't do it for that reason. But when people are looking alternatives to transition out of their company and they see our culture and they actually care about their people, they want to talk to us. [00:20:29] Speaker B: Yeah. And how do you, as you reach such scale? I think it's great that you kind of champion this message from the top down, but how do you find leaders in kind of the middle layers, if you will, or at the N minus one, the N minus two that are willing to kind of pick the same battle and really adopt those same values? How much of it is sourcing the right people, training on the job? And what have you noticed with that? [00:21:01] Speaker C: Well, back about 18 years ago, when we started this journey, we realized that we can't ask our people to care, our leaders to care. We had to teach them how to care. You can't ask your leaders to speak Chinese. You would have to teach them to speak Chinese. Caring, it turns out, is a teachable skill. Okay, and so what? We began as a university internally because we said we can't send our people to major universities to learn how to become a leader, as opposed to. Because our whole goal was to convert managers into leaders. My description of the word management means the manipulation of others for your success. Leadership is the stewardship, the privilege to lead the people you have the privilege of leading. It's a dramatically different perspective on that responsibility. One is a job and one is a privilege. And so what we realized is we had to create a university to teach our frontline leaders, who 80% of our people work for. We need to start with our frontline leaders. So we start a university, and we teach three things. Empathetic listening, which turns out to be the most profound thing we teach about creating leaders is the ability not to judge people, but to listen to them with empathy. It's profound. Second thing is we teach recognition and celebration. How do you let people know they matter in thoughtful, timely, appropriate ways? And third is culture of service, seizing the opportunity to serve others. So we began teaching this to frontline leaders. And grown men and women would cry in their classes because they'd realized that while professionally, they had done well, that they had actually hurt people because they didn't know how to become a leader. So we actually developed Barry Weimley University, and we started teaching frontline leaders all over the world. And we found it. The teaching fundamentals are the same in China, India, Germany, Italy. It's about listening, about recognize the goodness in people and serving others, moving from a kind of a me centric world. It's all about me and my career to a we centric world. So the bigger we got, the easier it was to scale this, because it's anything with momentum, because caring is contagious. I want you to remember that caring is contagious. When people feel genuinely cared for, it releases them the capacity to care for others. We learned that. We didn't know that, but that's what we learned in this journey based on the feedback from our team members. So I would say to you, we didn't just say, we all need to start caring. We decided we needed to teach people how to care, to create disciples of this leadership principle that would carry on, because my greatest fear is that I was blessed with a message that could heal this world and it would die with me. And so our goal was to create disciples that would carry this on beyond my time so that we could begin healing this poverty of dignity that we have in the world. [00:24:09] Speaker B: That's excellent. And I think when you listed those kind of three tenets of your kind of leadership teachings, the second one really kind of rang true for me. You talk about recognition and celebration. I remember one time when I was studying in college, kind of took an inventory of the people that were most kind of contagiously positive, and you'd always want to be around. And that was certainly a trait that I saw come up over and over again. They're not hesitating to let you know they like your shirt or that you've done good work on this assignment. I think that's really powerful. [00:24:44] Speaker C: Well, I had the privilege of speaking at the Air Force, and I had a group of squadron commanders sitting in a room, and I said, even in the Air Force, I said, what does great leadership look like in the United States Air Force known for its leadership? One gentleman, one squadron commander raised his hand and he said, I had a great leader about ten years ago, said, great. What made him a good leader? And he said, I think he cared about me. Okay. That is what we are trying to show. To not use people to achieve goals, but to care for people, to create human dignity and economic value in harmony. It's just a totally different lens to see leadership, because the way I was taught leadership is about achieving results, okay? Market share gains, cost reduction, profit improvement, organic growth. So all numeric and until we create these human goals, we are self destructing as a civilization for economic gain. [00:25:49] Speaker B: Interesting. No, I think great things to chew on and I think maybe a good segue as we talk about the formalization of some of this education that you've done would be your book, Everybody Matters, the Extraordinary power of caring for your people, like family. For those who haven't read it, could you share a bit of a teaser on some of the motivating thoughts of creating a book? Obviously you established the internal trainings and have spoke across, but why write a book on it? [00:26:20] Speaker C: Well, Simon Senec's publisher, Adrian ZeckheImer with Penguin Books heard about our leadership philosophy and I was having dinner with him one time. He said, bob, you're going to write a book. And I said, I'm not going to write a book. I'm an accountant from North St. Louis, front of manufacturing, said, bob, you're going to write a book. And I said, I would probably land on the moon before I write a book. So I dismissed it. And then a gentleman, many people started hearing about our culture coming in to see it. And this one gentleman, Srikamar Rao, who was a contributing editor to Forbes, who came in to see our culture, and he spent two days talking to our people. And he sat down across from me, said, bob, I've interviewed hundreds if not thousands of CEOs. I have never seen anything like I've seen here in Barry Weimbler. You have got to write a book and share this with the world. He was incredibly convincing that we had been given a blessing that we were obligated to share. So I said, well, I can't write a book. I'm an accountant. So Raj Chazodio was recommended to me, who wrote the book on conscious capitalism, the story of Whole Foods. And I contact Raj and I said, raj, would you consider being my co author? And he said, well, Bob, sounds like you've got a nice company, but I can't write a book about every nice company. I said, well, maybe you'd like to come and visit sometime. And I kind of didn't think much about it. Well, Raj came about three or four months later to visit, spent the two days talking to our people and he said, bob, this is the book that has to be written and I'm going to write it. And it really impacted Raj's because after he wrote our book on everybody matters, he wrote a book on healing organizations, how organizations could be a source of healing. So the purpose of the book was to share this blessing we've been given about the way the world was intended to be, where people genuinely care for each other, not use each other, but care for each other. And the first third of the book is really. It's technically called the Hero's JourNey. How I went from management to leadership in my life. That's the first third. And then how to. And again, we were just told this weekend that it's topped 110,000 copies in eight languages around the world. And I hear almost every day of somebody at some university saying that they studied us and that it dramatically impacted us. So the purpose of the book was to share the blessing we had been given about the way the world was intended to be, where people care for each other, and we achieve organizational goals through inspiration and caring. Not just manipulation people. Not using people, but caring for people. That's a big difference, because I was. Remember, the big revelation I had is that the way I was taught and the way I experienced out in the world is I saw people as functions. Engineers, accountants, hourly workers, union workers, machinists, assemblers, et cetera. We describe people as functions, and I needed them for my success. Okay? I was a nice guy. We had a nice company, a typically nice company, and I was doing fine. But that day that I had a revelation that I capture in the book, where the lens through which I saw the people in our organization went from seeing them as functions to seeing them as somebody's precious child that was placed in my care for 40 hours a week, knowing that the way I treat them would profoundly affect them and my standard of care. I want to treat the people in our organization no less than I'd want to be treated myself or want my children treated. That's what changed everything for us. Okay. When you see the people as functions for your success, they're disposable. You can lay them off, downsize them, fire them, because they're just functions. But when you see them as somebody's precious child who simply wants to know they matter, because remember one of the. You talk about recognition and celebration. We got that from Cynthia and I, raising six kids. If you don't compliment your kids five times more than you suggest things they could do better, it's very difficult for them. And I realize adults are identical. So we have. It's called shining a light in the organization, looking for the goodness and holding up. So we have a major effort all the time. We don't give out really years of service because you can be here 25 years and be abusive for 25 years. Why would I celebrate somebody for that? We celebrate people for their goodness. And when you hold up Mary or Lou or Fred or Susie and say thank you, you've been nominated by your peers for your goodness, your acts of goodness in the company, I want to thank you. It is profoundly meaningful. And so we spend more time catching people doing things right. So when things don't go so right, we can deal with it because we're filled with the joy of the goodness of the people. It is powerful. And so that's one of the things we teach. Just like listening is a skill, recognizing the goodness in others is a teachable skill. Okay. And when you recognize Bill or Mary for their goodness, everybody feels good because they know they deserved it. So I don't even know how to quantify what it means to people when you have a DNA of looking for the goodness and saying thank you. [00:31:42] Speaker B: Yeah. No, I think what you talk about with the perspective shift of the way you view people as people to care for rather than functions is super powerful. And maybe one kind of question to close us off here is for the executives in the audience that hear, I think, some of the power of your message in terms of being able to have that perspective shift be at ODS with business outcomes that they're held accountable for and they have to deliver on. How do you navigate those decisions where perhaps culture and business are most at ODs? And do you have any examples or lessons learned for listeners that hear it in one ear, but then remember their revenue targets, profitability targets? [00:32:29] Speaker C: Well, probably the story most people remember and can relate to. Simon Senec tells this story all over the world. But in eight, nine, I went, walked into my board meeting in January of nine, and my board looked at me and said, don't we need to lay off people? I said, why do you say that? And I said, well, everybody's letting people go. And I said, I think we're going to be OK because we got a good backlog. A couple of months later, I was traveling in Italy, our Italian operations. I got an email from the States that one of our largest customer put a major order on hold. So it's one thing not to get new orders, it's another thing to have your backlog disappear. So I remember sitting in my hotel room in Italy saying, oh my God, it's hit us. What am I going to do? And I went back to our guiding principle of leadership. I said, we're going to measure success by the way we touch the lives of people. And if we let people go in this environment, we are going to hurt people. And so that way of thinking changed the lens through which I saw the options. And I came up with something I'd never heard of, never done before. So I sent an email back motivated by our principal, I don't want to hurt people. What would a caring family do? I sent an email back to the States and I said, I'll be back in a few days. Be ready to brainstorm and implement how to implement a furlough program where we ask people to take a month off without pay. Without pay. They can have it whenever they want, so it can be quality time with their family or their events, and that'll save us $10 million and get us through this crisis. I thought. I emailed back to the States. I landed, I came back. They had come up with a way, and we said to everybody in the company, we're going to ask you to take a month off without pay, not to work without pay, but just take some quality time. And the reaction was unbelievably positive because people were willing to give up a month's pay to, A, to know they had a job, and B, to know that by doing so, they had sacrificed themselves in service of their fellow team members. So not looking at Mary or Bill sitting next to you who are going to get laid off even though you kept your job, it was profound. And we got through that downturn without letting anybody go. We actually validated our culture. So the lens through which we dealt with a classic cris, downturn in the economy, downturn in your orders. And we said, we're going to get this through this as a caring family, and we're all going to suffer a little bit. So nobody has to suffer a lot. And it was profound. Simon Sinek talks about that all over the world. It was in the book. But that was driven by us having a principle. We're going to measure success by the way we touch the lives of people, our customers, our bankers, our suppliers, our clients. There's a lot of people, and we need to think about everything we do in the context of not hurting people that put their trust in us. [00:35:24] Speaker B: No. Excellent. And, Bob, I'm not just saying this to pander to the listeners, but I did get goosebumps when, you know, I went back to the guiding principle. We measure our success by the way we impact people. So that was super profound and a great story. So thank you for sharing that with us and thank you for coming on to the podcast today. I think this has been a really insightful conversation and look forward to collaborating in the future. Do you have any kind of closing remarks that you'd like to give the listeners? [00:35:53] Speaker C: No, I think I'd leave you with that. We can heal this poverty of dignity if we all embrace the profound opportunity we have to touch people's lives, not just to create economic value, but human value. And the reason I shared with you our share price has gone up 14% a year is to validate. You can create human value and economic value in harmony. They're not in disharmony and business because we have people in our care for 40 hours a week. We can heal this poverty of dignity and heal this brokenness in our families and our kids. We in business have a profound opportunity to improve the lives of the people in the world by embracing a human model in harmony with an economic model. So thank you for the opportunity to share this with your listeners. I hope I've touched their heart and their mind, because I'm not giving you academic theory. I'm telling you exactly what we have actually done that we feel blessed with, that we want to share with people like you. Thank you. [00:36:52] Speaker B: I think you certainly have. Thanks a ton, Bob. Take care. [00:36:54] Speaker C: Okay, take care. Bye bye. [00:37:01] Speaker A: Thanks for listening to INA Insights. Please visit Ina AI for more podcasts, publications, and events on developments shaping the industrial and industrial technology sector.

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