For Bob Chapman, CEO of the $2 billion, 9,000-employee Barry-Wehmiller, the duties of an outstanding leader can be summed up in a 12-step checklist.
What should great leaders do at their jobs every day?
That basic question--asked by a manager at Barry-Wehmiller (B-W), a $2 billion capital equipment and engineering consulting company based in St. Louis--inspired longtime CEO Bob Chapman and his executive team to create a checklist that literally told managers how to spend their time.
B-W's culture has been praised by purpose-based leadership guru Simon Sinek for its high level of trust between managers and employees. Documents like the checklist and B-W's "Guiding Principles of Leadership" have helped to cultivate that trust. In a new book, Everybdoy Matters: The Extraordinary Power of Caring for Your People like Family, due out October 6, Chapman and Raj Sisodia, professor at Babson College and author of Conscious Capitalism, share the checklist in full.
Fans of checklists will be delighted to find that B-W's hews to the principles Atul Gawande spelled out in his classic book on the subject, The Checklist Manifesto. It uses simple sentence structure and basic language. It's made for fast scanning, not detailed analysis. It's only 12 items long--short enough for managers to use as a cheat sheet.
And it begins with a simple statement of purpose: "I accept the awesome responsibility of leadership. The following statements describe my essential actions as a leader." Here are the 12 statements, which can help leaders in any organization do their jobs:
1. I practice stewardship of the Guiding Principles of Leadership through my time, conversations, and personal development.
2. I advocate safety and wellness through my actions and words.
3. I reflect to lead my team in Achieving Principled Results on Purpose.
4. I inspire passion, optimism, and purpose.
5. My personal communication cultivates fulfilling relationships.
6. I foster a team community in which we are committed to each other and to the pursuit of a common goal.
7. I exercise responsible freedom, empowering each of us to achieve our potential.
8. I proactively engage in the personal growth of individuals on my team.
9. I facilitate meaningful group interactions.
10. I set, coach to, and measure goals that define winning.
11. I recognize and celebrate greatness in others.
12. I commit to daily continuous improvement.
The checklist ends with another simple statement of purpose: "When we engage our heads, hearts, and hands around these habits, extraordinary levels of trust and fulfillment will result."