Everybody Matters – Bob Chapman and Raj Sisodia

“Everybody Matters is about what happens when ordinary people throw away long-accepted management practices and start operating from their deepest sense of right, with a sense of profound responsibility for the lives entrusted to them.”

Having experienced the sting of being let go due to a workforce reduction after dedicating six years to a company, “Everybody Matters: The Extraordinary Power of Caring for Your People Like Family” by Bob Chapman and Raj Sisodia hits close to home.

This is a book that emphasizes the importance of treating employees with care, respect, and dignity to create a successful and sustainable business. The “People First Approach” argues that businesses should prioritize the well-being of their employees above all else. When employees feel valued, respected, and cared for, they are more likely to be engaged, productive, and loyal.

The book serves as a powerful reminder of the importance of treating employees with care and respect, not only for their sake but also for the long-term success of the business. Through its stories and examples, “Everybody Matters” illuminates the path to a more human-centered workplace culture. It shows that companies can thrive while prioritizing the well-being of their employees, rather than viewing them as expendable assets. It emphasizes the transformative impact that a people-first approach can have on organizational culture, employee engagement, and business performance.

As I navigated my next career step, I thought it was important to seek out a company whose culture and values aligned closely with my own. I prioritized organizations that valued knowledge sharing, challenged my skills, invested in employee (and product) development, and upheld principles of fairness in pay and working hours. I think all these factors make a job worth it and this book provides insight into how a company can achieve this kind of supportive and inclusive culture.


  1. There is a big difference between understanding the value of the people inside an organization and actually making decisions that consider their needs. It’s like saying, “My kids are my priority,” but always putting work first.
  2. Good people put in a bad environment are capable of doing bad things.
  3. Leaders are responsible for overseeing the environment in which people are asked to work… and the people will act in accordance with that culture.
  4. Business leaders are always looking for investments with the potential for good returns, but our focus is on creating value for all stakeholders.
  5. Everything we consider valuable in life and business begins and ends with people.
  6. We first have to radically change the way we think about business, about people, and about leadership. If we do so, we can build thriving organizations that bring joy and fulfillment to all who serve them and depend on them.
  7. Walk with the dreamers, the believers, the courageous, the cheerful, the planners, the doers, and the successful people with their heads in the clouds and their feet on the ground. Let their spirit ignite a fire within you to leave this world better than when you found it.
  8. The best strategy in business is a combination of organic growth and strategic acquisitions.
  9. There is no such thing as an underperforming team, only underperforming leaders.
  10. We were learning how to inspire people to solve problems rather than trying to manage them out of problems.
  11. But the sustainable human solution is not to remove from the “bottom” and add to the “top” (which are highly subjective judgments anyway); it is to bring everybody up.
  12. Every person has such gifts; great leaders know how to uncover them.
  13. It’s not about getting the best, it’s about enabling the people I have to be the best they can.
  14. “The thing that makes us love our jobs is not the work that we’re doing, it’s the way we feel when we go there. We feel safe; we feel protected; we feel that someone wants us to achieve more and is allowing us to prove to them and ourselves that we can do that. And by the way, it’s good for innovation, it’s good for progress, and it’s good for profit.”
  15. Our responsibility as leaders, be it in business, the military, government, or education, is to create an environment where people can discover their gifts, develop their gifts, share their gifts, and be recognized and appreciated for doing so – which creates an opportunity for them to have a more meaningful life, a life of purpose in which they feel valued and get a chance to be what they were brought onto this earth to be.
  16. Be patient with those who don’t “get it”: People may have been abused by other leaders. Give them time and space to heal.
  17. Ironically, many family businesses are the least family-like in their cultures.
  18. “People who worked in a culture where they felt free to express affection, tenderness, caring, and compassion for one another were more satisfied with their jobs, committed to the organization, and accountable for their performance.”
  19. When so many people go home each night feeling not valued, it is no surprise that we see so much conflict in families and our communities today. We in business are creating that problem because we see people as objects for our success and not as precious human beings.
  20. But the fact is that the way we treat people at work affects the way they feel and how they treat the people in their life.
  21. Emotional contagion is the unconscious transmission of actions or emotions from one individual to another. People are “walking mood inductors,” continuously influencing the judgments and behaviors of others.
  22. Women are more susceptible to emotional contagion than men, for biological and social reasons. Women are usually better at decoding nonverbal communications and are socialized to be emotionally responsive and expressive.
  23. People are not aware of the influence that others’ emotions have on their own emotions and behaviors and often do not realize when the process is happening.
  24. Devote yourself not to firing people, but to allowing them to contribute, and if they fail, help them up; and if they fail again, help them up again… If you think you are too busy to give time and energy to your people, then they’re too busy to give time and energy to you. It is a balanced equation.
  25. “People, Purpose, and Performance” It all starts with our focus on the people whose lives are entrusted to us.
  26. Then we rally around a shared purpose to inspire the best in each other and create value through our performance to sustain and evolve our organization.
  27. Why are we going there? How will each of our stakeholders be in a better place when we get there? A good vision sets goals, inspires all team members, and allows leaders to make decisions that move us toward where we are going.
  28. Vulnerability is also key. We teach our leaders to share their strengths as well as their challenges. This creates an environment where others feel comfortable to share.
  29. Patience requires the ability to see beyond the immediate to the greater opportunity that our vision promises. We focus on what is working and are incredibly patient with those who don’t seem to “get it.”
  30. One great truth that we’ve learned is this: The people are just fine; it’s our leadership that’s lacking.
  31. Helps people look at their workplace through the lens of continuous improvement.
  32. Allow people to see tangible changes in the workplace in a few short days.
  33. Empower individuals to look at their workspace and self-select items to eliminate; you must clear out the clutter before you have room to add in new behaviors.
  34. Break down silos: All 75 events have cross-functional teams. This is where engineers who have been designing parts for twenty years and machinists who have been building parts for twenty years meet, often for the first time.
  35. Establish a rhythm and discipline to improving, checking, and improving some more.
  36. Lean is the combination of mindsets, tools, and facilitated interactions that help us.
  37. To get trust, you have to freely give it. Leaders must start by trusting their people to use their own judgment and follow their own instincts rather than controlling them with too many directives and rules.
  38. We give people the opportunity to take ownership in areas that they are truly passionate about and in which they are willing to step up and lead.
  39. In most organizations, people do the right thing most of the time, but most communication is about the things that go wrong.
  40. We recognize and celebrate people simply to let them know that they matter.
  41. The most powerful energy in the universe and thus in human beings and in organizations is caring.
  42. The more we can combine work and caring, the more fulfilled we will be and the further we will collectively advance.
You must be patient with people because you don't know what they have been through.
*I take no credit for any of these points.

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