Planting Seeds of Change

When I was a child, my family lived in a small three-bedroom, one-bathroom house in Ferguson, Missouri. At Christmastime, our church always went caroling in the affluent neighborhoods of St. Louis. I distinctly remember one occasion — while caroling — when we were invited into the home of the Danforth family. As a young man, it made such an impression on me.

The Danforths founded Ralston Purina, a very important company in St. Louis. Over the years the Danforth family has contributed to the city in many ways.  Former US Senator John Danforth, an Episcopalian priest, has also been a great influence in my life. My sisters attended Danforth Foundation summer camps and I was married in the Danforth Chapel at our church.

So when the Danforth Leadership Council invited me to speak at their “Seeds of Change” event at the Danforth Plant Science Center, an annual free public lecture to inspire and unite people to positive change, I was profoundly touched. I spoke on the privilege of leadership and sat down afterward for a Q&A with Penny Pennington, Managing Partner of Edward Jones.

HEC-TV recorded and broadcast the event and we’d like to share it with you.

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.

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