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Serving Your Team

  Michael Thompson


We all appreciate and recognize that hiring the right employee can bring tremendous value to an organization’s success. As a leading background screening company, ISB Canada provides our customers with several tools including criminal record checks, personality assessments and thorough references that all play a critical role in selecting that perfect employee. However, once the A team is hired, how do you ensure that you provide an environment where these high performers can thrive. Throughout my career, I have been asked this question many times and have always linked it to my early years in the hospitality industry. I grew up learning to serve – serving customers, my fellow employees and my leadership. I recently read an article on Servant Leadership by Mark Tarallo and want to share some of Mark’s highlights with all of you.

“Experts often describe the majority of traditional business leaders as managers who mainly function as overseers of a transaction: employees maintain desired performance levels, and in exchange they receive salary and benefits. Generally, these managers are positional leaders–they derive authority simply from the fact that they are the boss.”

“Servant leaders are a revolutionary bunch–they take the traditional power leadership model and turn it completely upside down. This new hierarchy puts the people–or employees, in a business context–at the very top, and the leader at the bottom, charged with serving the employees above them. And that’s just the way servant leaders like it.”

“That’s because these leaders possess a serve-first mindset, and they are focused on empowering and uplifting those who work for them. They are serving instead of commanding, showing humility instead of brandishing authority, and always looking to enhance the development of their staff members in ways that unlock potential, creativity, and sense of purpose.”

“The servant leader moves beyond the transactional aspects of management, and instead actively seeks to develop and align an employee’s sense of purpose with the company mission.”

“Performance goes through the roof,” says Art Barter, founder and CEO of the Servant Leadership Institute and former CEO of Datron World Communications, Inc. In practice, Southwest Airlines, under the direction of founder Herb Kelleher, is frequently cited as the model servant leadership corporation. Kelleher’s philosophy of putting employees first resulted in a highly engaged, low-turnover workforce and 35-plus consecutive years of profitability, an unheard-of record in the turbulent airline industry.

Over my career, the servant leadership style has worked wonders with the teams I have managed with high employee engagement and business success. The critical factor for a servant leadership to be successful is trust; trust in your employees and trust in yourself. You will be amazed at the results.

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