Patience and Discernment: Key to Servant Leadership

In working with individuals who are transforming their behavior toward servant leadership, you have to be patient. A key point to understand is that each leader will transform at a different speed. There will be some leaders who will latch onto it, roll into it, and run with it. Others will stand back, waiting for you to earn their trust through the process before they jump in. And some will never buy in; they just don’t think it’s the right thing to do.

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When Leaders Don’t Grasp the Empowerment Being Offered

There are some who will never take on the responsibility of their own empowerment. I was asked once in an interview, “What’s the difference between leadership and management?” There is a difference. To answer that question for most organizations, it’s important to first identify a few key characteristics of a leader:

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Creating A Safe Environment For Failure

No one likes to use the word failure. People may say, “We didn’t get the results we were looking for,” or “It didn’t turn out the way we wanted it to.” But fear of failure creates a culture of indecision, inaction, and a deferment to the leader to make all the decisions. So our job as servant leaders is to create an environment where it’s okay to shoot for something that’s a stretch (“audacious goals,” as we call them), knowing that if you meet them, it will be great and we will celebrate. If you don’t, though, it’s not the end of the world.


Servant Leaders Build Trust

Building trust is one of the most difficult behaviors required of a leader today. We live in a society that doesn’t have a high level of trust, even though we talk about how we value trust, how important it is in our lives or how it is one of our core values. Like many of you, my route from home to work requires me to drive on the freeway. When we get on the freeway, most of the people sharing the road with us are strangers, and yet amazingly, we extend trust to most of them—trusting them to stay in their lanes, to signal before changing lanes, and to drive safely.

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Want to change a company culture? Train for it

The culture of an organization is all about how people behave on a daily basis in their organization. Many times, company leaders put a set of values or behaviors on the wall for employees and visitors to see, but they aren’t really serious about following them. If you want to change the culture of an organization, you need to change behavior. If you want to change behavior and the way people do business, investing in your employees through training is imperative.


Living Your Transformation as a Servant Leader

Transformation is a change in form, appearance, nature, or character. The self-help industry in America (books, audiobooks, videos, seminars and coaches) is over a billion-dollar industry, which tells us we all have a great desire to change who we are.

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Humble Leadership: How Serving Is the new Leading

In yet another new book, The Art of Servant Leadership II, author Art Barter adds another skillset to the mix: “One of the most important behaviors of a servant leader is listening to understand — not just listening to what’s being said,” he writes, “but understanding what’s being said.”

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SHRM - The Art of Servant Leadership

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.


How will you add value?

Have you ever benefited from someone’s contribution toward you? We all have experiences where someone has helped us be better at who we are or what we do. In my case, there are several individuals over my career who have helped me believe in myself. Later in life, I’ve had the fortune of working with my good friends Ken Blanchard, Stephen M.R. Covey, John Maxwell, Ron Jensen, and Werner Jacobsen.


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Art Barter | How to Implement Servant Leadership

How to Inspire and Equip Those We Influence

Art Barter is the Founder and CEO of SLI. In this episode, find out how he took servant leadership and implemented it in Datron World Communications, Inc., a company he bought when it was doing $10 million in annual revenue. After just 6 years of adopting the new form of leadership, Datron was transformed into a $200 million company.


Leading Into Fall

With the passing of Labor Day, our summer is winding down and we begin the transition to fall and the holiday season. What I find most interesting about this time of year is how companies need time to adjust to having everyone working together again. In May comes Memorial Day, June holds a lot of graduations and weddings, July celebrates our nation’s history, and August brings vacation time and the need to squeeze that last bit of summer out of our system. Toward the end of August, many return to school, and by the week after Labor Day we are all back into our normal routines.

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Lifeology Radio - The Art of Servant Leadership: Art Barter

Have you ever done something for someone else without expecting anything in return and found delight in their expression? Altruism is simply that, doing something for someone else without expecting anything in return. When you live a life of altruism you find that the people around you start to act the same way. Studies have shown that the byproduct of altruism is that you in turn live a less stressed life.

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Moving Forward Leadership Episode 58: Mastering Servant Leadership with Art Barter

SL is a hot topic as of late but the ideology is not truly new. Essentially, servant leaders place their people and organizations first and themselves last. In the Canadian Army, we have the ideology of – Mission, Troops, Self. Which is essentially servant leadership. But still, when I learned about today’s guest I knew I had to have him on to talk about this absolutely crucial topic.


Seven Lessons Learned About Culture Change

I’d like to share with you some of my experiences in changing the culture at our company, Datron World Communications Inc. I’ll be the first to admit, when we started the process in late 2004 the only thing we knew for sure was we needed to change the “why” and “how” we did business. I wanted to create a servant-led organization.

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Blog Talk Radio Show #264 The Art of Servant Leadership

Art Barter is the owner and CEO of Datron World Communications, a multimillion-dollar, multicultural, international company with customers in more than eighty countries. He is also the founder and CEO of the SLI which is dedicated to teaching people and organisations how to lead in a non-traditional way; putting employees first. Art believes that how you get results is more important than the results themselves.

Join us as we discuss the story of Datron and hear how Art and his team managed to grow the business and build an organisation that is positively impacting people worldwide.

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Building a Servant Led Culture

Culture — every organization has one. Is your culture thriving? Do people feel like they can make worthwhile contributions and others have their backs? Are people happy to come through the door each day?

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What is Business Leadership Behavior? Art Barter, Expert Guest, Ep 16 (TABSC)

This episode is incredibly amazing! Learn tips on how to serve others and the rest will follow.

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Computer Business Marketing Show 061: Servant Leadership

What is SL, and how can it help you build a more successful business? We’ll talk about leading from the heart and how taking a real interest in your employees is the key to being respected as a leader.

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SmartLinx Podcast: Flip the Org Chart on Its Head with Servant Leadership

Hello from SmartLinx! In today's podcast, we'll talk about the concept of servant leadership. Our guest today is Art Barter, founder of the SLI. So what exactly is servant leadership?


5 Questions Leaders Must Ask to Determine One's Real Influence

Most of the leadership experts in the world will agree that leadership is influence. Where does that influence come from and is the influence positive or negative? What type of influence does your leadership generate? Do you rely more on your title or who you are as a person to influence others?

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Art Barter: Transformational Leadership That Gets Big Results

How does someone turn a $10M business into a $200M business in just 6 years? In this interview, we talk with Art Barter who did exactly that through his powerful leadership methods. We explore the challenges and successes Art faced in changing corporate culture and implementing people first SL practices.


Culture Makes the Difference in a Competitive Job Market

Let’s focus on the non-monetary culture that can set your company apart in the competition for the best talent in the market place today. I am a believer in servant leadership.



In my journey of transforming a corporate culture to one that is servant-led, I’ve learned the value of leadership small groups. The purpose of leadership small groups is to create a safe environment for leaders to discuss the challenges they are having in changing the culture.

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Rebuilding the Approach to Servant Leadership

Art Barter believes that “how you get the results is more important than the results themselves.” To teach people about the power of servant leadership, Art started in his own backyard by rebuilding the culture of a manufacturing company he bought in 2004.

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Writers and Authors on Fire

Episode 134 - Art Barter has written three fascinating books about SL. In this interview we talk about Art’s journey as he learned about SL, how he implemented it at Datron, and then how he decided to write three books about it.


Reignite Your Purpose Podcast: The Art of Servant Leadership with Art Barter

Leadership. It's a term that we hear often, but do we really know what it means. Do you know what kind of leader you are or would like to be?


The Future of Work Relies on Your Developing These 5 Team Skills

When employees truly care about their customers, co-workers, and the company's overall mission, that attitude will show in the bottom line. The best way to develop empathetic employees is to lead by example.

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How Can Leaders Best Serve Their Organizations Today?

John Wooden, former coach of the UCLA Bruins, told leaders to “make each day your masterpiece.” I love that! We as leaders need to take that same approach. As you know from some of my previous articles, I’m a firm believer in servant leadership.

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Nine Ways Leaders Set the Wrong Example

In today’s world, leaders are followed not because of what they say, but because of what they do. Early in my career I was taught that leaders should always “walk their talk.” We all know what that means, but walking is only one behavior. Those who follow leaders today are looking for more. They are looking at what leaders do, at their behaviors. Leaders can set the right example, or the wrong example.

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Servant leadership and Command Decisions

When you make what I call a command decision and tell your team what they are going to do to move forward, it is important that you take the time to explain why you are making the decision.

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Featured Podcast: 361 Acquiring Operational Smarts

Join us when Art Barter, CEO and founder of the SLI, explains how his finance career path took a detour to the CEO office of Datron Communications.

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Staying true to your core during hard times

When you have times of challenge, don’t shy away from your core values. Don’t compromise your values in order to obtain or retain business. Your core values must stay intact. Core values are more important to the vitality of the company than any financial goals.

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The Life-Work Balance of Servant Leaders

I was recently asked about how I balance the demands of my CEO work life at Datron with my personal life. It’s a very interesting question, in very interesting times. I live in North San Diego County in California, where the weather is great, the coast is beautiful, the mountains are within driving distance, and Disneyland is just up the interstate.

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Dov Baron Podcast- SL: 18 weeks to Organizational Transformation

"Our Guest today on this episode is Art Barter:

Art is the creator of the SLI. He created the company as a vehicle to share his knowledge and to teach others how to inspire and equip those they influence."

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Want To Be Heard? Listening Is A Must!

The pigs are running the farm. So begins the story of Farmer Able. Everyone on his farm – people and animals alike – are downright downtrodden by him.

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15 Examples of How Charitable Giving Helped a Business Succeed

When Art Barter purchased Datron World Communications, Vista, Calif., in 2004, he made the conscious decision to help employees find the true meaning and purpose in their lives, professionally and personally.

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Focus on the Journey, Not the Destination

I am a monthly contributor to and in October, I wrote about my early leadership journey. The article, titled, “Beam Me Up Scotty,” talks about me being too focused on my own career — causing me to miss an opportunity to learn from my boss, who was a very quiet, humble servant leader. I was in my late 20s at the time and thought I was a good leader. I want to share with you the difference between Art, the young leader of the past, and the leader I am today.


When Leaders “Try” Part 1

As a leader, what do your words reveal about your commitment?
When my kids were young, I was fully dedicated to my career. I had made it a higher priority than my own family and even my health. On weekends (well, Sundays, which was all the weekend I thought I could spare), all I wanted to do was spend time recovering mentally and physically from my hard work all week.

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Transform Your Organization with SL

I’ve personally traveled all over the globe teaching SL. My book, Leading With Others in Mind, is all about the nine qualities of a servant leader and how every organization can benefit from these practices.


Do Leaders Confuse Loyalty with Agreement?

I recently met a friend in town from the Midwest for coffee; we ended up talking about our experience on the board of a local company. Earlier in the year, I’d resigned from the board, but my friend continued to serve on it. Our discussion led to the company’s CEO, who my friend said confused loyalty with agreement.


Beam Me Up, Scotty! A Different Kind of Leadership

Any Star Trek fan knows this catchphrase was one Captain James T. Kirk of the Starship Enterprise used frequently to let his chief engineer Scotty know when he was ready to be transported back to the ship. If you recall, the transporter transformed the human body into matter to transport it through space and transform it back into the human body once on the ship.


When Leaders Don’t Extend Trust

The leader is not a trusting person.

Some years ago, I worked for the senior vice president and general manager of a company at which I was the head of finance. We were sitting in a staff meeting one day when he told us point blank, “I don’t trust you.”


When Leaders ‘Try,’ Part 2

In June’s column, I shared about a mentoring session I experienced with a very wise leader. With my permission, she mentored me regarding the use of the word “try” in my leadership vocabulary. I must say, I was surprised by the power such a tiny word can have.

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Only 13 Percent of the U.S. Workforce Is Passionate About Jobs

A recent survey by Deloitte’s Center for the Edge reveals that although U.S. companies are projected to spend more than $100 billion on training and $1 billion on employee engagement in 2017, most workers are neither engaged in nor passionate about their jobs.


Do you have a recipe for employee engagement?

At the SLI, we help leaders around the country change their leadership beliefs from the control model to the service model. All leaders have a common desire: to engage their employees at the highest level possible. Most realize that how they are leading today needs to change.