First Steps

When you look at the servant leader trait inventory list, I urge you to pay particular attention to items 1 and 2. I have found organization to be the greatest shortfall of so many business operations. I am continually confronted by people who are frustrated with the performance of contractors and other service businesses.

The service norm, unfortunately, seems to revolve around the comment: ‘I will get to that tomorrow.’ Without organization, tomorrow never comes. It is a human trait to delay anything we really do not want to deal with. Those items get relegated to out-of-sight, and out-of-mind. Hiring more people will only expand the problem.

If you face this problem, fix it right away. It starts with you ‘the leader who is not as organized as you should be. You need to change this. You need to under promise and over deliver and hold yourself to a much higher standard than you expect of your followers.

The unorganized leader is the weakest link in the chain toward servant leadership.

Item 2 talks about passion for excellence and truth. Without that, as a driving force in your life as a leader, you will fall prey to under-delivery of your mission. Without passion, you won’t demand excellence and will be easily swayed from the consistently profitable operation of your mission.

Was Dirty Harry a servant leader or something unholy?

In the immortal words of Clint Eastwood ‘A man has to know his limitations.’

Over the years, I’ve been asked to perform many jobs that I knew was not what we were built to do. While I knew we had the talent to do those jobs, I worried that taking them on could lead to the demise of the whole operation and the loss of our effectiveness in our community.

One big job is only profitable if you have the skills and resources to handle it. So be honest with yourself and with potential customers. Passion for excellence and the truth must always be at the center of every servant leader’s decision.

In conclusion, I challenge you to take a serious look at where you are as a leader and determine how you could improve.

There are infinite resources to help you make a change in your leadership skills. You can learn this without a huge investment of money. But it requires a commitment to learning, an open mind to step out of the box, and a willingness to change and evolve.

I know it has been a great experience for me and I believe it will be for you.

Dave DeRose founded Masterworks Mechanical in Craig, CO in 1988. At the time, he was a master plumber with experience in plumbing, heating, air conditioning, and refrigeration. He grew the company over the years and eventually sold it to employees Victor and Amy Updike in 2015. Dave remains active in and a servant leader for the HVAC Industry, particularly the High-Performance Contracting segment.