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  • Kevin Mackey

Great Work Performance Podcast 1: Serve to Delight


In the realm of effective management, the concept of ‘serving to delight’ your team has emerged as a pivotal strategy for fostering a thriving work environment. This approach transcends traditional management techniques, focusing on creating a culture where team members feel genuinely valued and supported. As a manager, adopting this mindset can lead to enhanced team performance, greater job satisfaction, and a positive, collaborative work culture.

Understanding ‘Service to Delight’

At its core, ‘serving to delight’ involves a shift from a top-down management style to a more service-oriented approach. It’s about prioritizing the needs, aspirations, and well-being of your team members. This doesn’t mean coddling or appeasing employees but rather understanding their motivations, providing necessary resources, and removing obstacles that hinder their performance.

Key Elements

  1. Empathy and Understanding: Recognize the individual strengths, challenges, and aspirations of each team member.

  2. Open Communication: Establish a transparent communication channel that encourages feedback and open dialogue.

  3. Resource Provision: Ensure your team has the tools, training, and support needed to succeed.

  4. Recognition and Appreciation: Regularly acknowledge and celebrate achievements and milestones.

The Impact of Delighting Your Team

Enhanced Productivity

When employees feel supported and understood, they're more likely to be engaged and productive. A manager who ‘serves to delight’ creates an environment where team members are motivated to contribute their best.

Increased Innovation

A supportive atmosphere fosters creativity and innovation. Employees are more likely to share ideas and take creative risks when they feel their input is valued and their efforts are supported.

Improved Team Morale

Recognition and understanding contribute to higher morale and job satisfaction. This positivity can be contagious, creating a more enjoyable and collaborative work environment.

Better Retention Rates

Employees are more likely to stay with a company where they feel valued and supported. This approach to management can significantly reduce turnover rates, saving the company time and resources in the long run.

Implementing ‘Service to Delight’ in Management

  1. Active Listening: Engage in meaningful conversations with your team. Listen more than you speak, and show genuine interest in their views and concerns.

  2. Tailored Support: Understand that each team member might require different types of support. Customize your approach to fit individual needs.

  3. Foster a Positive Culture: Lead by example. Promote a culture of respect, collaboration, and positivity.

  4. Continuous Learning: Stay open to feedback and continuously seek ways to improve your management style to better serve your team.


Serving to delight your team is not just about being a good manager; it’s about being a great leader. This approach can transform the dynamics of your team, leading to a more productive, innovative, and satisfied workforce. By putting your team’s needs at the forefront, you pave the way for not only their success but also the success of the entire organization. Remember, the best leaders don’t just lead; they serve.

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