In companies across the world, people are stepping up to the plate, taking on leadership roles – big and small and attempting to create change within organizations. From workplaces to schools, leaders emerge for better or for worse. Among those are leaders that put others first, showing us the value of a humanized business. Jim Jarrett, President of GBA is leading differently – listening rather than speaking, relatable rather than disconnected and compassionate above all. In this episode of Leader to Leader, Jim explains his leadership style and his vision for the future of GBA.
Climbing through different positions at GBA through most of his professional career, Jim has seen the company through its highs and lows. While Jim mastered his craft, GBA soared to heights previously unimaginable. GBA started up or acquired other businesses (GBA Builders, Alynix, Compli, GBA Systems Integrators, Infrastructure Solutions and Virocon) to provide customers with a turnkey solution for all project needs.
Now, a year into his presidency, Jim has created a work environment focused on collaboration, commonalities, and customer success. These surroundings are a testament to his skills as a leader. One quality that is particularly admirable in Jim is his ability to learn about each employee. Regardless of position, Jim takes the time to get to know his staff – learning skills, stories, etc. And through this investment, GBA has witnessed increased employee retention.
It should be noted Jim did not learn these skills all on his own. His mentors, both at GBA and outside the organization, have molded him into the person he is today. Mentorship has proven valuable in the workplace. Mentees can learn intangible skills such as networking and build confidence resulting in long-lasting relationships. One of his mentors taught Jim, when in a room full of experts it is best to listen and observe – asking good questions, instead of doing all the talking.
A mentor of Jim gave him the following advice, “From eight to five you’re with your staff to understand their barriers or communication issues. The rest of the time is your own”.
Jim self describes his leadership as “servant” or working for others. He exemplifies this each day through his actions. He believes the best way to help others is to listen, offer empathy and understanding and have the communication skills to articulate a shared vision. Through these pillars, a workplace culture emerges where employees are trusted and perform their personal best.
He strives each day to learn more, continually growing and evolving. Knowing that it is ok to be a different person than you were a year prior. Jim’s priority as a servant leader is to grow and develop his staff – encouraging them to achieve their goals.
At GBA and GBA Builders, this style of leadership is celebrated. Regardless of tenure or position exemplifying strong communication, listening skills and empathy will help staff excel at their current role. As proven through Jim’s career path, paved by relationships and hard work, exemplifying both companies’ core values of integrity, innovation, honesty, service, learning and teamwork could land the right person as the leader of the company.
To learn more about GBA and the services offered, visit www.gbateam.com