Peter Block and Robert Greenleaf introduced the concept of servant leadership, and Ben Scardello, President, and CEO of Convergent1, embraced it and made it the core of his business philosophy. Mastering stewardship is the motivation behind this leadership style. Expertly managing the resources—people, processes, and profits—of the business that are allotted you and serving others while still pursuing the success of your business, is the key to real success when utilizing this business model. The article “Fortune’s Best Companies to Work For With Servant Leadership,” published on ModernServantLeader.com, states that “5 of the top 10 Best Companies to Work For are also identified as companies practicing servant leadership.” These companies include SAS, Wegmans Food Market, Zappos.com, Nugget Market, and Recreational Equipment (REI).
Serving humankind is one of the other top priorities in his life, he states, “I work to be a loving, kind and helpful person, and by looking for ways to help others in more ways that just rhetoric.” Ben stays true to the manifesto of servant leadership by incorporating its philosophy in business and his personal life. “At my company, Convergent1, my two business partners are Christians, and so we take an active role in advancing God’s kingdom in our daily work and well as reaching out to others through a few worthy ministries. They support World Vision International, an Evangelical Christian humanitarian aid, development, and advocacy organization. Here’s Ben’s “how” for supporting this organization:, “At Convergent1, each staff member is encouraged to adopt a child from within the World Vision organization. The company pays the minimum support of the child on behalf of the staff member. All we ask is that the staff member takes an interest in their child by corresponding with them from time to time. Also, the staff may put more money into the child’s World Vision account if they wish. We currently support seven children from around the world.”
This year, Converent1 has also made a commitment to raise money for Water for Life so that fresh water wells are provided to communities that have this profound need in Third World countries. Ben states, “Fresh water is everything to a village or community of people because, without it, disease, famine and the social fiber of the community are very negatively impacted. James and Betty Robinson formed Water for Life and as part of the larger ministry, they have tirelessly worked to bring water wells throughout the world. The best part of the Water for Life ministry is that 100% of the proceeds go to putting in water wells.
It is our plan to conduct a major fundraising event this year focused on businesses. We have organized the event with a Christian man and former Gold Medal Olympic winner, Chad Hedrick. Chad is a committed Christian and is willing to help make our event successful. We will be conducting the 1st Annual Chad Hedrick Golf Tournament, sponsored by Convergent1 this fall. With Chad’s help, we hope to attract many business leaders, sports celebrities and other influential people to the event so that we can raise enough month for four water wells.
Ben’s “How” On a Personal Note
Ben attributes his faith to the early implementation of this business strategy. He states, “I’m a Christian working to follow Jesus and his examples every day. My experience as a Jesus follower, husband, father, and businessman has shaped my perspectives about life and people. I’m a loving husband of 43 years to my soulmate and life partner, the father of three beautiful daughters and five wonderful grandchildren and I’m also an entrepreneur working to grow a business to the benefit of our clients, staff, the business community, and my family.” Ben is most passionate about serving God and being a blessing to others.
“My wife and I support A-21, a ministry focused on eliminating Human Trafficking. The ministry was formed by Christine Caine. Human Trafficking is modern day slavery and impacts people worldwide. Mostly, human trafficking impacts young children that are abducted and pushed into the sex trafficking world. However, older people are also impacted in similar and other ways as well. A21 is a nonprofit organization fueled by radical hope that human beings everywhere will be rescued from bondage and ultimately restored. A21 people are abolitionists of the 21st century. We work to free slaves and disrupt the demand.”
They also support Ransomed Heart Ministries. Ben states, “I actively support John Eldridge and his Ransomed Heart Ministries by introducing men to his powerful books, videos, and men’s events. At a Ransomed Heart Men’s Boot Camp, men’s hearts are restored to a place closer to Jesus. I attempt to expose the devastating impact of today’s world on the heart of young boys and men by providing Ransomed Heard teaching materials.
I asked him, “What do you feel is the prevailing philosophy of the 21st Century man?” He responded, “Unfortunately, it seems that the philosophy of men today is less about others and more about themselves. I’m guilty of this too, even though I strive to be different.” Ben’s statement is reminiscent of a quote by St Augustine: “The sufficiency of my merit is to know that my merit is not sufficient.” Servant Leadership Ben’s way keeps him focused on others and striving to make the world a better place in the business arena and for humanity everywhere.