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The Service Visionaries 100 awards stand as a symbol of excellence in the service industry. Announced in October, the service Visionaries 100 acknowledges leaders who have proactively driven transformation within their organizations.  

The robust selection process, led by a panel of respected judges, identified game-changers across various sectors, including manufacturing, healthcare and telecommunications, in over 20 countries. The service Visionaries 100 was announced in October 2023.   

IFS sought to gain insight from a distinguished expert on what it truly means to be acknowledged as a Service Visionary 100 recipient. 

Roy Dockery, Vice President of Field Operations at Flock Safety provides an inspirational summary of his journey in service so far, how he navigated change, built trust, and navigated his way to be recognized as an innovative leader in the top 100 service visionaries.  

I have always been fond of writing and the way that words can illustrate and define things and bring people into alignment. When thinking of “recognition” my first inclination is to look up the definition of the word to better understand what I’m trying to articulate.  

Recognition is defined as the identification of someone or something from previous encounters or knowledge, or acknowledgement of something’s existence, or validity. I have never considered myself a person who pursued recognition based on that definition because I find more validity in foundational principles of my identity than my occupation or title. However, when you look at recognition as identifying previous encounters or knowledge, my history and experience as a field service leader do provide a unique perspective. 

For most of my career, I have been one of the youngest people in the room. My direct reports for over a decade were five-plus years my senior, with industry experience of a decade or more. This put me in a position to choose authority or humility as my primary method of learning and leading, and I am glad that I chose humility.  

My leadership style has been rooted in genuine care for my employees and a high level of respect for the historical knowledge present in service personnel. Service teams often exist in a different culture, heavily customer centric and often oppositional to change.  

What I learned quickly was that opposition to change was not based on stagnation or complacency but on care for our customers and service personnel. When I learned to contextualize business decisions, process changes and even difficult circumstances around compensation I was able to gain the trust of large teams that help propel my career as a leader. 

With every promotion I got further away from being in control of the ultimate outcome and had to build trust in my teams while learning to effectively communicate where we are headed. Some call that followership, but I don’t think visionaries and leaders have much influence if they can’t get anyone to follow them. 

Being recognized as a global service visionary gives me a great appreciation for those who trained me on culture, customers, processes and technology. This recognition causes me to reflect on those who chose to follow me, realizing that their trust is what gave me the confidence to lead others in the future. Leading is a privilege and a significant responsibility. Every innovative idea, process or problem resolution came from relying on the most knowledgeable people within reach regardless of their title, degree or department. Choosing humility over authority created a questioning spirit that has made me a lifelong learner always looking to expand the perspective of the smartest people around me.  

If I was to give credit to one aspect of my vision that led to my recognition as a Top 100 Service Visionary, it would be my ability to see potential in other people. My career has been built on the promotion and development of hundreds of service and technical personnel who are smarter and more capable than me in many ways. 

My greatest contribution as a leader has been watching people manifest huge potential when you can convince them that they have more to offer. My leadership journey has been carried by the success of helping others reach new heights of self-awareness, vision and confidence.  

If you want to hear more from Roy and his brilliant perspective of service and his role as a leader, you can download the whitepaper Transforming Service in 2024: Strategy, Leadership and Innovation for Tomorrow’s Service Visionary”

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