How to Ace Service Based Leadership in an MSP

2 min read



How to Ace Service Based Leadership In an MSP

If you want to run your MSP using Service Based Leadership —where empathy meets excellence, goals are everyone’s BFFs, feedback is your jam, collaboration is the new coffee break, recognition is your Oscar night, and improvement is the daily bread – then read on!

“When looking to create and keep a cohesive team, practicing leadership in this style works every time.”

By Greg “Sharpie” Sharp, multiple MSP owner with successful exits. Now MSP Coach | Founder & CEO of ZenContract.


Build Connection & Practice Empathy:
Prioritize understanding the needs and perspectives of your team members, showing empathy towards their challenges and interest in their personal circumstances.

Practical Example: Ask Simon how his family are by name, and how his cycle race went on the weekend. This shows you listen & care for him, which pays off when the business needs commitment from Simon.


Clear Communication of Service Goals:
Ensure that the goals of the Managed Service Provider (MSP) are clearly communicated and understood by all team members, emphasizing how their roles contribute to these goals, and of course how their work benefits the team as a whole. Everyone needs and wants to be a contributor to a team and a cause.

Practical example: run a customer touchpoint exercise where you map out a client’s journey, marking each touchpoint toward the goal, so Sally on reception, Michael on the helpdesk and Jaryd in accounts ALL see their contribution toward the bigger picture of service excellence.


Alignment of Individual and Organizational Goals:
Work to align individual team members’ goals and career aspirations with the broader objectives of the MSP, fostering a sense of shared purpose. Assign your HR team the challenge of creating a better PDR template for annual reviews that explicitly align individual goals with company direction.

Practical example: Work with Johnny the Level 2 engineer to map out a clear path for him to progress to Level 3 in a way that meets his career ambitions of becoming a network specialist WHILE also ticking off your Cisco certification and offering clients an improved service.


Regular Feedback and Support:
Provide consistent and constructive feedback, coupled with necessary support and resources, to help team members meet service expectations and grow professionally.

Practical Example: Use the Keep, Stop, Start framework. IE: Keep doing these great activities, Stop doing the ones that do not help, and Start doing these things – it is a very concise way of communicating feedback. Regularity is the key here – each month is ideal but min each 2 months. Each 6 months get your immediate team to run a Keep, Stop, Start process on you.


Encouragement of Collaboration and Teamwork:
Foster a collaborative environment where team members can work together effectively, share knowledge, and support each other in achieving service-based objectives. Have team members cross-train other team members. Have work time training workshops to collectively get better. Sponsor subject matter experts to gain the knowledge and then train your team.

Practical Example: Assign 2 x AI experts in your business today and then monthly get them to run knowledge sharing sessions with your team.


Recognition and Reward for Service Excellence:
Acknowledge and reward excellent service and contributions that align with the MSP’s goals, reinforcing positive behaviours and outcomes.

Practical Example: At my former MSP, Base2, we adapted an employee of the month award to the Base2 Champion. Each month other team members would nominate outstanding team members who were displaying behaviours that exemplified one of the company values e.g. going the extra mile for the client.


Continuous Improvement:
Encourage and a mindset of continuous improvement among team members, focusing on evolving service quality and effectiveness in response to changing client needs and industry standards. Set three service measures to run your MSP on and communicate them from the rooftops.

Practical Example: Put up a dashboard in the office or on the company intranet that shows where you are v yesterday. Instil the mantra “Today I will be better than yesterday, but not as good as tomorrow”.


Greg Sharp offers 1:1 MSP Coaching for owners, operators and managers, as well as assisting with contract management and IT Policy automation via the ZenContract & ZenPolicy platforms. To book a no-obligation chat with our team, select a time HERE




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