Art Barter

CEO & Cultural Architect,
Datron World Communications, Inc.

CEO & President,
Servant Leadership Institute

Art Barter believes “everyone can be great, because everyone can serve.” To teach people about the power of servant leadership, Art started in his own backyard by rebuilding the culture of the manufacturing company he bought in 2004, Datron World Communications. Art took Datron’s traditional power-led model and turned it upside down, and together with his management team, began to serve first. The result: a small international radio manufacturer grew from a $10 million company to a $200 million company in six years.

Fueled by his passion for servant leadership and the lessons learned from the implementation of Datron’s culture shift, Art created the Servant Leadership Institute (SLI) as a vehicle to share his knowledge and to teach others how to inspire and equip those they influence. At the company’s heart is a foundational curriculum covering 45 hours of training for every employee in the organization.

Since 2009, SLI has presented servant leadership conferences to the general public, bringing together a wide array of speakers, including John Maxwell, Stephen M.R. Covey, Cheryl Bachelder, Gary Ridge, Liz Wiseman, Lolly Daskal, and Ken Blanchard (who has appeared yearly). All these world renowned leadership gurus have been mentors for Art.

Art believes the most important measure of his companies’ significance is how many people they have helped.  Since the establishment of the Datron Charitable Fund in 2006, the employees of Datron and SLI have given nearly 1000 grants to support causes in 47 different countries.  Most importantly, it is the employees who choose which organizations will receive these grants.

Art also has extensive international business experience, in the commercial and government sectors, focused on emerging international markets. He has knowledge in securing non-standard forms of financing to support customer needs around the world; adhering to the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act; surviving a Department of Justice investigation; working with international distribution networks; and help customers use good communications rather than conflict to save lives in the turbulent world we live in.

Through his stories, Art reveals Datron’s journey of moving from severe adversity to becoming a significant organization committed to leading for the sake of others in a popular keynote, “Can You Spare Any Change? Transforming Behaviors Through Servant Leadership.” He believes how you get results is more important than the results themselves, and his presentations on servant leadership-related topics have inspired audiences around the world.

As an authority on servant leadership implementation, Art shares his expertise in business books, on websites, through podcasts and in blogs. His experience with Datron’s transformation to a servant-led organization is chronicled in the book, The Art of Servant Leadership. Art’s newest book, Farmer Able: A Fable About Servant Leadership Transforming Organizations And People From The Inside Out, has been endorsed by leaders of servant-led companies including WD-40, Popeye’s, Franklin Covey, Ken Blanchard Companies, and John Maxwell Co. Through SLI, Art has commissioned two other books, The Cross and the Towel and most recently, Our Character at Work: Success from the Heart of Servant Leadership.

Servant Leadership Annual Conference 2015 - Ready, Mind Set , Go

Past Appearances

International engagements and intimate gatherings. For 10 years, Art has shared his story with diverse audiences. read more »



Fresh perspective grounded in real-life experience. Publications that bring Art’s mind to you. read more »

Servant Leadership Annual Conference 2015 - Ready, Mind Set , Go

In Action

Dynamic, compelling, and authentic. See Art as he shares his passion for servant leadership implementation. read more »

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