Last week we held our annual “Executive Retreat”, a client-exclusive event in NOLA for owners and their managers.
It was very HIGH energy, and the idea sharing was way beyond what you get at a typical landscape conference.
Here are 10 useful ideas that you can “rob and duplicate”:
1. The Grace Advantage.
Using Grace when you fire someone or when they quit, dramatically increases their chances of returning to you once they have figured out their life.
Kevin Werbrich (Werbrich Landscaping, OH) shared his grace-based approach to building up a backlog of employees who want to return even after they quit for greener pastures.
Be as nice to them when they leave as when they started, and they will return!
2. Manager vs Boss.
The industry is made up of 80% bosses, but only 20% true managers.
This is why our industry is seen as non professional and we lose so many good people.
Your managers need guidance on how to develop their team to their full potential.
Our speaker, Jose Andres Genal, the bilingual Director of Culture at Landscape Renovations (MN). showed everyone exactly how to transform a technical boss into a proficient manager.
It was eye opening.
3. Best in Class is Reachable.
Our keynoter, Keith Freeman, founder of the Green Group, NC, discussed the systems and attitude he used to building up his company to over 100M in just a few short years.
After decades working for some of the big name ‘profit-first’ companies, he decided to focus on creating a true best-in-class organization.
He noted that best-in-class companies do not make their focus about their product, e.g. landscape, rather they make it about their “why”.
He shared examples like Disney, Taylor Swift and finally, Chic Fil A,
Chic-fil-A’s success is not based on their chicken! Rather its about their leadership development program.
Keith’s secret sauce is to focus more on his employees than his clients. He spends more $ on employee benefits, and this allows him to spend less $ on marketing and sales, while still growing dramatically.
4. Become Better.
I kicked off the retreat with 10 proven ways to get better, because getting better is the sure fire path to growth.
I asked around and a few attendees shared with me their takeaways.
Dennis Evans, from Quiet Village in St Louis shared his personal takeaways:
5. Stop running two companies: Office Staff and Field staff.
From the presentations, he saw that he was running two separate companies.
How do we meld them better, so that we have one single company and culture?
6. Appreciation isn’t simple:
It was clear to Dennis that “Getting pizza and donuts for the guys doesn’t count as appreciation.” We can go so much deeper.
7. The mentality of a manager is much different from a boss.
A manager coaches, is flexible, and is a mentor. A boss is technical expert but not much else.
Dennis noted, “We have all had bosses and they suck!”
Loriena Harrington, owner of Beautiful Blooms (WI), and Associate at Jeffrey Scott Consulting, shared the following:
8. Best in class can start small.
No need to be the largest to be the best in class, and you don’t need to be best for everything all at once.
You can start with a division, or targeted aspect within the company.
9. Identify and close the gaps.
Use surveys and meetings to identify blindspots/gaps.
Make plans for addressing them before we move on to creating anything new.
10. Focus attention on our strongest employees, clients, and company divisions.
Growth does not come from a remedial focus. Let your strongest people know they are appreciated and find ways to double down on the best areas of your firm in order to 100X your ROI.
Strong “Women In Lawn and Landscaping” (Strong WiLL)
We held our first “Strong WILL” event, and invited our female landscape clients and their employees to a work lunch, where they discussed current issues and created solutions.
They all came away pumped (!) with actions they could implement back in their companies and communities.
This idea was the brainchild of Shanna Scordo, from EarthCrafter Landscaping in PA and led by Loriena Harrington and Corine Koornhof.
Second in Command Peer Group
We also started our first ever peer group for second-in-command leaders.
It took place right after the Executive Retreat.
The companies that participated enjoyed an immediate boost of ideas, accountability, attitude and professionalization of their business.
Interesting to note that over a third of the ’seconds in command’ are women!
Regards, Jeffrey Scott
P.S. If you want to learn how to join our community, ping me and we can start a conversation.
We are having a January White Sale – a thousand bucks off membership in my high-impact Leader’s Edge Peer Group if you apply before February 1st.
Apply now in January.